With the release of his fantastic debut book, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas we asked author Daniel James for a playlist of tunes to accompany the novel and he duly obliged with a fucking belter. It’s a wonderful piece of investigative journalism with mystery and thrills throughout (you really should buy it) – and the songs tie in nicely with these themes. But why don’t we let the man himself tell you all about it instead…?
The Ezra Maas playlist is my unofficial soundtrack to ‘The Unauthorised Biography…’ and came together over the course of several years as I researched and wrote the book.
It has a narrative of its own that runs in parallel to the novel’s, with around 1-2 songs for each chapter, from the foreword right through to the last page. I originally had the song titles printed in the margins of the corresponding chapters, but we ended up leaving them out in the end. I listen to a lot of music while I write as it helps me tune into certain atmospheres that I want to channel in my work.
Some of the songs on the list directly inspired scenes in the book, others were playing in the background while I wrote particular chapters and will forever be associated with key moments in the story in my head, while the rest were chosen because their meaning and lyrics mirrored the themes of the book.
ON THE MOVE
I wrote a lot of the novel on the move, travelling around Europe, the US, and elsewhere, in search of the truth about Ezra Maas. These songs were literally the soundtrack to my journey, writing in cafes and bars late at night, sat with my laptop and notebook in train carriages, airport terminals and hotel rooms.
Once the book was finished, I revisited the list of songs I’d been carrying around with me since the beginning and found that it played like a story, with a natural beginning, middle and end. I put the final version on Spotify shortly after the book was published so that readers could add another dimension to the experience.
The playlist is a snapshot of my musical tastes, but it also tells the story of the book through more than 50 songs. It’s a fitting companion to ‘The Unauthorised Biography…’ and another piece of the Ezra Maas puzzle.
I hope people enjoy it.