Most of the songs on this playlist are from 2007, the year the book takes place. There are a few outliers but even those are songs that feel like they could have been released as mid-aught pop punk hits.
1. “Attractive Today” - Motion City Soundtrack
There’s a youthful joie de vivre to this song that I just adore. It perfectly encapsulates that weird combination of carefree and burden that we feel as teens - everything is possible but everything is also hard.
2. “Control” - Mute Math
I’m inviting you closer with each time I breathe/surrender has somehow become so beautiful
3. “Hang Me Up to Dry” - Cold War Kids
4. “Do You Want to” - Franz Ferdinand
Oh I woke up tonight I said I/I’ve gotta make somebody love me
5. “On My Own” - Boy Kill Boy
Robert Gorham was someone who needed people. Damien doesn’t need anyone and he is proud of it.
6. “What You Want” - The Starting Line
If this is what you want/then I’m gonna get it to you/‘cause I wanna show you things/that you never knew
7. “Not a Crime” - Gogol Bordello
God, this band is so weird. I love the sense of excitement and chaos in this song - it feels like entering some kind of carnival world that’s just a little bit dangerous.
In the old time it was not a crime
I also just like the weird buzzsaw noise throughout.
8. “Supermassive Black Hole” - Muse
9. “Shiver” - Maroon 5
I can’t believe how long Maroon 5 has been churning out chart-toppers (that, let’s be honest, all sort of sound the same). This was not a hit, but is a real jam nonetheless.
Literally all these lyrics work for Damien, so I’ll just zero in on: I won’t be satisfied till I’m under your skin
10. “Broken Toy” - Keane
This entire period of Damien’s life is about figuring out who he is and what kind of person he’s going to be. He has a few paths forward - he could choose to yield his power without worrying about the consequences or he could try to be “good”. If he’d had someone - someone he loved and trusted helping him through this period - he may have made a different choice.
So don’t dust off your gun/without a reason
11. “Falling By the Wayside” - People in Planes
It’s okay/to be safe/‘cause I’m on top/of my game/I’m losing control/falling by the wayside
12. “No One’s Gonna Love You” - Cee Lo Green
Not a song from the era, or even a song by Cee Lo - if you’re a TBS obsessive, you may recognize this song from Sam’s mix - that is the original, by Band of Horses. Sam and Damien have a great deal in common - both traumatized orphans with abilities that make it impossible for them to form normal relationships. They also both share a deep fear that they’ll never be loved by another person. This cover has that same pain as the original but with the added Damien-style swagger.
13. “Trouble” - Coldplay
Oh no/I see a spider web and it’s me in the middle/I twist and turn/here am I in my little bubble
14. “Venus in Furs” - The Velvet Underground
I don’t have a reason for this song being on here other than it really feels like Damien to me. Both slick and rough around the edges - smooth and messy.
15. “Reaper Man” - Mother Mother
I’ve talked about this song elsewhere - it was suggested to me by a fan and is so incredibly perfect for Damien I can’t get over it. I can just picture him driving down Sunset Blvd in a stolen convertible, nodding his head to this as he passes all the neon signs. Peak Aesthetic.
16. “Los Angeles” - Sugarcult
This came out in 2007, is about LA, and by one of the most pop punk-y bands of that era. It is perfect.
17. “LA Devotee” - Panic! At the Disco
This did not come out in 2007 (2016 instead) but is by a peak pop punk band and is just so perfect when it comes to LA aesthetic. And count on Panic to bring black magic into it.
18. “Misery Business” - Paramore
This is sort of cheating, because I’ve used this song twice (the other on a Damien/Wadsworth playlist) but it just works so well for him.
Whoa, well I never meant to brag/but I’ve gotten what I wanted now
19. “All These Things That I’ve Done” - The Killers