SFF Song of the Week: Jaine Fenn

One of the busy-bee panellists at Eastercon last was Jaine Fenn, a delightful and greatly talented SF writer.  I met Jaine some time back when we shared a panel at the Sci Fi London Oktoberfest in Greenwich, in a room at the top of the observatory.   And I have fond memories of the time she turned up for the Gollancz Halloween party with actual fangs.  (Her teeth are fakes, the fangs are real, I’m sure of it.)

And Jaine has chosen a quirky SFF Song of the Week for this site, which I hadn’t heard before, but which is now haunting me. (In fact I HAVE heard it before – it’s on the creepy soundtrack of Michael Mann’s under-rated Hannibal Lecter movie, Manhunter.)

Jaine Fenn writes:

When Philip was kind enough to invite me to write a piece on SF music for this blog, I found myself in a bit of a quandary. Music is very important to me. I write to music (and it has to be the right music) and trying to pick just one piece of SF-related music was going to be tricky. Should I go for Bowie, my first love and the Eternal Rock-God? Or Hawkwind, untrendy as hell but a fine soundtrack to my misspent youth? Or Kate Bush? Rush? Eat Static? Blue Oyster Cult?

Faced with such a wide choice I decided to pick a band who deserve to be better known than they are: Shriekback. Their 1985 album, Oil and Gold, was the soundtrack propelling me through the innumerable rewrites of my first novel, Principles of Angels and I’ve borrowed quotes from that album to preface the first three Hidden Empire books. Shriekback’s sound is hard to describe. Rock? Sometimes. Dark? Always. Rhythmic? Compellingly. Frantic? Often. Twisted? Definitely.

As for picking a single song … . In the end I’ve gone for This Big Hush. It’s not overtly SF, but is crammed with evocative SFnal phrases. It’s also one of the slowest songs on Oil and Gold; I’d even use the word haunting. It certainly sends a shiver up my spine when I hear it, as well as transporting me to the Undertow, a place where, in my head at least, I’ve spent quite a lot of my life already.

 

 

Is there a fire in the sky
Is there a moon up there
Is anything alive now
This darkness is what I hear
This is a breathless silence
A moment out of time
I see your face in the shadows
The tell-tale signs are in your eyes

More than I can hold in my hand
Running through the gaps like water
Aching with a passion inside
Deep as the river
All desire
The ashes and the fire
Turning this night inside
And the light from you

Is there a flame in the dark
is there a bright heart star
These creatures look the same now
We freeze wherever we are
We wake alone in the blackness
We sleep whenever we fall
One dream all around us
This big hush infects us all

Holding up an animal fear
Soaking up the waves underwater
Tuned to music no-one can hear
Forever in this half-light
All desire
The ashes and the fire
Turning this night inside
And the light from you

All desire
The ashes and the fire
Turning this night inside
And the light from you

More than I can hold in my hand
Running through the gaps like water
Aching with a passion inside
Deep as the river
All desire
The ashes and the fire
Turning this night inside
And the light from you

All desire
The ashes and the fire
Turning this night inside
Turning this night inside
Turning this night inside
And the light from you

 

 

 

 

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