Hey! I'm in the process of archiving all my stuff from everywhere it has been scattered, and it occurred to me to archive some posts from my Patreon too. These were originally posted in 2019 and have since been made public, but I'd like to have them here as well just in case. I would hate to lose them. I'm going to paste them over in their entirety. Enjoy!

Victor Playlist Breakdown


Hey guys!! I thought it would be fun to do a weekly post talking about my character playlists! I've wanted to do some sort of playlist breakdown for a while because they're 95% of what I listen to on repeat while I work/exercise/clean/do literally anything. Some of these songs have been on my character playlists for.. almost ten years..... oh my god........

Anyway, I have 23 of these playlists, making up over 200 songs combined. I'm not going to talk about every single one, just the main characters, and only the most important songs because we will be here forever otherwise. So let's get going!!!!!! This week is Victor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, lads, this is going to be long.

  • Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots (link)
  • wish we could turn back time
    to the good old days
    when our mama sang us to sleep
    but now we're stressed out

    Each character has one or two bands that's like, their band, and one of Vic's is Twenty One Pilots. I'm sorry, I know it's basic, but I do not make the rules. It's pretty obvious why this one's on here - things were simpler when Vic was younger. Things suck now. He's Stressed Out.

  • Polarize by Twenty One Pilots (link)
  • wanted to be a better brother, better son
    wanted to be a better adversary to the evil i have done

    He feels like he hasn't been a force for good in his life. He has baggage. He wants help but also doesn't know how to ask for it.

  • Self Esteem by AJJ (link)
  • and everybody is afraid of me
    and i'm afraid to go out in the streets
    reminders of my failures everywhere i will be
    everybody is afraid of me

    This one is also pretty obvious by the lyrics. The place in the line "this place has taken all my self esteem" is obviously Urquhart - whatever went down destroyed his confidence, and he's constantly reminded of why he's now stuck at Earl. He perceives himself as being dangerous and assumes everyone around him knows what he's done and is thinking about it as much as he is. He has no self esteem, guys, do you get it.

  • Time After Time by Elliot Minor (link)
  • another day, waking to the same old beat
    counting doors, walking through the same old street
    breathing in, breathing out the same
    nothing's changed, just imitating yesterday

    This song is about being stuck in a routine and wanting to break out of it. Vic is stuck in an endless cycle of doing the same shit day in and day out. The lines "it's just a game where you're the boss and I'm just a slave" and "I try my best but all you do is laugh in my face" are about NATE.

  • Into the Ocean by Blue October (link)
  • i want to swim away but don't know how
    sometimes it feels just like i'm falling in the ocean
    let the waves up and take me down
    let the hurricane set in motion
    let the rain of what i feel right now come down

    Vic wants things to change, but doesn't know how to make that happen. He's depressed!!! He can't pull himself out of this misery he's drowning in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone HELP HIM!!

  • Sleepyhead by Passion Pit (link)
  • they couldn't think of something to say the day you burst
    those hungry lions, with all their might and all their thirst
    they crowd your bedroom like some thoughts wearing thin
    against the walls, against your rules, against your skin

    I think this is the one that's been on my Vic playlist the longest. The "they" is Urquhart; they wanted something from Vic he couldn't give them, and when he failed they just dropped him. Urquhart and its expectations still haunt him all these years later (side note: the only colour symbolism I thought to include in the comic when I first started it was Vic's hoodie. The only time backgrounds are blue is at Urquhart, and Vic's hoodie is also blue........... he's carrying Urquhart around with him wherever he goes)

  • Caring is Creepy by The Shins (link)
  • i think i'll go home and mull this over
    before i cram it down my throat

    all these squawking birds won't quit
    building nothing, laying bricks

    For me this song is about Vic obsessing over his past while refusing to talk about it. It never leads to anything productive, though. The birds are his own thoughts. I fucking love this song.

  • No More Frost Giants by Bogsey and the Argonauts (link)
  • if you want me to come outside
    you're gonna have to pull me hard
    i'm not just singing wistfully
    i'm begging you to help me
    cause i'm addicted to my bedroom

    Hi here's another song that's literally just Vic's inner dialogue. He knows he has a problem and wants someone to fix it for him, he just doesn't have the tools to ask. He's so sad. I love him so much.

