With music as the central theme of my young adult book, The Hush Society Presents…, I thought it would be fun to share with you my top Spotify playlists that inspired me.
The Hush Society Presents… is a contemporary young adult book about music, friendship, and going after one’s dreams.
It’s one of my top goals this 2021.
While I had one major playlist that included songs that soundtracked specific moments and those that sound similar to the fictional bands inside the book, I also created multiple playlists to help you envision what each major artist mentioned in the book sound like.
The Hush Society Presents… Playlist
The first playlist out of my top Spotify playlists that I would like to share with you is the one that gives you an overall vibe of the book.
My novel is about secret shows and an underground music community and the songs reflect that indie pop-rock vibe.
The next set of playlists I’ll be sharing with you are those that best reflect the sound of the fictional bands I created. Think of it as the songs that sound the most similar to these fictional bands.
THE FORTUNATE ONLY
Cameron Evans, the main protagonist of The Hush Society Presents…, forms a band with his best friends Benji and Eric, and together they make up the indie-pop band called The Fortunate Only. This playlist contains the five songs that best represent how The Fortunate Only sounds like. I wish they were a real band!
Bonus song: Hot Lights by LANY
The Gramophones are Benji, Cameron, Cassie, and Eric’s favourite band that has been on hiatus for years. Their love for this band brings them together and inspired Cassie to start The Hush Society Presents… community. In one of the chapters, a character compares The Gramophones’ sound as “a beautiful mix of Foals and Muse.”
While The Gramophones are on hiatus, one of their members, Callum Ford, decides to start a side project called Marmont to keep himself busy. Whereas fans of The Gramophones have been met with nothing but radio silence, Marmont has been active and filling in that void. Marmont is the next best thing for The Gramophones’ top fans. Marmont has a “summer pop sound” compared to The Gramophones’ edgier music. And this playlist of theirs is one of the top Spotify playlists that inspired my book.
My favourite female artist in the book and some readers’ favourite character from the book is Amber Skye whose sound has been described by Cameron as “having the vocal range of Ellie Goulding” but with a quirkier sound.
And now that you have an idea of how the artists and bands sound like in the book, I also created a chapter by chapter playlist that you can listen to as you read the book.
It’s the most comprehensive one out of the five top Spotify playlists I’ve listed here.
These are the songs that I have mentioned in each chapter or refer to vaguely or they are the perfect soundtrack to what happens within the chapter.
I’ll also be giving you a short description of each song and how it relates to the book.
At the end of this chapter by chapter song list is the playlist with all the songs as well as a listening guide.
CHAPTER BY CHAPTER PLAYLIST
At the beginning of chapter one, Cameron Evans says he has a song stuck in his head and it’s this song by One Night Only, which makes him feel hopeful about his dreams becoming a musician despite everything he’s been through.
This is the song that Benji refers to when he tells Eric not to slight one of his favorite song lyrics. The very same line is the inspiration for the trio’s band name.
This is another song that is mentioned during Cameron, Eric and Benji’s discussion. This time, Cameron modifies the lyrics as he sings it referring to Eric’s old-fashioned ways of asking for a gal’s number.
An acoustic version of this song sounds like the song Cameron heard when he first discovered The Hush Society. In the book, it’s performed by the fictional band called The Psychedelic Glitch.
The second artist in The Hush Society that’s introduced in the book is Amber Skye. The trio (Benji, Cameron and Eric) enter the room to find her performing. This song sounds similar to the one Amber is singing on stage. Cameron describes the experience as “Her voice quavers as she sings a melancholic melody about struggling to be her own person. Hervocal tone reminds me of Ellie Goulding. I open my eyes as she brushes her pink hair, flashes me a weak smile, and then belts out the bridge.”
After Cameron meets Cassie–the founder of The Hush Society and Cameron’s love interest in the book–the third and last artist of The Hush Society show that night performs: The Rioteers. This song by The Ransom Collective is the sound inspiration for The Rioteers.
Back in Beverley, East Yorkshire, Cameron’s breakfast with the family is a tense one. With his two siblings outshining him in every way, he often looks like he’s the “bum” of the family for not pursuing opportunities that’ll make his resume look good.
Cameron works as a radio jock/DJ for a student-led station called URadio. Naive by The Kooks is one of the songs a fellow DJ plays as Cameron hangs out with them.
After this song plays on air, one of the DJs makes a special announcement that involves Callum Ford-a member of The Gramophones that has everyone speculating if The Gramophones are finally coming back from their indefinite hiatus.
