Thank you for offering one or more of my favorite songs! I can't wait to see what you come up with. My requests this year are somewhat narrowly focused: six songs from three albums by two Scottish bands. But one band's synthpop and the other's indie rock, so there's some variety! Good news is that whatever we matched on, it's something I've been obsessed with recently -- I've been cycling through these albums on repeat for, um, probably longer than my neighbors appreciate.
I've given some of my thoughts on each song below, but that's purely for your benefit. I really just want to see where you take this :)
If you’d like clarification on anything, I’m happy to answer any questions sent via the mod.
- 0. General Preferences
- 1. Make Them Gold - Chvrches
- 2. The Mother We Share - Chvrches
- 3. Night Sky - Chvrches
- 4. Blood Under the Bridge - Frightened Rabbit
- 5. Lump Street - Frightened Rabbit
- 6. An Otherwise Disappointing Life - Frightened Rabbit
I've requested fanfic for each song, and I'm pretty much up for anything outside my DNWs here. Literal or more abstract, emotional interpretations are both great for each song. They were also all nominated as songs. If they happen to have music videos, I haven't watched them ;)
I tend to like character-driven fic, heavy on the complex emotions and fraught relationships. If you want to go for something shippy or smutty, I have a slight preference for M/M over other configurations. But I've requested songs that I'd be happy to see interpreted any number of ways. So follow your muse in that regard.
Length-wise, go wherever the story takes you! Past and present tense are both cool too. I'd be super into interactive fiction if you want to go there.
- Age differences
- Bondage, blindfolds
- Brave, silent suffering until another character realizes something’s wrong
- Cum inflation
- Dubcon, manipulation, complicated feelings
- Emotional and/or physical hurt/comfort
- Hand-holding, casual touches, tenderness
- Happy or ambiguous endings
- Huddling for warmth, locked in a closet, enforced proximity scenarios
- Insomnia, nightmares
- Loyalty and protectiveness
- Omegaverse (especially claiming, heats, and knotting. Slick's fine as long as it isn't excessive/soaking through clothing.)
- Overworking, intentional or accidental undereating, self-care failures due to stress
- Praise kink
- Rough sex, hair-pulling, bite-marks, bruises, breath play, spanking
- Sex pollen, fuck or die, desperation scenarios
- Size kink – both the size difference and the massive dick kind
Do Not Want
- Animal harm/death
- Extreme underage (15+ is fine)
- First or second person POV
- Infidelity, main ships breaking up
- Main character death, graphic gore, permanent maiming/incapacitation
- Pregnancy, main characters as parents
- Scat, watersports, emetophilia, rimming, sounding
We are made of our smallest thoughts
We are breathing and letting go
We will take the best parts of ourselves
And make them gold
This is quickly becoming my ultimate mood-lifting song. Musically, it's so bright and uplifting. Lyrically, I love the acknowledgement of darkness with the resolve to get through it, and the collaborative coping. The determined optimism.
So, any sort of light in the darkness fic, particularly with characters finding strength in themselves and in each other, would thrill me here. Tenderness, recovery, comfort, two steps forward, one step back.
There are some interesting SFF possibilities hidden in the lyrics. "falling but not alone" could lend itself to a fallen angel type story. "Just stop us falling out of phase / I will be with you in the fray" gets some high-tech or magic combat in there.
Into the night for once, we're the only ones left
I bet you even know, where we could go
And when it all fucks up, you put your head in my hands
It's a souvenir for when you go
A note about Chvrches: they've said in interview that "lyrics making sense" isn't a priority for them. And that The Mother We Share isn't necessarily about incest... but it's not not about incest.
I'm unsure enough about how I feel about M/F and F/F incest that I'm going to say I'd rather not receive that! Just to be safe. That leaves us with: all M/M incest; all platonic sibling relationships; and all non-related relationships with a more metaphorical interpretation of "the mother we share."
I really enjoy the dependence, perhaps co-dependence, the song dwells on. There are reunions and departures, and the choice to help each other. Navigating tension and relief.
With "never cursed your name" and "as old as your omens," I could definitely see some magicky or occult interpretations of the mother. Dark fantasy religions intrigue me. A modern "we're the only ones left" after some party or event also definitely works for me.
I can hear you in the overtones
Just an echo of the promise we made
Change the future, we can travel time
Or make us blind so we can never look back
There's a complicated, uneven relationship in here. Which may be over by the end of the song! I'd be especially interested in something heavily drawing from verse 1 and the hook, or something post-verse 2 where they're figuring out next steps or getting back together (whether or not that's a good idea).
I like the contradictions encompassed in being both "the fire in your eyes" and "the cold heart." I like the truths and secrets, and communicating without words.
As always, feel free to latch onto the paranormal or SFF possibilities. "we can travel time," "I'm the night sky." Vampires or other immortals would work really well here.
And the one word, "majesty," down in verse 2 opens up some cool royalty, fealty, loyalty opportunities.
It’s alright it’s alright
It’s just blood under the bridge
Put down the knife and watch the
Blood under the bridge go by.
This song is very enemies to uneasy allies to me. Rivals to allies, enemies to lovers, rivals to lovers. Allies to enemies to lovers. Enemies who've forgotten why they were fighting, or who've found themselves in a confusing hurt/comfort situation. Just, the painful, exhausted transition from opposition to something else.
You could take it in a "fight within an established relationship" sense, especially working from verse 2. I like this line a lot: And realise it’s not the end it’s an uncomfortable pause.
I'm also incredibly interested in some genre fiction-type literal bloodstains and wars. Assassins, elves, fae, heroes and villains, angels and demons. Fantasy, steampunk, paranormal, I'm in.
He’s a full-grown man, no shoulder to cry on
raised by wolves and they taught him to bite down hard
No locks on the doors no corner to hide in
scars like armour, dead boys eyes
This song has perhaps the clearest setting, characters, and narrative of any of my requests. Lyrics and sound both start out very melancholy in a rough, rundown town, until midway through the music picks up, and by the end, there's a way out and forward.
You're welcome to play it straight, or pick out any one character or element and spin out from there. Set the town in or out of Scotland, in or out of this reality. Switch around the characters' genders. Set the fic in the early, bruised, broken days, or later, when they're building a home.
One request - no literal tongue ripping out, please.
In an otherwise disappointing life, made right
On an otherwise disappointing night, there’s a fire
In the hollow chapel suffering in silence you’re the choir
that sings this otherwise disappointing life back to life
This album gets a bit darker every time I dig into the lyrics, in a really satisfying way. Because the darker it gets, the better the little accomplishments feel.
I like "the fire" more metaphorically for this song -- a beautiful disaster that the narrator isn't going to stop or walk away from. Because the pain and heat are better than the tepid disappointments. I also like the letting-go of the list towards the end. So the narrator no longer has to dwell on the enumeration.
This line: So lay upon me and push until it’s all forgotten / There are worse ways to lose you sticks out to me as an interesting spot to build from, from an unhealthy coping mechanism sort of relationship standpoint.
I definitely see shipfic from this song, though you could sell me on something intense and platonic too.