GUEST POST: Bloodwood – the Official Author Soundtrack

JB’s NOTE: Writing across a variety of genres Madeleine D’Este has consistently delighted me. With her most recent release, the horror/dark comedy Bloodwood, Madeleine ups the ante by offering something new under the sun: a fresh (pardon the word play) take on the undead. Knowing my fascination with how music and narrative intertwine, she has graciously shared her soundtrack for the story.

Bloodwood – how do you fight a vampire in Australia?

Bloodwood is a tale of ecological funerals and roaming revenants set in the fictitious town of Ludwood in the Goldfields region of Victoria, Australia. When I first got the idea for Bloodwood, I knew I wanted to bring a new spin on the tired vampire cliches, and Bloodwood questions whether the old world folklore would apply in a new land.

To put readers in the right spooky mood, I’ve collated an official author soundtrack, a list of dark songs from Australian and elsewhere. Although Bloodwood is not all grim – there are sparks of dark Australian humour throughout, and so I’ve thrown in a few cheesy tracks to lighten the mood.

DEAD EYES OPEN – SEVERED HEADS

An Australian dance music classic, a song which frightened many youngsters with its strange spooky vocals about the murder of Emily Kaye.

And then the dead eyes opened…

BELA LEGOSI’S DEAD – BAUHAUS

As Brigitta, the strange East European backpacker, says…‘The truth is very different to Hollywood… The creatures are not well-dressed aristocrats. Vampires are monsters. Pure and animalistic.’

TOZ – JAKUZI

During the bleak days of final edits of Bloodwood, I listened to this album from the dark synth Turkish bank Jakuzi on repeat and absorbed myself into the deep vocals.

GALLOW DANCE – LEBANON HANOVER

More gothy mood setting with Lebanon Hanover with their Joy Division meets Swiss Neko vocals sound.

A GOOD HEART – FEARGAL SHARKEY

Wait, what? A vampire book and Feargal Sharkey? Ten points for any reader who has spotted the reference.

THE CULLING – CHELSEA WOLFE

The current queen of goth indie rock, Chelsea Wolfe. Sparrow, the gothy high school work experience kid would listen to Wolfe over and over in her dented hatchback as she drove through the empty dark country roads of Ludwood in search of a revenant.

DAY-O – HARRY BELAFONTE

A song which strangely has taken on a supernatural life of its own

TAINTED LOVE – SOFT CELL

Shelley, Bloodwood’s main character, loves a car singalong to commercial radio and Soft Cell’s cover of Tainted Love is a classic pop banger.

And a song which plays on Shelley’s mind.

BACK IN BLACK – AC/DC

Where would an Australian soundtrack be without some Acca-Dacca? While I prefer old school Bon Scott era AC/DC myself, I picture Back in Black playing in the background as the kitted-up Shelley and Brigitta approach the revenant’s lair in slow motion.

“If a soul is laid to rest

With a perched black crow as its guest

And then a shadow crosses the pall

And a mourner’s tear does fall

Dry your tears and beware

Cross yourself and prepare

Below the soil, new life brews

It’s the living it pursues”

Bloodwood

Bloodwood – how do you fight a vampire in Australia?

Nothing interesting ever happens in sleepy, rural Ludwood. Not until undertaker Shelley sets up shop with her eco-friendly burials.

Her latest funeral, farewelling an environmental legend, was meant to help her struggling business – even the gatecrashing priest condemning her heathen ways didn’t damper her spirits. Much.

But when frightening screeches wake Shelley in the middle of the night days later, she finds an empty grave and things start to go wrong. Horribly wrong. Like vicious attacks in Ludwood wrong.

Were the priest’s protests of blasphemy right? Has Shelley unwittingly unleashed the undead and reduced the headcount in Ludwood instead of reducing their carbon footprint?

And where does Shelley even start? There’s no manual for hunting vampires in the bush!

Madeleine D’Este

Growing up in Tasmania, obsessed with books and the shadows at the end of the bed, Madeleine now writes dark mysteries and female-led speculative fiction. Her supernatural mystery novel The Flower and The Serpent was nominated for the Australian Shadow Award for Best Novel 2019.

Her latest release, Bloodwood is available at Amazon.

You can contact Madeleine at www.madeleinedeste.com or @madeleine_deste on Twitter.

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