Dr. Bright was an extremely tricky character to make a playlist for - this playlist took me the longest to craft out of the initial four. I knew she liked oldies, so The Beach Boys and The Beatles had to be on there but choosing the songs from those incredible catalogues was hard enough. All in all, this playlist leans heavily on the "music the character would listen to" side of things, though there are certain insights into her character scattered throughout.
1. "Wouldn't it Be Nice" - The Beach Boys
I think of this as an "early life" song. Joan and Mark would lie on their living room carpet and play "Pet Sounds" over and over and over. Happy memories.
2. "For No One" - The Beatles
This is definitely a "present life" song - this is indicative of how Joan feels when we meet her at the start of the podcast. The lyrics always make me deeply sad - they have a sort of optimistic loneliness to them that seemed fitting.
3. "Vienna" - Billy Joel
but don't you know that only fools are satisfied
4. "All I Can See" - Brendan James
One of Dr. Bright's defining characteristics is her hunger for knowledge and her curiosity about the world. This song represents the softer side of that hunger.
5. "Harbor" - Vienna Teng*
Both this and the following song are Joan's protective instincts: the parent role she took on for Mark and the deep love and protectiveness she still feels for him, even though they are now both adults.
I also think Vienna Teng is an artist that Joan would really enjoy.
6. "Can't Go Back Now" - The Weepies
in the end the only steps that matter are the ones you take for yourself
7. "Fields of Gold" - Sting
This is the one song that Joan loves because her parents loved it.
8. "Cradle and All" - Audra McDonald
Definitely a song that connects to the larger arc in Joan's story, rather than a song that she would listen to.
9. "MLK" - U2
Joan loves U2.
I actually wanted to put The King's Singers version of this song on here, because I personally like it better, but Joan is not an a cappella person. Again, she loves U2.