I’d like to say I listen to music as I write, that I sit down at my old oak desk and tap out words in time to pretty tunes. But in reality I do most of my plotting in the car on the school run. So my inspiration comes from what CDs are in the glovebox. Or at least they did until I dicovered Spotify. Now I just stick it on shuffle and see what happens. It’s making the WIP interesting.
For this novel it is the songs I listened to on the road to daycare that worked their way into the text, inspired whole chapters and gave the project its name. So that’s where we start today. With the name.
It’s going to become pretty obvious that I’m a big Idlewild fan. They are one of those bands I’ve followed from the start- I remember them rolling round the floor of the Old Old 13th Note in Glasgow in the mid-90’s, creating a shambolic noise that still somehow managed to tear your heart apart with the gorgeous lyrics. This was that post-punk, post-grunge noise that Scotland reverberated to back then. And it had soul.
Fast forward a few years and things have calmed down a bit but at the centre the pure poetry of Roddy Woomble slays me every time.
The Remote Part is the third album, released in 2002, was on repeat in the car for a long time. My daughter knows the entire album off by heart. The songs wove their way through the story but it is the last one- In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction featuring Edwin Morgan that ended up being anthem for the book. This song, for me, captures the relationship between Isla, the main character and her home.
I also make a cheeky reference to it in chapter 19. Because I couldn’t resist.
She was eventually roused by a nudge and became aware that Stewart was playing the guitar and singing an old Idlewild song that she loved. She guessed from Fiona’s frantic nudging and the fact that he was looking in the opposite direction from her that it was directed her way. She also realised it was apparently a favourite of the group when he did his best Edwin Morgan impression to hearty cheering. He handed the guitar to Neil once he was done and announced he was going outside for a smoke.
So go have a listen.