  • Gap in the Fence by Enter Shikari (link)
  • and it seems mad
    that we're born on the doorstep
    of squalor and of pedestals
    and i lie here
    surrounded by a range
    of general anaesthetics

    Vic contemplating the hand he's been dealt and hoping for a better future. I can't hear "born on the doorstep of squalor and of pedestals" as anything but a reference to how Urquhart treats its trainees - you either succeed and are raised up, or left behind. Also one of my favourite songs ever.

  • You Will Leave a Mark by A Silent Film (link)
  • i am so ashamed
    i am so ashamed of all the trouble i have caused
    i am so ashamed of all these unopened doors
    I am so ashamed of what i have become

    Here's another veteran of the playlist!! This has been one of my favourite Vic songs since 2011. He's fucking wallowing. In this one he doesn't even want things to change, he's just accepted his fate.

  • Worst Case Scenario by The Hoosiers (link)
  • wallow in your miserable mess as you tend to
    you've mastered looking unimpressed, do i offend you?
    mourning monday all week long's not healthy
    but being happy's only for the wealthy

    Finally, a more upbeat song, and one that isn't from Vic's perspective. I see this one as Julia talking to/about Victor. She loves him but is kind of sick of his shit - "pray one day I'll live to see you break a smile". I see the "wealthy" as being, yes, you guessed it, Urquhart; she's sarcastically agreeing with him that he doesn't deserve to be happy because he didn't make it at Urquhart. The Hoosiers is one of the bands shared between Vic and Nate.

    Speaking of Nate...

  • Perfect by Simple Plan (link)
  • and now i try hard to make it
    i just want to make you proud
    i'm never gonna be good enough for you

    i try not to think
    about the pain i feel inside
    did you know you used to be my hero?

    Fucking hell yes of COURSE I am all aBOUT those angsty 2000s songs. This song is about disappointing your dad, and Vic's father figure, unfortunately, was Nate. Vic just wants his approval. I'm going to cry.

  • Generator (Second Floor) by Freelance Whales (link)
  • and i could never tell as a kid
    what that window door went to
    only told to stay away

    This song is about the Event that led to Vic having to live at Earl. I wish I could talk about this properly instead of having to be vague because this song makes me SO sad. Again, he's accept his fate. He just wants to die and not be a bother to anyone anymore.

  • Cough Syrup by Young the Giant (link)
  • life's too short to even care at all
    i'm losing my mind losing my mind losing control
    these fishes in the sea they're staring at me
    a wet world aches for a beat of the drum

    This song will definitely have more context by the end of Book Two but a surface-level explanation is that Vic wants to do something to make his life better. The fishes and zombies are Urquhart and they're watching and judging him. Someone please let this boy be happy I'm going to lose my shit.

    (btw did you notice that the fish have urq jacket designs on them? it's the five members of nate's team)

  • Shots by Imagine Dragons (link)
  • i'm sorry for everything, everything i've done
    from the second i was born it seems i had a loaded gun
    and then i shot, shot, shot a hole through everything i loved
    oh i shot, shot, shot a hole through every single thing that i loved

    Regrets............. he messed up............................ he thinks he's garbage........... "oh, I'm going to mess this up, oh, this is just my luck" god Vic get a hold of yourself

    If The Hoosiers is a Vic&Nate band, Imagine Dragons is a Vic&Masha band.

  • Asleep by The Smiths (link)
  • sing me to sleep
    sing me to sleep
    and then leave me alone

    there is another world
    there is a better world
    there must be

    Another Vic&Nate band. Another song about how Vic a) is tired and b) wants to just disappear. He's dreaming about his life being, idk, good.

  • I Feel So by Box Car Racer (link)
  • cause i feel so mad
    i feel so angry
    feel so calloused
    so lost, confused, again

    How's about another angsty 2000s song? How's about Vic gets real mad for once instead of just being sad?? How's about some directionless anger????????

  • Superhero by Falling in Reverse (link)
  • you're caught in a cycle
    you'll never get out
    afraid of your shadow
    and living in doubt

    cause i can't save myself
    much less somebody else
    so i gotta do better

    I've purposely left off the more spoilery songs but you know what, this playlist is pretty depressing so I need to end it on a (relatively) positive note. Literally the whole point of Vic's character from a writing standpoint is that he does not want to be the protagonist. He knows he's not protagonist material. He's not a superhero. The one person he really needs to focus on saving is himself. I hope he does.

    gOD WOW OKAY!! That took me SO much longer to type up than I thought it would. If you read this whole thing, thank you for indulging me. Let me know which playlist you're interested in reading about next!!

