While writing The Third Squad, I was principally sifting through memories of a place, a time, and a sensibility. Encounters with chawls. Questions about a way of life. In the process of writing I had a vital aid: music. Music that did not belong to that period necessarily but that triggered thoughts, words that help build paragraphs, and perhaps induced an underlying mood that set the tone of a period gone by.
I am a big fan of television serials that curate music from yesteryears. Particularly House, Breaking Bad, and True Detective. I followed True Detective closely. The first season had some great scenes and some brilliant music. The second season was flat but I have picked a track from it as well, one that I heard after I finished the writing. There are a few Hindi and Tamil filmmakers, younger ones, who have a noir sensibility. (I try and avoid the reductive term Bollywood.) All save one are songs. The exception is the background score from a Tamil film that I really like. It wears its influences on its shoulder but holds its own otherwise.
The Third Squad Playlist
Tum jo mil gaye ho
A cover version of a long song from the Hindi film Hanste Zakhm. It has shots of erstwhile Bombay interspersed with the villain, the common hero, the vamp, and a taxi in the rain. Add to that a delightfully dated feel to the soundtrack.
Aaj ki Raat
Young Men Dead
My least favourite life
The Angry River
In the dimmest hour of day
In the common town they make a sound
Like the low sad moan of prey
Background score of Aranya Kaandam
This wonderful Tamil film by Yuvan Shankar Raja was in some sense influenced by Quentin Tarantino. I played this soundtrack on loop while writing The Third Squad.
I like the retro arrangement in this track from the Tamil noir caper called Soodhu Kavvum.