I referenced a song called Explode by The Gramophones in the chapter and Explode can be likened to the sound of Ultraviolet of The Amazons. While The Gramophones’ sound is described as a mix of Foals and Muse, a song that perfectly captures this ‘mix’ is Fuzzy Tree by The Amazons.
When Cameron and Benji meet Eric at The Verve (a pub & music venue in one), they help Eric set up for a secret show on-stage. Bear Claws by The Academic sounds like the song that Cameron ad libs on stage with Benji and Eric while they tune the instruments.
When Cameron finds out about Elliot, an ex-bandmate, lying to him about quitting music and performing at the secret show at The Verve, this song is the perfect soundtrack to what Cameron is feeling.
One of the songs that Cameron and Elliot worked on when they were together is one called, “Rise” which is also referenced in this chapter. Let’s Dance to Joy Division by The Wombats is the song that sounds like that of Rise.
The acoustic version of Wild Love is how I envisioned Cameron’s open mic night song to sound like.
After Cameron tells his parents he is dropping out of Uni to pursue music, his Dad gives him an ultimatum: go back to Uni or don’t come home. Cameron stands by his decision to pursue music one last time and spends time at one of the parks in Beverley to clear his mind through song.
Benji, Cameron and Eric decide to form a band. Cameron shares one of the songs he has been working on since being kicked out of his latest band with Benji and Eric and they form this magical connection through music. As written in the book, “I nod, then play my riff. The tone of the song changes from its edgy nature into a more soulful tone. I want to transcend genres—not just your typical indie rock, but funk, soul, and edge. It reminds me of the stripped version of LANY’s “ILYSB.”
The perfect soundtrack to Cameron’s situation as he stays in Eric’s house after being kicked out of his home.
As Cameron packs up his things to go on tour with The Hush Society, he listens to The Cave by Mumford & Sons.
Benji, Cameron and Eric travel to Manchester to meet up with Cassie and The Hush Society team to prepare for their tour. Inspired by Amber’s story to face her fears, Cameron challenges himself to busk in a busy street. This is one of the songs he plays.
Chasing Rubies is another song that Cameron plays while busking and also an ode to how he feels about Cassie.
Travelling by Paper Lions is a great soundtrack to the newness and excitement they feel upon arriving to the first stop of tour in Brighton.
In this chapter, Lily, the Brighton hub manager of The Hush Society, goes through a challenging time. At Eric’s suggestion, Amber and Cameron play The Gramphones’ Burn Brighter–a song about hope and overcoming the darkness that lies within us. It sounds like the acoustic version of Blossoms’ Honey Sweet.
“Once the needle touches the vinyl, upbeat piano notes envelope the room. This rhythm goes on for a few more stanzas before a male-female duo enters, blending their voices. The piano is replaced with a percussion beat that sounds like fingers snapping.” That’s how I described Lose It in this chapter as Lily finds more solace in Oh Wonder’s music.
After everyone falls asleep, Cameron and Cassie sneak out to the seaside where they have meaningful conversations. This is where Cameron starts falling for Cassie.
The first show of The Hush Society tour starts in Brighton with Amber Skye opening the set. Grammar Nazi is similar to how Amber’s song sounds like.
I’ve previously mentioned this song earlier, but when The Fortunate Only, Cameron’s band debuts on The Hush Society stage, they play a song called Electrified which sounds like this version of Bear Claws by The Academic.
The Fortunate Only writes a song called “Brick Walls” for Lily to help her during her challenging moments, and Three Thirty is a reference for how the song sounds, but with a piano accompaniment.
James Watson is the third performer of the night and this song gives an accurate depiction of his music.
The feeling of anticipation of finding Amber and Casey and then chasing what’s left of the night is what makes this the perfect soundtrack to chapter 16.
Another soundtrack song that fits in so perfectly well with the challenges Cameron faces at the Three Tuns in Bristol.
Cameron discovers the reason behind Cassie’s No-Musicians-Rule by accident and this song, specifically the following set of lyrics is what he wants to tell her: “Don’t be afraid to love and love again.” Despite knowing that they should build a strong friendship first, Cameron can’t help but feel attracted to who she is.
At the end of chapter 18, Cameron references this song as he teases Cassie after her embarrassing moment.