    Masha Playlist Breakdown


    Hey guys! It's time for another character playlist breakdown. Last week I did Victor's and this week I'm gonna go through Masha's! This is already a very different collection of songs to Vic's and I'm super excited to talk about it, so let's get into it.

  • All the Rage by Allie X (link)
  • i will be all the rage tonight
    watch me shimmy into the light
    filled with fury and starry-eyed
    i will be all the rage

    Masha is enormously motivated by wanting to be the best and to be recognised for it. A sticking point for her is that after Jeremy left Urquhart, leadership of her team was offered to Nate instead of her, as she believed she deserved. She's gonna show 'em all.

  • Thunder by Imagine Dragons (link)
  • kids were laughing in my classes
    while i was scheming for the masses
    who do you think you are?
    dreaming bout being a big star

    Oh, hey, it's Imagine Dragons, that one band Masha shares with Vic! This is another song about wanting to make it big and being underestimated. Vic and Masha are almost two sides of the same coin, one succeeding and one failing.

  • Oh No! by Marina and the Diamonds (link)
  • one track mind, one track heart
    if i fail i'll fall apart
    maybe it is all a test
    cause i feel like i'm the worst
    so i always act like i'm the best

    Hell yeah, time for Masha's main band. Masha has thrown her entire being into Urquhart. She knows exactly who she is. Or at lesat, she needs to think she does. She doesn't take failure well and tries to quash down her insecurities by engrossing herself in her work.

  • Strong Hand by Chvrches (link)
  • see the way we all run
    when we know it all off by heart
    played down, waiting all out
    when we win or lose it this time

    when the pressure's building for a great white hope
    do you give up things that you love?
    and the pressure's building til it takes you whole
    can you back on your own word?

    Gonna have a lot of Urquhart-related songs on this list. This one's about Masha struggling with her identity in relation to Urquhart and how it's taken over her entire life. This song is almost what Masha thinks Urquhart thinks about her, rather than what Urquhart would actually think about her - the lyrics are gentle but firm, "you will never be under my thumb, but you are not your own man". Masha is killing herself slowly at Urquhart. God, even the line "how it will grind you into the ground if you should try to hold me" - even if she actively wants to stay at Urquhart, it'll kill her in the end. GOD.

  • Get Free (Vacationer Remix) by Major Lazer (link)
  • look at me
    i just can't believe what they've done to me
    we could never get free
    i just wanna be
    i just wanna dream

    Maybe in the very back of her mind, Masha is aware how she's just as trapped in the system as Vic and wants out, but she represses it. The dreamy/echoey quality of the chorus makes me feel like these are thoughts she has in her most quiet, lonely moments but she shakes them away. The lines "we're all together in the same boat, i know you, you know me" are her acknowledging she's more similar to Vic than she'd care to admit.

  • When I Grow Up by First Aid Kit (link)
  • you've got cucumbers on your eyes
    too much time spent on nothing
    waiting for a moment to arise
    the face in the ceiling and arms too long
    i'm waiting for him to catch me

    First of all, this is a cover of a song by Fever Ray which I love, but the tone of which really doesn't suit Masha. This is another song about a lost childhood and dreaming about a different life. There are also a lot of lines about waiting; Masha's almost waiting for something that will never come, an easy escape from who she is.

  • Bullets by TUNNG (link)
  • we're catching bullets with our heads
    and hearts and all the darkest parts of us
    it's strange to find such light
    in such an endless night

    you whisper prayers into the dark
    up to a god in whom you've never believed
    you always do

    This is such a good Masha song! This is about Masha's complicated relationship with Urquhart. The god is Urqhuart's mission, the bullets is the deeds their officers must carry out - "we're catching bullets in our teeth" - "in our heads and hearts" - "in our backs". Everything Masha and all the other Urquhart officers do has a price but they keep doing it. There's so much I want to say about this song but I feel like it's going to come out in a really rambly, incoherent paragraph so basically: listen to all the lyrics and think about Masha growing up at Urquhart.

