Any Other Mouth Playlist 


‘To Hell With Good Intentions’ by Mclusky

Fellow writer Doug Johnstone showed me this song after reading my story ‘What Happens When Someone Dies Twice’, which begins with the line ‘My grief is bigger than your grief.’ I like it.


‘Roots Bloody Roots’ by Sepultura

I mention requesting ‘my favourite song by Sepultura’ in the story ‘Crave’, and I was thinking of this song, naturally.


‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls

I’m going to be kind and leave this off the playlist, but, just so you know, it’s in ‘Daddy Smokes’, and is an integral part of my book. This is how the story starts:


‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls is playing on tape cassette. I had to beg Dad to switch off ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’ and put this on instead, so I’m surprised that it’s playing for something like the tenth time in a row and nobody’s sick of it yet. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Posh, Ginger, Baby, Sporty, and Scary – without knowing it – are bringing me, my dad, and my sister closer together. Something in their song is making us feel, with each new chorus, that we’re more connected than ever before. 


Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ by The Rolling Stones 

Okay, ‘Somebody Else’s Story’ mentions loads of songs: ‘I’m a Believer’ by The Monkees, ‘Hello Goodbye’ by The Beatles, ‘Let The Heartaches Begin’ by Long John Baldry, ‘Young Girl’ by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ by The Rolling Stones. I’m just giving you one of those.


‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ in D minor by 1FallingNinja

This is not on the Spotify playlist, but here’s a YouTube link. In the story ‘When I Die, This Is How I Want It To Be’, this is the song that the main character, Gretchen, asks to be played at her funeral.


‘Girlfriend in a Coma’ by The Smiths

Gretchen listens to this while she has sex with her friend’s boyfriend in ‘Vegetables And Nietzsche’, a story about veganism, revolutions, and failed threesomes.


‘Ruby Soho’ by Rancid

Gretchen listens to Rancid’s ‘...And Out Come the Wolves’ album, just before she listens to her friend have sex with her boyfriend in ‘Vegetables and Nietzsche’.


‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails 

I bloody love this dirty song. This is how the story ‘Sprint’ starts: 


Nine Inch Nails played in my headphones as my feet thumped the conveyor belt. Just the right BPM to keep me going at 10K an hour, and just enough filth in the lyrics to fuel my adrenaline. Lines about the smell of sex and a desire for escape. Violate rhyming with desecrate. The alliteration of fuck and feel and flawed.


The A-Team theme music

Not on the Spotify playlist, but here’s a YouTube link. Mentioned in ‘Doctors’, Gretchen listens to this as a way of distracting herself from doing her PhD. I promise I never ever tried to distract myself from doing my PhD. I absolutely promise.


At home, decide you are going to need a special shelf. Box up your self-help books and put your PhD books in their place. Sit at your desk and look at the shelf. 

   Make a cup of tea. Watch The Apprentice on iPlayer. Wonder what the term ‘original research’ means. Go out to a nightclub with your friends and dance to The A-Team theme music. Three days later, go to the special shelf, take a book, and begin to read. 


‘Starman’ by David Bowie

This is one of my favourite songs in the whole world ever. I’ve loved it ever since I was a girl, and my dad used to play it on car journeys on a cassette tape he called ‘Adventure Music’. The song is mentioned in the story ‘A Rough Guide To Grief’:


Grief takes time. That’s worth repeating. Grief takes time.  In fact, you’ll be amazed by how much of your time is taken by grief. And just when you think you’re almost done grieving, you’ll find something sets you off again. The smell of Heinz tomato soup. ‘Starman’ by David Bowie. Paper clips. The new series of Doctor Who. 


‘Borderline’ by Madonna

It’s difficult to write a story called ‘Borderline’ without getting this stuck in your head on repeat. At one time, I toyed with calling the book Borderline. My story is about Borderline Personality Disorder, not the pop icon Madonna.


‘Rusty Cage’ by Soundgarden

In the story ‘Borderline’, I mention listening to ‘a shitload of nineties grunge’. I guess I was imagining songs like this, because that’s what I was listening to myself at the time.


I bought myself a bottle of wine, and thought how nice it would be to go home, open the window, listen to some music and drink. I might even dance.

   So that is what I did. Except a car alarm kept going off out in the street, so I had to shut the window, and either I was drinking the wine too fast, or the cabbage soup wasn’t soaking it up properly, because I was pissed by four. Still, I had an amazing time. I danced on the table to a shitload of nineties grunge, cackling now and again at the brilliance of it all, watching the people out on the street, going left to right, right to left, and I marvelled at the fact that they’d never know what it was like to feel like me, to be this exuberant, this happy with the world, with everything.


‘My Own Summer [Shove It]’ by the Deftones

Well, Slade should really be on the playlist at this point, as ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ plays repeatedly in the background in ‘For Anyone Who Wants To Be Friends With Me’, but I think I’ll leave it out, because I'm nice like that. However, in this story, Gretchen is wearing a Deftones hoodie on Christmas morning (just like I used to have…), so that allows me to put the Defones on the playlist - hurray! And here’s a cheery excerpt form the story: 


I could hear Noddy Holder in the room next door. The same song I’d been listening to all day at work.

   So here it is, Merry Christmas… 

   With one sharp tug, my tights were pulled down, and I felt a hard, wet lump of flesh being squeezed into me. 

   Everybody’s having fun...

   ‘Bend over’, said a gruff voice, as I was pushed over the cistern.


‘Sky Blue Sky’ by Wilco

The sense of hope in the book begins to shine through here. I wrote the story ‘Like You’ after listening to this gorgeous Wilco song while walking home in the rain. The story begins: 


If you’ve got the right soundtrack, walking home in the rain isn’t so bad. Even if it’s November, and you’ve had a dull day at work, and you’re hungry, tired and cold. Even if your left shoe has a hole in it and is starting to squelch. In fact, it is under this exact set of circumstances that you are most likely to realise how glad you are to be alive.


‘It Can Happen’ by Yes

This song was sent to me by writer Ewan Morrison after he read my story ‘This Could Happen To Us’. It made me smile.


‘I’ve Never Been in Love Before’ by Chet Baker

This song is mentioned on the penultimate page of my book, in ‘This Could Happen To Us’. Here’s a sneak preview: 


I was on the subway on the way to work this morning, listening to Chet Baker, to a song called ‘I’ve Never Been in Love Before’. In the song, Chet asks his new lover for forgiveness. He’s fallen in love so madly, he explains, that he’s likely to appear foolish. 


I’m not going to show you the rest, or it’d give too much away. 



Well, that’s my weird little playlist. Hope you enjoy it. xx


P.S. I've put a swear-free version of 'Closer' by Nine Inch Nails, played by Goth Acoustic Ensemble(?) on my playlist as a 'secret track', because secret tracks are cool. I guess I've spoilt the secret now.

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