Next up in our Active Listening series is Suture, Nic Brewer’s inspiring debut novel which blends body horror with incisive meditations on love, pain, and the creative process. “I read this book with wonder,” writes Gillian Wigmore, author of Glory, “Brewer’s confident prose swept me along. Hers is sure, sharp writing that doesn’t flinch from tenderness.” “A nimble, fearless debut,” writes Canisia Lubrin, Griffin Poetry Prize-winning author of The Dyzgraphxst.
Nic Brewer hand-picked a selection of songs to represent Suture—some essential to the writing of the book, others echoing its core themes and resonances. You can listen to this stellar playlist on Spotify. Below is introduction-of-sorts, prepping readers for a decade-spanning musical journey:
The Suture playlist is a strange one – it’s probably about as long as it will take you to read the book, and there’s kind of a bit of everything. The first third of the playlist is songs I would listen to while I wrote: when I listen to them, it feels like my brain softens at the edges, like my heart peels off its jacket and my bones settle into the ground for a rest. The last two-thirds are songs I added after finishing the book, and which either related directly to some feeling in the book, or which I realized after played a huge part in shaping what good art means to me: the way some of these songs make my insides quiver is exactly the kind of underskin feeling I want to leave readers with.
Some of these songs I would listen to on repeat for hours while I wrote: Dark Parts by Perfume Genius, 29 #Strafford APTS by Bon Iver (there is a moment in this song where the audio cracks and so too does my chest), Walking Far from Home by Iron and Wine. Other songs directly inspired parts of Suture in its earliest days: Wrecking Ball by Mother Mother inspired the character of a raging, angry, fearless drummer; Light Leaves, Dark Sees Pt. II inspired a scene where a character sees their own organs being mass reproduced; Hallelujah (yes it’s the Pentatonix version, I love Leonard Cohen but I am also a basic bitch) inspired a panicked, selfish monologue from an abuser to their partner. This strange collection of songs captures a little bit of most moments from my 20s, and a little bit of everything that has gone into and will hopefully come from Suture. I hope it makes you shiver.
Enjoy the playlist!
If you prefer to listen while reading the book, which we *highly* recommend, Suture is available to order from our online shop, or from your local independent bookstore.
Walking Far from Home by Iron & Wine
FIGURES by Jessie Reyez
Spirit Cold by Tall Heights
Unsteady by X Ambassadors
aisatsana  by Aphex Twin
Armored Scarves by 13 & God
Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl by Broken Social Scene
Knife by Grizzly Bear
Radio Silence by James Blake
Flume by Lotte Kestner
29 #Strafford APTS by Bon Iver
Painting Greys by Emmit Fenn
Wrecking Ball by Mother Mother
Light Leaves, Dark Sees Pt. II by Los Campesinos!
Hallelujah by Pentatonix
Can’t Help Falling in Love – Kina Grannis
All for Us by Labrinth, Zendaya
Fourth of July by Sufjan Stevens
Funeral by Phoebe Bridgers
Concerto For Violoncello and Strings II by Dobrinka Tabakova, Kristine Blaumane, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
All My Life by The Staves, yMusic
Mansions of Millions of Years by Mammal Hands
Five Years by David Bowie
Mary by Big Thief
River by Leon Bridges
Hayloft by Nickel Creek
Grace by Florence + The Machine
Never Enough by Loren Allred
Even the Darkness Has Arms by The Barr Brothers
Sisters by The Halluci Nation, Northern Voice
Clear Language by Balmorhea
Chasqui by Del Sol String Quartet
Paranoia by Liza Anne
Appointments by Julien Baker
The Sea Ranch Songs: Elements I by Aleksandra Vrebalov, Kronos Quartet
Because This Must Be by Nils Frahm
The Departure by Max Richter
Daddy Lessons by Beyonce, The Chicks
Dark Parts by Perfume Genius
Painting Greys by Emmit Fenn
Zombie by The Cranberries
Flight From the City by Johann Johannsson, Yuki Numata Resnick, Tarn Travers, Clarice Jensen
Work by Charlotte Day Wilson
White Flag by JOSEPH
Missing At Sea by Maggie Bjorklund
Slip by Elliot Moss
Feeling Good by Avicii
Laura by Bat For Lashes
Nic Brewer is a writer and editor from Toronto. She writes fiction, mostly, which has appeared in Canthius, the Hart House Review, and Hypertrophic Literary, among others. She is the co-founder of Frond, an online literary journal for prose by LGBTQI2SA writers, and formerly co-managed the micropress words(on)pages. She lives in Kitchener, ON, with her partner and her dog. Suture is her first book.