  • In Our Talons by Bowerbirds (link)
  • you're in our talons now and we're never letting go
    you're in our headlights frozen and no we're not stopping
    you may not believe but even we were scared at first
    it takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth

    This song is Urquhart talking directly to Masha. They're not going to let her go. They're almost apologetic about it, but don't see the harm in what they're doing. "We're only human". Running down the few people who can't keep up with Urquhart's pace is a small price to pay for the greater good.

  • My Eyes to See by Alcoholic Faith Mission (link)
  • nothing every really changes
    nothing's ever really gone or really here
    nothing ever changes really
    lay down and wait for it
    my eyes to see

    So many of Masha's songs have this sort of yearning tone! This one especially I associate with the fact that Masha and Vic are connected narratively. Nothing does ever change for either of them, they're both TRAPPED in a CYCLE!!!!! Even in the moments where Masha feels like she's making progress to what she wants for her future, it's out of her control.

    Oh my god, though, I've never watched this music video before, I just found it right now so I could include a link and wHAT an incredible music video!!!!!

  • Monster Hospital (MSTRKRFT Remix) (link)
  • i fought the war
    but the war won't stop for the love of god
    i fought the war
    but the war won

    Okay, here's one of the most important Inhibit bands (and one of my favourite bands ever). Metric is shared between basically everyone (except Vic I guess?). This song is maybe the most intense Masha would ever feel about Urquhart - she feels like she's been fighting her whole life, but Urquhart won't let her stop fighting. It's going to destroy her eventually. Maybe it already has.

  • Mowgli's Road (Black Teeth Remix) by Marina and the Diamonds (link)
  • there's a fork in the road
    i'll do as i'm told
    and i don't know, don't know, don't know, don't know
    who i wanna be

    The complete opposite of Oh No! - Masha sees her entire life stretching before her and is afraid of continuing down that path, but equally afraid of the consequences if she chooses differently.

  • Too Bad, So Sad by Metric (link)
  • i've been on a thousand years too long
    a thousand years too late for everything that's wrong
    back and forth between the desert and the sea
    who i was and i will always be

    Back at it again with Metric, and again with Masha's struggle over her identity. I know I've already said Vic and Masha are parallels but god... they really are so similar... they've each been told Who and What they are from a young age and are still struggling to meet those expectations, even though they've handled it differently.

  • Afterlife by Arcade Fire (link)
  • i think i saw what happens next
    it was just a glimpse of you
    like looking through a window
    or a shallow sea
    could you see me?

    This is supposed to be a love/breakup song, but for me it's about the deterioration of Vic and Masha's friendship and how Masha feels about wanting to reconnect with him and move on from the past. I love them so much!!!!!!

  • No One's Here to Sleep (feat. Bastille) by Naughty Boy (link)
  • you were always faster than me
    i'll never catch up with you, with you
    oh i can feel them coming for me

    While we're on the topic of Vic and Masha, how about another Vic and Masha song. I feel like Bastille is the Official Vic and Masha band. This one is more from Vic's perspective talking about her. I promise it's not just because it's got lyrics about sleeping.

  • Seven Devils (Kraddy Remix) by Florence and the Machine (link)
  • holy water cannot help you now
    see i've come to burn your kingdom down
    and no rivers and no lakes can put the fire out
    i'm going to raise the stakes
    i'm going to smoke you out

    This song... is a Masha and Paulina song.

    Moving on.

  • Brain Cells by Maxïmo Park (link)
  • we have what we need
    and we worked to get here
    so why is there more
    that's so far yet so near

    i don't fit into this square anymore
    this square anymore

    Uh oh!!!!!!! Here comes that nagging doubt again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (also Maxïmo Park fucking rules here's another song of theirs that has nothing to do with masha but that i really love)

  • Keep the Lights On by Wave Machines (link)
  • clear your ground, hold your throat
    unspeak all the words you ever spoke
    leave and lead yourself astray
    say your name
    tell yourself that everything is okay

    WEEPS at this song. This is Masha's mantra to herself - even though she on some level knows that what Urquhart is doing is wrong and finds it hard to live with herself sometimes, she's going to persevere.

  • I See I Say (Flechette Remix) by Ebony Bones (link)
  • misinformation
    across the nation
    no education
    i see, i say, i say
    i see, i say, i say

    Yikes. Well. Thanks for reading. Let me know whose songs you'd like to hear next!

