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Exclusive: Cassandra Clare reveals her ‘Queen of Air and Darkness’ playlist #QoAaDcountdown

Happy Sunday, dear readers! We have reached the final milestone before the release of Queen of Air and Darkness on December 4, which is in just 16 days! I’m so thrilled that TMI Source can exclusively share the songs Cassandra Clare listened to while writing the final The Dark Artifices book. I included links to the songs so if you want to listen to them just click the titles. 🙂

13 Beaches“, Lana del Rey


“It took thirteen beaches to find one empty

But finally I’m fine

Past Ventura

And lenses plenty

In the white sunshine”


Much about this song captures the feeling of being young and in California, searching for an empty beach along the PCH coastline where the Institute is located, about driving and driving, like Jules and Emma, like Emma and Cristina…


Addict”, Cairo


“Walking down that aisle

I see you in white

Although I turn my eyes from you

I’m filled with fright

My love for you is eating me from the inside out”


For a Shadowhunter to see someone in white is very different than for a mundane! And clearly would be frightening. The mention of love eating someone from the inside out could apply to so many couples in TDA.


The Scientist”, Coldplay


“I was just guessing at numbers and figures

Pulling your puzzles apart

Questions of science, science and progress

Do not speak as loud as my heart

Tell me you love me

Come back and haunt me”


 I know, this song is OLD! But the lyrics about loving someone so much you wish they’d come back and haunt you after they die made me think of Ty and Livvy. There are many types of powerful love that aren’t romantic.


Ends of the Earth“, Lord Huron

“To the ends of the earth, would you follow me

There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see

To the ends of the earth, would you follow me

If you will have a say my goodbyes to me”


I think at the end of the day, Queen really asks the question, “What would you do for the people you love? How far would you go?”


Brother“, Rural Alberta Advantage


“Brother, my brother

You’ve got to hold yourself together

Night, all night

I’ll be running out forever

No we’ll live and die

Far, far away from any eyes

Oh, now the darkness comes alive

Now the darkness comes for me

And it comes for you”


There are so many strong sibling pairs this could work for in Queen, but it makes me think of Jaime and Diego.


I Always Knew”, The Vaccines


“‘Cause it’s you, I always, always knew

Oh, I always knew, oh, it’s you

I try my best to unwind

Nothing on my mind but you

Oblivious to all that I’ll owe

I’m hanging on to what I don’t know

So let’s go to bed before you say something real

Let’s go to bed before you say how you feel”


Definitely Mark, Kieran and Cristina, three people who have a hard time expressing what they really want.


We Fight“, Dashboard Confessional


“‘Cause we never learned to keep our voices down, no

We only learned to shout

So we fight our way in (we fight our way in)

And we fight our way out

We earned what we could from the ground up

And tried to lift the whole damn crowd up

So we fight our way in (we fight our way in)

And we fight our way out”


A song for Livia’s Watch, maybe!


City of Angels”, The Head and the Heart


“In the city of angels

The city of angels

Tell me one thing

Just tell me what you see

‘Cause I have everything I want

I have everything I need

Right in front of me

Yeah, she’s right in front of me

Yeah I know just where my heart should be”


Emma and Julian and Los Angeles — the three are always paired up in my mind. The waves and the sand and the oleander trees are part of them.


Keep Your Head Up“, Ben Howard


“Oh yeah, keep your head up, keep your heart strong

No, no, no, no, keep your mind set, keep your hair long

Oh my, my darlin’, keep your head up, keep your heart strong

No, no, no, no, keep your mind set in your ways

Well keep your heart strong

‘Cause I’ll always remember you the same

Oh eyes like wildflowers, oh with your demons of change”

It’s for Ty and Kit, the idea of trying to support someone else and keep them strong.

The Same Mistakes”, The Echo-Friendly


“I make the same mistakes

Feels like I never learn

Always give way too much

For little in return


I never did grow up

Feels like I never will

My friends are all adults

I’m still a teenage girl”


This song isn’t literally about being a teenage girl, but it fits Dru well anyway, since she tends to blame herself and she does often think about being the youngest in a group of “adults” — where the “adults” are still teenagers.


