While writing I tend to listen to music. Chris Fox’s 5000 Words an Hour even has “putting on appropriate music” as one of the steps to start a sprint. John Ringo has a playlist at the back of Under a Graveyard Sky and someone has actually set it up on Spotify. As I have been writing Riders South (to know when it comes out subscribe to my newsletter) I have accumulated a short playlist. While it will go into the book as part of an author’s note, after watching a reaction video to one song on it I decided to share it today.
First up is Tengger Cavalry, which is a title track for the entire band. Tengger Cavalry, the band, if the second band of its narrow sub-genre, to come to my attention. That sub-genre is Mongolian metal. Unlike the first band I heard, Nine Treasures, Tengger Cavalry has members not from Mongolia.
The second track is by Eluveitie. I think Eluveitie is the band that completed my embrace of modern metal. Before I found them I had listened to a bit of metal, focused on female fronted metal, often symphonic, such as Nightwish, Within Temptation(who I found via Matt Drudge’s radio show a decade and a half ago), and Leaves’ Eyes. Once I found Eluveitie and realize what there was in terms of interesting folk rock I was hooked. I would never have found Nine Treasures and Tengger Cavalry without them. Nantosvelta is actually is a more recent album and is the first without Anna Murphy, whose singing and hurdy gurdy got my attention the first time I heard the band.
The next two songs, Die on My Ride and War Horse are also by Tengger Cavalry. While the Riders have their genesis in an older fantasy series, there was a bit of Mongol influence early. I researched the speed with which they moved to get a feel for how quickly the migration of the Riders could move. As time has gone by, more and more elements picked up here and there of Mongol culture have infused the background of the novel. For example, the Riders use yurts instead of a western style of tent. Did the presence of Tengger Cavalry and Nine Treasures in my headphones cause this evolution? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
Next up is The March of the Varangian Guard by Turisas. I do not know much about the band. The song came up on a Spotify radio station. I think it was the Tengger Cavalry station, but it might have been another metal band. It got tossed on the list because it felt right. Also, I think the Varangian Guard is an inspiration for fantasy not used nearly enough. If you know of fantasy stories inspired by the viking who guarded the Eastern Roman Emperor please put them in the comments.
Next up is the band that is responsible for this post. I have watch two different reaction videos to Yuve Yuve Yu by The HU. The first was by Beth Roars and the second by Metalhead Reacts. Both were as blown away by the song as I was the first time I heard it. I only watched the video for it well after it was added to the playlist, but the video had the lyrics in English. They are very metal. The song also has been searching for how to learn [Tuvan throat singing].
Believe it or not, we’ll finish with a non-metal song. It is also the only song by a band I have seen live. I saw Blood on the Harp when they opened for Skinny Lister last year. They are very Americana. Their image and lyrics also reflect a very specific blend of Protestant belief and behavior which was a heavy influence growing up. With the setting of the Riders South being a four centuries post-apocalyptic version of that same region they fit right in. The song, They’ll Never Find Me, resonated with me, especially in the last verse where one of the promises made to believers in the Bible carries enough pathos that the singer asks the Lord to leave him as the world ends. Sadly, there is no video for the song, but it is on Spotify.
Except for the increased Mongol influence in the nature of the Riders, I’m not sure how these directly impact my writing. The playlist began with my first sprint inspired by Chris Fox’s book. I used the Tenggar Cavalry radio station on Spotify. That day I saved the first few songs. Now I add as I’m listening to something and think it fits the book somehow.