    Here's a bonus song from Vic to Masha to finish up.

    Julia Playlist Breakdown


    Hey! Let's continue this character playlist breakdown streak with Julia! We've already done Victor and Masha so let's see how Julia's plays out.

  • Chocolate by The 1975 (link)
  • oh we go where nobody knows
    with guns hidden under our petticoats
    no we're never gonna quit it
    no we're never gonna quit it no

    Julia loves having a fun time! The lead singer of The 1975 said this song was about him as a kid mucking about with his friends and dodging the cops and honestly that's Julia's entire energy.

  • Dashboard by Modest Mouse (link)
  • oh if the world don't like us
    it'll shake us just like we were a cold
    now here we go!

    well we scheme and we scheme
    but we always blow it
    we've yet to crash
    but we still might as well tow it

    Where Vic is intensely anxious about his life and future, Julia has a more laid back attitude. Yeah, things suck right now, but she still wants to make the most of whatever she has. She's very dismissive of Urquhart and if stuff doesn't turn out how she expects, she's always ready to pick herself back up again.

  • Heartbeats by Grum (link)
  • Julia has more instrumental/limited lyric songs than other characters. I just really get a nice Julia vibe from a lot of these upbeat songs.

    I did look up the lyrics without thinking and

  • Heroes by Alesso (link)
  • everyday people do
    everyday things but i
    can't be one of them
    i know you hear me now
    we are a different kind
    we can do anything

    Even though Julia was kicked out of Urquhart just like Vic, she's still optimistic. She doesn't think of herself as less capable because she's at Earl or because she's disabled. She can do ANYTHING!!! I love her!

  • Late Night Hiss Police by Flume (link)
  • Here's another chill Julia tune. Just kicking about having a nice time.

  • Midnight City by M83 (link)
  • waiting in a car
    waiting for the right time
    waiting in a car
    waiting for the right time

    Here's another one of the early Inhibit songs. This song came out just as I was leaving home to go to uni and I used to walk back from class in the dark listening to this and thinking about Inhibit. It used to be an anthem for the story as a whole but it's changed a lot since then; now I associate it more with Julia and her yearning to be free and be allowed to live her life and go on adventures while being stuck at Earl.

    Also, I didn't know the music video for this was about superpowered kids for the LONGEST time and when I finally saw it I was like OH SHIT!!!! THIS SONG IS LITERALLY FOR ME THANK YOU!

  • Now by Matt & Kim (link)
  • and i know that things aren't perfect
    sick and a little nervous
    knives tend to get dull and round
    so let's cut this whole building down

    In my mind this song is more for the end of Book Two, but it's still a great Julia song. It's almost like Julia talking to Vic and trying to cheer him up and it makes me want to cry.

  • Puzzle by RetroVision (link)
  • Just gonna fuckin jam out to Julia songs.

  • Ribbon (feat. Veela) by Cyaneyed (link)
  • each time
    your lungs start to burn im curious
    if you'll ever let me try to tell you
    how we were demolished
    put it behind you
    and keep your heart polished

    Okay, finally, here's a sadder Julia song. I see this one as Julia looking at her younger self and trying to work past her insecurities. The "you" is her younger self, the "we" is her present self. Things weren't easy but in classic Julia fashion she wants to believe that things always get better and that there is a brighter future out there.

  • Seconds Away by Soulero (link)
  • [dances]

  • The Shade by Metric (link)
  • the embers of a fire still burning as they die
    stay bright to keep us side by side

    with eternal love, the stars above
    all there is and ever was
    i want it all, i want it all
    i want it all, i want it all

    Oh hey, it's Metric! I love the line about embers dying - yeah, they're dying, but good is still coming of it. There's still stuff out there that Julia wants to experience, she doesn't obsess over her situation like someone I could name.

  • Out of My Head (feat. Wednesday Campanella) by Chvrches (link)
  • and when you figure it out
    you let me know
    i need out of my, out of my, out of my head
    i need out of my, out of my head

    I think it's totally appropriate that a song about Julia being more unsure about herself and her place is also really upbeat and danceable. She hasn't got it all figured out, despite trying to make it seem that way.

    Also there's a bloop in this song that sounds like the Discord notification sound and it tricks me literally every single time.

