Fantasy Playlist – Chasing Graves (Ben Galley)
Novel Playlists from Fantasy Novelists treats each fantasy novel like a feature film and encourages the author to put together their own dream soundtrack. Having wormed his way into our hearts with his weird-west Scarlet Star Trilogy then cementing his spot with a certain Golem with The Heart of Stone, Ben Galley embarks on his next series: Chasing Graves, and is kind enough to give us a musical sneak peek. Listen to his playlist on Spotify here!
Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.
They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to rule it is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.
While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.
Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is only the beginning.
Matter – Arcane Roots
This band really know how to go heavy, yet they use it sparingly as well as perfectly. A hard-hitter to start the playlist!
In Cold Blood – Alt-J (∆)
I’ve been a big fan of Alt-J since their Mercury-winning first album. This track seems jolly, but as always with this band there is an underlying creepiness in the lyrics.
Everlong – Foo Fighters
One of the best songs by the Foos. It’s raw. It’s urgent. It’s melancholic.
Cold Cold Cold – Cage The Elephant
One of my favourites in this playlist after seeing the band live last year. A great stylistic throwback to earlier times and thematically apt for Caltro’s situation.
Pardon Me – Incubus
The question is “why didn’t I pick it?”. Incubus are possibly my favourite band, and this is possibly my favourite song. A song about the plight of a world.
Lost On You – LP, Elk Road
A new song to the list, and so far I haven’t been able to get the lyrics or chorus synth out of my head.
Saturnz Barz – Gorrillaz, Popcaan
It’s intangible what makes this song a firm inclusion. I think its the thug-like swagger of the track, schizophrenic style of the lyrics and Gorillaz’ production.
Broken People – Logic, Rag’n’Bone Man
A big track with a big beat, big voice and excellent rapping from Logic. A great song from the Bright soundtrack.
King of Wishful Thinking – Go West
A strange choice compared to the rest of the playlist. Not only is it a brilliant 80s banger, but it’s uplifting, and exactly what Caltro would need at points in the trilogy.
Ocean View – One Day As A Lion
Possibly a little-known song from a side project involving RATM singer Zach de la Rocha and Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore. It is fierce.
Drift – Hands like Houses
Anybody who knows me will know I have a heavy taste in music. HLH are a great band and this track is one of their newest and best.
Silence – Our Last Night
A poppier side of metal but no less enjoyable for me with its anthemic chorus.
Monstrous Things – Picturesque
In a similar vein to the two previous choices, this urgent track has soaring lyrics and tight riffs.
Back To Me – Of Mice & Men
This ferocious song has been behind quite a few of the battle scenes. It has a driving pace and all the angst I need.
A Light In A Darkened World – Killswitch Engage
I told you I had heavy tastes, and Killswitch always manage to creep into my playlists thanks to their skilful balance between punishing metal and uplifting vocals.
That’s Just Life – Memphis May Fire
A thematic fit to the Chasing Graves, as well as the start of the gentler side of the playlist.
Cycling Trivialities – José González
This song is an old-school favourite of mine, and it fit the themes of several scenes in Chasing Graves so well I had to put it in.
Set Free – Katie Gray
I heard this on a Netflix Original soundtrack and Shazam-ed it immediately. Katie’s voice has a beautiful, pure and bewitching quality to it.
Chalkboard – Jóhann Jóhannsson
I was writing to the Theory of Everything playlist one day, and this brief song somehow fell precisely in place with a cliff-hanger I was writing. The accidental match-up finished exactly as I finished and so I had to put it in the playlist.
About the Author
Currently hailing from Victoria in Canada, Ben Galley is the author behind the gritty Emaneska Series, the western fantasy Scarlet Star Trilogy, and The Heart of Stone, which won Best Self-Published Fantasy novel in the 2017 Booknest Fantasy Awards.
Aside from writing and dreaming up lies to tell his readers, Ben works as a self-publishing and marketing consultant, helping fellow authors from all over the world to publish and sell books. He can be found online at www.bengalley.com, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.