Someone to You”, Banners


“And if the sun’s upset and the sky goes cold

Then if the clouds get heavy and start to fall

I really need somebody to call my own

I wanna be somebody to someone

Someone to you

The kingdom come, the rise, the fall

The setting sun above it all

I just wanna be somebody to you”


Beggar in the Morning”, Barr Brothers


“I think I’ve come a long, long way 

To sit before you here today

 And they’re yours alone, the songs I play

 To take with you what I throw away 

Oh, I want an angel to wipe my tears 

Know my dreams, my hopes, desires, and fears 

We may capsize, but we won’t drown 

Hold each other as the sun goes down”


Both these songs make me think about how we often just want human companionship from someone who understands is in the most stressful moments. Just to have someone there to take our hand as it all falls apart. This could apply to Gwyn and Diana, Magnus and Alec, Clary and Jace…


Hello My Old Heart”, The Oh Hellos


“Oh, oh, don’t leave me here alone

Don’t tell me that we’ve grown

For having loved a little while

Oh, oh, I don’t wanna be alone

I wanna find a home

And I wanna share it with you”


For reasons that will become apparent this makes me think of Kieran, Mark and Cristina.


Believer”, Imagine Dragons


“Last things last

By the grace of the fire and the flames

You’re the face of the future, the blood in my veins, oh ooh

The blood in my veins 

But they never did, ever lived, ebbing and flowing

Inhibited, limited

‘Til it broke up and it rained down

It rained down, like ashes

You made me a, you made me a believer.”


Lots of stuff here about love and burning, about forces beyond our control, but I believe ultimately it’s a song about finding meaning in pain. Makes me think of Emma and Jules.


Painkiller”, Dreamers


Backed out by the city glow

And the sun’s not coming yet

No way I’m coming clean

Of the demon in my bed

And it was nice to meet ya’

You were the fever

Driving alone in your black car

Hardly breathing

Down on my knees

And sinking alone till I see dark


I listened to this a lot while writing the second section of the book, Thule.


The Mtn Song”[, RayLand Baxter]


“So here I stand in front of you to say

Yeah, you’re the only one I want

But love is all I have to give


But if I could give you everything I would

All the mountains and the oceans and the seas

But all I have is love to give

Won’t you tell me you’re the one for me?”


I think this applies to so many couples — Aline and Helen, Magnus and Alec Jace and Clary, Emma and Jules — who at some point come to the realization that what you have to offer the person you love is that love, and it’s enough.


Like Lions”, Blind Pilot


“It is coming down the mountain, fear that holds you like the cold 

It wants to settle in your footprints, keep you still from where you’re going

All you think you know of losing, all you doubt of innocence 

That big sky still hangs above you, every day just want to quit

There’s no light you see to guide you and it scares you just to say

And then we are like lions, nothing dares get in our way

See your faithless sails drifting and your truth just cut apart

And then we are like lions, we are golden in our hearts”


A lot in Queen is about standing up to be brave even when you’re afraid, so this could apply to so many characters. 

I love so many of the songs that Cassie listen to! How many of the songs do you know? What’s your favourite and do you think it fits the character(s)?

You can also listen to the whole playlist here on YouTube or on Spotify.
Happy listening!

Thank you so much Cassie, for letting us publish the playlist first. ♥

If you share this playlist online, please give TMI Source credit (and maybe link back to this article) – thank you. 🙂

About Cathrin (860 Articles)
Admin and writer for TMI Source and 'The Shadowhunter Chronicles' lover extraordinaire. Fangirls over books, history, German football, movies and fictional characters.

2 Comments on Exclusive: Cassandra Clare reveals her ‘Queen of Air and Darkness’ playlist #QoAaDcountdown

  1. Yay!!!! This is one of my favorite things Cassie does for her fans! :). I’m so excited for this song list! ❤

  2. Polly Little // November 19, 2018 at 5:40 AM // Reply

    Here’s a Spotify link for the playlist:

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Queen of Air and Darkness: A Snippet a Day_Giorno 14 – Bibliotecamente Io
  2. Cassandra Clare shares two short ‘Queen of Air and Darkness’ snippets #QoAaDcountdown – TMI Source

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