  • White Knuckles (Robotaki Remix) by OK Go (link)
  • so just have fun, it's far enough
    everybody needs to sleep at night
    everybody needs a crutch
    but couldn't good be good enough?
    cause nothin' ever doesn't change
    but nothin' changes much

    This song exemplifies basically every single element of all Julia's songs!! Things suck, but they don't suck forever. Make the most of a bad situation. We all need a little help and that's okay. I especially love the line "nothin' ever doesn't change but nothin' changes much" because it's like a companion line to songs from Vic and Masha's playlists about how nothing every changes and you're trapped in a cycle. "Things do change" is a very Julia message for a song to have, but there's also the caveat that they don't change much. They are still all trapped, it's just that Julia sees (or tries to see) it differently.

    This week was a bit shorter than the others - most of Julia's songs are very spoilery so I couldn't share them all. Hope you enjoyed this, and let me know who you'd like to see next!!

    David Playlist Breakdown


    Hey guys!! Back at it again with another playlist breakdown. We've done Victor, Masha, and Julia, and now it's time for everyone's favourite..... David. David's playlist is shorter but that just means it's more concentrated with David's underlying theme, so let's find out what that is.

  • Holding Out by Metric (link)
  • holding out for the right time
    that second lifetime never arrives
    always waiting on the sidelines
    when is it my time
    to be the one, the one, the one?

    David is defined almost automatically as a side character just by his variation alone. He lives at Earl with kids who almost all have cooler powers than him. One of his best friends can hardly get his power under control, and the other is reckless with her power. A lot of his songs have to do with feeling left out and wanting to be in the spotlight, and this song is no different. This song is also about being afraid to step your comfort zone and actively decide to change things rather than just waiting for them to change on their own. Also, hello Metric.

  • You Are Enough by Sleeping At Last (link)
  • when we grew up
    our shadows grew up too
    but they're just old ghosts
    that we grow attached to

    Despite all the self-doubt and fear he's not good enough, David has to remind himself he does have value beyond what others impose on him. "When we woke up the world was figured out" - he was born into a world that had already decided how to categorise him. (David is a trans guy and it's true that a lot of his songs are about concern over other people's perception of you, but I want to be clear that he doesn't have any anxiety or angst over being trans. His self-perception issues come from feeling inadequate in a system that prioritises power.)

  • Invisible by U2 (link)
  • i'm more than you know
    i'm more than you see here
    i'm more than you let me be

    It's. Pretty obvious. Someone pay attention to this boy.

  • Stars Like Dust by The Lonely Forest (link)
  • i'm sick of lying to the nicest of the nice
    i never act myself
    i am fire, i am ice

    when i awake my lungs inflate with morning air
    i'm powerless in time
    ferociously aware
    with every breath i'm inching closer to an end

    This is one of the main songs I associate with David. When I first found this song, I was just moving to my own flat after living with my aunt for a while after graduating uni and was in this really weird limbo/transition period. All I had was my suitcase of clothes and a single mattress I was borrowing and I remember lying on the bare mattress in my completely empty room in my completely empty flat listening to this song on repeat. It's a very good song.

    Anyway, again, David doesn't know who he is but he feels like he's more than what he seems on the surface. He is fire! He is ice!! Why will no one give him the change to prove himself!!

  • Lost and Found by Horizon (link)
  • i'm learning confidence
    i'm only learning now how to
    bite back the bitterness
    the weight of the crown
    of fools

    all i want is one place
    to be loud
    to be loved
    to be safe

    This is a song about recovery from a difficult relationship, but in David's case I feel like it's a recovery from a relationship with himself, if that makes sense. He's slowly coming into his own, he's growing stronger, he starting to assert that he's deserving of love and respect. Also this is just such a lovely song.

  • Magic Stones by Stepdad (link)
  • they'll change the maps
    just to make more room

    future me
    you've got to learn to be alone

    A top tier Inhibit band!! This is the other main song I associate with David. To me this song is about a general dissatisfaction with one's current state as well as struggling to be content with being by oneself. I love the line "they'll change the maps just to make more room" - even if you try to fit yourself into the ideal that someone has given you, they can change the rules on you at any time. David's quietly having a hard time, guys.

