My Year Zero Playlist

All of my novels have playlists, often multiple playlists if there’s more than one significant character. The playlists for MYZ are very long, but I pulled out a few key songs for Lauren and Blake so you can listen with me.


What’s the quintessential Lauren song? Probably one from Halestorm below. But in the context of this specific story, the learning and changing she’s going through, this is her song. I think she’d admit that in the novel she’s doing her “shadow work,” or at least she’d admit to it after Blake points it out for her.

This is Tool’s “46 and 2” covered by a group of incredibly talented kids. Vocals start just after the 1 minute mark.


Below is the video of the Halestorm song that Lauren is singing in the first scene of the book:

And here’s the other Halestorm song mentioned by name in the novel: “You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing.” I love that this footage was shot in Minneapolis. I want to think that Lauren could’ve seen this performance live, but she’d have been too young for her big brother to agree to sneak her into a bar. But hey, maybe she got a t-shirt signed by her hero Lzzy Hale at the stage door.


And lastly something quite a bit softer for how Lauren feels when she’s not only in love but no longer afraid of dissolving into the infinities beyond the night sky.




The two songs below taken together are extremely Blake. They both start a few seconds in after a bit of intro.

Blake’s playlist isn’t all Suzanne Vega, but a big section of it is. The woman who inspired Blake’s character introduced me to the music of Suzanne Vega in the late 80s, so I was thrilled when I found this recent song from her that is so supremely Blake:


There’s also a lot of Sia on Blake’s playlist because she’s exceptional at conveying vulnerability and determination. This song in particularly makes me think of those days for Blake where just being alive, having stayed alive, is a huge victory.


And lastly the song “Blush” by Wolf Alice. Their official video is online here, but I put only the song below because it could be triggery (though also potentially amazing) for people with gender dysphoria. I love the simultaneous happy/sad sound of this song. Plus the line “You’re allowed to be what you could,” is very relevant to the connection between Blake and Lauren.


Thanks for joining us for the MYZ short playlist — I hope you found some music to love here!

  • Lara Christine Estes

    April 27, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Wow, this is an amazing playlist. It a adds so much too the book

    • Rachel Gold

      April 27, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Thanks, Lara! Having playlists helps so much with creating the mood of the story — and it’s fun to share them. I’ll have to compile my Just Girls playlist for this blog one of these days.