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Pop CultureJune 23, 2017

All the music-related bits of Dominic Hoey’s novel Iceland (and a playlist!)


Dominic Hoey shares the music-related parts of his new novel Iceland and makes a playlist so you can play along while reading.

Music features heavily in my novel Iceland and since were living in the future, I thought Id put together a Spotify playlist of all the songs and/or artists I mention. I got the idea from my friend Mike Handsome boyHall.

Here are the songs with the corresponding parts in the book. Enjoy!

The Chills – ‘Pink Frost’

I had just finished a terrible version of Pink Frost, and when I looked up you were standing in front of me in an old black T-shirt and paint-stained jeans, your long limbs dirty with faded tattoos.

Townes Van Zhadt – ‘WaitinRound To Die’

Do you want to hear a song?


Which one? I know them all.

“‘Waiting Round to Die.’”

I actually do know that one,I said, surprised by your request. And so I played amongst the madness of that night.

Bob Dylan – ‘Shelter From the Storm’

The suns out but its cold and the studios empty for once. Were listening to Blood on the Tracks, dividing up some morphine pills we scored off Mark.

Bruce Springsteen – ‘Atlantic City’

Later that night I stumbled up to the studio. Nebraska blared out of the open door. It was past midnight but I was still surprised to find you up there alone, working on another portrait of me.

Danny Brown – ‘XXX’

The rain’s heavy I can barely hear the stereo. Me and Rapley are sitting in his cousins car smoking a joint. I turn the music up, can just make out Danny Browns high-pitched ranting. Rapley takes a long drag, lowers the window and flicks the joint out into the storm.

Los Crudos – ‘Tu Lo Ensenaste’

Sam put on some screamy punk group and fell onto the couch next to me.

So, things good with you and Hammy again?

Yeah, the last week has been wonderful.

Youre like me with my antidepressants on, off, on, off.

We both laughed.

Ghostface Killah – ‘Be Easy’ 

Me and Rapley are painting, listening to Ghostface. Weve been in the studio for hours, smoking weed and working. My phone beeps.

Melissa Etheridge – ‘Like The Way I do’

We pulled out of the citys grasp and sped along the motorway. Wed decided to drive the length of the country and stay on peoples floors to save as much money as possible. Louisa drove erratically, braking suddenly for no apparent reason and then speeding off again. Sam was playing Melissa Etheridge on the stereo.

Please turn that shit off,Louisa begged.

The Modern Lovers – ‘Pablo Picasso’

I shoved one of the backpacks onto the floor, stretched out and listened to Jonathan Richman on my headphones watching the sky race past.

The Velvet Underground – ‘Heroin’

She bought me my first guitar when I was seven and taught me Velvet Underground songs. I used to play them to my younger brother. I dont know how I feel about an eight year-old singing Heroin,my father once said.

Hank Williams – ‘Long Gone Lonesome Blue’

Shes long gone and Im lonesome blue,sings Hank. I get the outline done when I notice someones parked at the other end of the street. I stuff my cans into my backpack and start walking quickly towards the main road.

Jay Roacher – ‘Just A Phase’

After soundcheck we picked up Nicks friend Jay. Sam had played me his music before. I liked his pleading, melancholy rap songs, and he had a haunting, ethereal voice. It was hard to put that sound to the lanky guy sitting next to me, wearing a panda hat.

The Smiths – ‘Big Mouth Strikes Again’

We should go visit my parents one day.” 

Zlatas lying naked on the bed, playing with one of my markers. Were listening to The Smiths, smoking some shitty weed I found under my bed. Bella and Jean are fucking loudly in the next room. I turn up the music.

Theyre really going for it,Zlata giggles.

Every fucking night.

Iceland by Dominic Hoey (Steele Roberts, $34.99) is available at Unity Books.

Read Hoey’s essay about how he travelled to Iceland to write the novel here.

On Friday 30 June, Dominic will read the entire book in one go at Dmonic Intent in Auckland (more info here).

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