    One of the comments on this song on Youtube is "does anyone else get Dragon Ball vibes from this?" which is. Incredible. I've never watched Dragon Ball, does it have Dragon Ball vibes

  • Parrot by Stepdad (link)
  • sometimes i even realise that i might risk physical harm
    that's when you glare into my eyes and clench your teeth and squeeze my arm
    then i feel like a pet store parrot ever spouting words

    This song isn't necessarily reflective of David's actual actions, but more what he wishes he was like. He wants to be loud and obnoxious and confrontational and to have more of a presence rather than taking a backseat. At the same time, he does do things that might put him in danger; he actively seeks out little thrills, like agreeing to break back into the medblock with Julia. He feels like a sidekick. I don't know, I'm doing a bad job of explaining this one, but it just screams David to me.

  • Cool Kids by Echosmith (link)
  • i wish that i could be like the cool kids
    cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in

    David desperately wants to be like his more powerful, dangerous, "cooler" friends. He wants to be a protagonist!!!!!!

    This illustration I did of David a while ago is based on this song. He's surrounded by media about normal characters who were suddenly given great power and went on huge journeys - Harry Potter, Deku from My Hero Academia, Jak from Jak & Daxter, Steven Universe...

  • Houdini by Foster the People (link)
  • rise above, gonna star the war
    what you want, what you need, what'd you come here for?
    well an eye for an eye and an F for fight
    theyre taking me down as the prisoners riot

    got shackles on, my words are tied
    fear can make you compromise
    with the lights turned up it's hard to hide
    sometimes i wanna disappear

    I think this is the first song that directly relates back to David's experiences at a facility. David didn't go to Urquhart like Victor and Julia, he went to Larner, but he has the same inferiority hangups as a result. Trained variants are forced to perform to a certain level and this can put immense pressure on people. David is afraid of being in the spotlight as a result of this, so he's constantly battling his desire to be seen and recognised with his urge to stay out of sight.

    That's it for David! I hope you enjoyed this, there's only really Paulina and Nate left so I'll have to look through their songs and see if I can pick out enough non-spoilery ones to justify a whole post. Stay tuned :V

    Urquhart Playlist Breakdown


    HEY guys! It's another playlist breakdown. We've done Vic, Masha, Julia, and David, and now it's time for everyone's favourite character...... Urquhart.

    Let's start with a basic one.

  • Kids With Guns by Gorillaz (link)
  • now they're turning us into monsters
    turning us into fire
    turning us into monsters
    it's all desire, it's all desire, it's all desire

    They're kids, and they have guns. Next.

    Yeah so the facility system not only puts kids in violent situations, but actively encourages them to participate in violence. It's not just a societal flaw, it's a purposeful manipulation of people who aren't old enough to know better, and warps their thinking so that by the time they are old enough, they can't.

  • Professional Griefers by Deadmau5 (feat. Gerard Way) (link)
  • cause we are the last disease
    another broken life that's full of
    all the awful things that i made
    and we got the eyes to see
    another broken life that's full of
    all the awful things that i made

    The Urquhart kids live in a sort of frenetic bubble where they're hyped up and encouraged to think exclusively in terms of good and bad, us and them. Urquhart teaches them to skew their thinking by using games like laser tag - it's fun to chase after and shoot people who were on your team a minute ago, it's fine to use your powers on other people like you. This song makes me think about the extreme training the kids go through and the conflict they have between "we're having fun" and "this doesn't seem right".

  • Better Hide, Better Run by The Glitch Mob (feat. Mark Johns) (link)
  • unquenched thirst for glory
    sets off a loaded gun
    miscounted inventory
    leaves you with close to none

    Again, this song makes me think of the mindless excitement for violence that's drilled into the Urquhart kids.

  • The Royal We by Silversun Pickups (link)
  • we are ready for the siege
    we are armed up to the teeth
    be careful how you live and breathe
    release what's broken underneath
    how many times do you want to die

    So for absolutely AGES this was on my Paulina playlist because it's about like, getting revenge!! Fighting back!! Ohh look out I'm coming for you!!!! But the more I listened to it the more I started to associate it with the general attitude of Urquhart officers. They've all been hurt in some way by the way Urq trains them, but they've been taught to turn any negative emotions outwards towards their perceived enemies rather than back at Urquhart. I see the lyrics as being about someone taking out their personal failures on others for fear of being seen as weak, as well as ganging up on others they perceive as weak, while desperately hoping those others won't do the same to them.

