If you’re a big fan of ’80s alternative music like I am, here are some playlists you’ll love. Both are inspired by new shows. Ephemera, premiered on BBC One on 28 December 2022. If you’ve never heard of this show, What to Watch has this explanation:
Mayflies is an adaptation of the famous novel of the same name by Andrew O’Hagan. Much like the book, this two-part series of his BBC drama introduces James (Line of Duty’s Martin Compston) and Tully (starring Ray Donovan, Tony Curran). 1986.
Thirty years after his wild weekend in Manchester with his mates, Tully reached out to James to tell him he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had only a few months to live. In addition, Talley asks James to help him commit suicide. Along with contemporary drama, we also see what happened in his summer of 1986 when their friendship was born.
This is the first playlist featuring 12 songs compiled by Clash Music to provide more context about the show and the novel it’s based on.
Part of a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Minor’s strike, Thatcher’s reign and the impact of widespread unemployment, it follows two characters in the Scottish town of Irvine. It features a road trip to Manchester’s Transmission Festival and is full of references to The Fall, The Smiths and more.
The new BBC adaptation hit iPlayer and starred Martin Compston and Tony Curran as central friends. It’s a layered, powerful and moving experience that also has an excellent soundtrack that uses music to explain key moments in the show’s development. His charming two-part Mayflies blends these 80’s alternative his cuts with a specially commissioned piece from Scottish-born composer Lorne Balfe.
And here is the second playlist. It was edited by original book author Andrew O’Hagan at the time of the book’s 2020 release. It has 49 songs, The Specials, OMD, Aztec Camera, The Jesus, Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins, Echo and the Bunnymen, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Happy Mondays, The Jam, Bauhaus, Squeeze, The Stone Roses, Killing Joke, The Beat, The Fall and more.
If you haven’t watched the show yet and don’t have BBC One, What to Watch has helpful instructions on how to access it. In the meantime, enjoy the music!