Eric teases Cameron while song-writing saying that Cameron is writing a song about Cassie. Eric’s playful banter has truth to it as Cameron is doing exactly that. Into the Wild encapsulates the lyrics & song that Cameron is writing.
Cameron runs into Alex of The HoneyBee Trees once again at a gig in a bookshop. This time, there’s no more bitterness, rather he feels happy for their success. Lit by Polyphia is the song that Cameron refers to when he says The HoneyBee Trees have a tight sound.
The other performer in the bookshop gig has a sound similar to Saint Raymund’s Young Blood.
One of The Hush Society shows is a “silent” gig inside an office building. The DJ performing has a sound similar to RAC’s Cheap Sunglasses.
Cameron is once again tested when The Fortunate Only experiences a bad gig. Feeling defeated, Cameron takes a walk to clear his head and while searching the radio stations for a song, he comes across their song called “Waves” which sounds like a mix of Infinite High by Panama Wedding meets Geronimo by Sheppard. “Waves” is anthemic & upbeat.
To help you envision the sound of The Fortunate Only further, another song of theirs called “Ignite” sounds like Swimming in the Moonlight by Bad Suns.
Without saying any spoilers, a historic moment happens in chapter 24 and this song is just the perfect song to go with the moment.
This James Bay song is Lewis & Co’s new sound.
Again, without spoiling anything, this song is the perfect soundtrack to the challenges that Cameron goes through in chapter 25.
Feeling dejected, this song is a reflection of Cameron’s feelings & situation.
Another soundtrack to the events in Cameron’s life. I’m trying not to spoil anything since these last few chapters are fast-paced and make you wonder what’ll happen to Cameron.
Another life-changing but subtle moment happens in this chapter. It may seem like a small gesture but to Cameron it means the world.
The melody of this song captures the anticipation toward the end of the chapter.
This is the finale song of the book to perfectly describe the feeling of being excited and hopeful of what’s in store for the future.
And that wraps up the last of my top Spotify playlists in this post. If you want to listen to the songs as you read the book, here is a listening guide.
Chapter by Chapter Listening Guide :
Chapter 1: Can You Feel It – One Night Only, Liztomania – Phoenix, 1985 – Bowling for Soup and The Sound of Reverie – The Maine
Chapter 2: Boy Oh Boy – Jerry Williams, Fools – The Ransom Collective
Chapter 3: Mardy Bum – Arctic Monkeys
Chapter 4: Naive – The Kooks, Inhaler – Foals, Ultraviolet – The Amazons
Chapter 5: Bear Claws – The Academic
Chapter 6: Be My Escape – Relient K, Let’s Dance to Joy Division – The Wombats
Chapter 7: Wild Love (Acoustic) – James Bay
Chapter 8: Swing Life Away – Rise Against, ILYSB (Stripped) – LANY
Chapter 9: Growing Pains – COIN
Chapter 10: The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Chapter 11: Little Lion Man – Mumford & Sons, Chasing Rubies – Hudson Taylor
Chapter 12: Travelling – Paper Lions, Honey Sweet (Acoustic) – Blossoms
Chapter 13, Lose It, Livewire, Drive and Technicolor Beat by Oh Wonder, Seaside – The Kooks
Chapter 14: Grammar Nazi – Reese Lansangan, Bear Claws – The Academic
Chapter 15: Three Thirty – Eighty Ninety, Wasn’t Expecting That – Jaime Lawson
Chapter 16: Thunder Clatter – Wild Club
Chapter 17: Battles – Hudson Taylor
Chapter 18: Northern Boy – The Academic, Dirty Little Secret – All American Rejects
Chapter 19: Into the Wild – Lewis Watson
Chapter 20: Lit – Polyphia, Young Blood – Saint Raymund
Chapter 21: Cheap Sunglasses – RAC
Chapter 22: Infinite High – Panama Wedding x Geronimo – Sheppard
Chapter 23: Swimming in the Moonlight – Bad Suns
Chapter 24: Into the Wild – Lewis Watson, Hold Back The River – James Bay
Chapter 25: Hello Alone – Anberlin
Chapter 26: Need the Sun to Break – James Bay
Chapter 27: Nothing Left – One Night Only
Chapter 28: Lost in Nostalgia – The Maine
Chapter 29: Undercover Martyn – Two Door Cinema Club
Chapter 30: Tshirt Weather – Circa Waves
I hope you enjoyed listening to the top Spotify playlists that inspired the book and that it makes you excited to read The Hush Society Presents… available on February 21, 2021.
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