  • Big Brother (Crusher Remix) by Kaku P-Model (link)
  • This song is from a vocaloid and the lyrics are in Japanese so this is a translation..

    stomp around, you are a machine of good
    repeat out and now you should know thoughtfulness is guilt

    stand in line, you are a servant of obedience
    resign yourself and now you should know thoughtfulness is guilt

    The idea of being a) a machine and b) avoiding "traitorous" thoughts are important ideas for a lot of the Urquhart characters. This song is very threatening in how it reminds the Urq kids that they should obey commands without question - Urquhart are the good guys, and if you think negatively about them then you're one of the bad guys. They are always under scrutiny.

    Also 1984 is a great book, if you hated reading it in 8th grade English class might I recommend rereading it.

  • Anvil by Lorn (link)
  • Instrumental intermission.

  • Jungles by Stepdad (link)
  • it's overwhelming me, the static in the trees
    the sun is burning me, there is no cooling breeze
    we don't belong to ourselves, at the mercy of the cats
    we belong to places, to places
    strong and brave, courageous, our tiger faces

    we belong to what we came from
    leaving home will be a struggle
    wearing masks and beating war drums
    won't equip us for these jungles

    GOD typing those lyrics out made me so sad haha. This is a bit of a quieter song about the lasting impact the Urquhart training has on its kids. "We don't belong to ourselves, we belong to places" - they aren't their own people, they are what Urquhart has turned them into. I see the cats as Urquhart; the kids have been trained to be strong and have been given "tiger faces", but at the end of the day that is still just the Urquhart mask they're wearing and not their actual self. At the same time, they are constantly under threat from Urquhart itself: "we don't belong to ourselves, they've been planning their attack". The kids are not individuals, they are a resource that will be cycled out if it doesn't suit Urquhart's needs.

    This will come up a bit later, but there is little to no preparation for officers who go dormant and have to leave Urquhart to live "normal" lives. The line "wearing masks and beating war drums won't equip us for these jungles" refers to how little Urquhart actually prepares them for the real world. Despite their work, the kids who grow up at Urquhart are just as sheltered as kids who grow up at any other facility, or even at Earl.

    This song has a sister song (as in, the band intended for it to be a sister song) which is in the Inhibit endgame playlist. I'm not gonna link it because I'm gonna save it for that playlist breakdown in..... thirty years, but you can look it up yourself if you want.

  • Machine by Regina Spektor (link)
  • and i count all my blessings
    i have friends in high places
    and i'm upgraded daily
    all my wires without traces
    i'm hooked into hooked into
    hooked into machine

    Here we go, another song about being a machine :) The Urquhart officers lead good lives and are very lucky to be working where they do: "everything's provided... part of worldly taking, apart from worldly troubles". In return, they conform to Urquhart's standards and give up their individuality to make sure the gears of the Big Urquhart Machine turn smoothly.

  • Memorandum by gP (link)
  • we will be your safety
    if you'll be our soldier
    just work your way up and
    pay for our corporate luxuries in sweat
    cling to your loyalty like it's your paycheck
    we flourish on working a soldier to his death
    he'll work and he won't wake up

    Hell yeah!! Corporate greed, employees as faceless resource, mindless loyalty to the hierarchy. The Urquhart anthem. Also this song just slaps.

  • Live Like Animals by Nothing But Thieves (link)
  • the tv tells us to be scared
    we'd make a difference if we cared
    we put our lives all up for sale
    we get our truth in the daily mail
    it's madness
    get used to it

    so wake up, this ain't a dream
    cause everything's exactly how it seems

    This one's not from Urquhart's perspective, it's more about Urquhart and the facilities and how the whole system is fucked up. Maybe people are starting to notice a little.

    Bonus song!!!

  • We Want Them Young by Emilie Autumn (link)
  • Okay this one's not officially on the playlist because it's off an album about a girl being sent to a psychiatric hospital in Victorian England and it's also far too on the nose for Urquhart, but if Urquhart was more cartoonishly villainous then yeah sure it could be on there.

    Thanks so much for reading and listening, I hope it was interesting!! I'll have a look and see what playlist I can talk about next...

    That's as many breakdowns as I posted. Maybe one day I'll tackle the Paulina and Nate playlists. Who knows.