Music Monday: Every Road Leads Home To You

Today’s Music Monday is a piece by Richie Sambora: Every Road Leads Home To You

Richie Sambora is a guitarist probably most famous for having been Bon Jovi’s lead guitarist although he’s been a solo artist and has collaborated with various people over the years as well. Every Road Leads Home To You is from his third solo album (and also appeared as a bonus track on the last Bon Jovi album he worked on).

I love this song and have done so, ever since I first heard it. Part of that is the song’s lyrics reflect a common experience of being stuck away from your loved ones and trying to overcome that (if you’ve known me long enough, you’re probably aware of just how often travel gremlins hit me when I’m on my way home from things!). The rest of that is the music, which is a lovely bit of blues-rock – not too overcomplicated or over-produced with a good tempo (I always feel a little bit like dancing when I play it).

The tempo puts it onto my walking playlist as it does keep me moving quite nicely without me needing to think about it, but the idea in the lyrics, of trying to find home and the truth, also make it work as part of the backdrop for Sekhmet, so even if it didn’t keep me moving, it would get in just for that!

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!

Music Monday: Rather Death Than Slavery

For this week’s Music Monday we’re back in the world of soundtracks, this time Assassin’s Creed: Unity, with a piece by Sarah Schachner.

This is another relatively short piece but it packs a lot in. I’ve mentioned before that I do love a good bit of layered production, and this has that in spades, with the use of La Marseillaise overlaid on a ticking clock rhythm and a gradually building counter-melody. There’s nothing terribly subtle about it and it gets loud as it comes up to its climax and it’s all a little bit like the musical equivalent of a mob building up towards violence…which is appropriate given it’s a piece of music from the soundtrack to a computer game set during the French Revolution!

It also works (for me) as a piece for writing action to as there’s a tension and a desperation to it that really helped me when I was doing some of the Sekhmet chase sequences.

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!

Music Monday: Desert Rose

It’s Monday, that means it’s another piece of the Elsehere Soundtrack and this week’s track is the Sting/Cheb Mami duet Desert Rose.

Sting probably needs little introduction. The other vocalist on the track, Cheb Mami, probably requires a bit more: he’s an Algerian musician, singer and song writer whose primary genre is Ra├» (Algerian folk music style originating in 1920s Oran) and whose work carries influences from all around the Mediterranean. Desert Rose was a duet recorded by the pair for Sting’s album A Brand New Day and was a fairly sizable hit in early 2000.

I’ve had a long relationship with this track (yes, going all the way back to its release) and it quite often forms a part of my general writing soundtrack without being specifically relevant to the project. I love the mystery and the magical feel of the music, Cheb Mami’s vocals and Sting’s lyrics combined together. Simply put: it’s high on my list of favourite ever pieces of music, I think it’s really cool and I adore it.

In the case of Sekhmet, it’s not just into the soundtrack because I think it’s a really cool piece of music. The lyrics tie in with Nick’s story and background and this is one of those cases where the song inspired the story and the story inspired me to listen to the song (again!).

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!

Music Monday: Learning to Fly

This is a two-fer Music Monday as there are two songs called Learning to Fly, both which fit into the Elsehere soundtrack.

First up, the Pink Floyd song.

Pink Floyd started out in the mid 60s as one of the leading lights of London’s alternative scene, rose to massive international fame with Dark Side of the Moon, imploded with The Wall and made comebacks in the mid 80s (Momentary Lapse of Reason) mid 90s (The Division Bell and Pulse), mid 2000s (Live 8) and mid 2010s (The Endless River). Sadly, that will probably be the last of them as founder member Rick Wright died in 2008, shortly after the Live 8 performance, but the individual members are still active. Learning to Fly comes from the Momentary Lapse of reason period.

One of the things that I love about Pink Floyd is that their music is always an interesting listen. Sometimes it’s incredibly complex, with a lot of multitracking and layers and layers of sound to dig into…and sometimes it’s something like Learning to Fly, where it’s really simple. The vocal track is essentially one note (in fact it’s almost talking blues rather than singing) while the backing track is another of those rolling, relentless pieces of music that I’ve talked about a few times. It’s spacey and trippy and it never fails to make my mind take flight.

It would get a place on this soundtrack just for that, but the lyrics are what really anchors this to the Elsehere soundtrack as they beautifully encapsulate Ayana’s journey. Leaving home for the first time and figuring out how and where she fits in. Condition grounded, but determined to try, indeed!

Which brings me to Learning to Fly, by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Tom Petty was an American singer-songwriter who spent most of his career with the Heartbreakers. They started out in the early 70s, rose to fame in 79 with the release of Damn the Torpedoes and were still working (and successful) at the time of Tom Petty’s death in October 2017. Learning to Fly was a hit for them in 1991.

This song (and its video) was my introduction to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It got a decent rotation on MTV (yep, back then, MTV still played music!) and a very small part of my adoration for this song is pure nostalgia. Life is so much simpler at 13…!

It’s musically both different to the Pink Floyd song and also very similar. The similarity is it’s another very simple piece of music, but as a bit of good-time southern rock it sounds very different. It’s played on four chords, but the way they’re combined makes the piece feel a lot more grounded. I’d be less inclined to listen to a purely instrumental version of this than I would the Pink Floyd track, but that’s largely because Tom’s voice and inflections are such a big part of how this song works in a way that David Gilmour’s vocals aren’t.

As with the Pink Floyd track, the lyrics are fitting to Ayana’s journey: it’s another song that speaks to me about leaving home and figuring out your place in the world. It’s also a good lesson that looking back is not the best way to move forward and that you do just have to keep trying – which is definitely a lesson all writers need to take on board!

Ask me which of these two is my favourite and you’ll get a different answer on a different day – both are equally good and both have played their part in shaping the Elsehere.

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!