This week is the 75th anniversary of the first Screwtape letter. I thought for today’s Friday Feature we could use a little fan fiction. I don’t mean all the Screwtape copycats, like Dorothy L. Sayers, Charles Williams, or all the great bits of demonic epistolary fiction that has popped up since. There’s a whole world of demon letters and emails and office memos out there waiting to prick the intellect right where it intersects with imagination.
Today, I mean music.
The Oh Hellos are an Americana/folk-rock ensemble from Texas, featuring Maggie and Tyler Heath. I first encountered them in the NPR Tiny Desk Concert series (which I love). Then I saw that Noisetrade.com was giving away a sampler of an album by The Oh Hellos called “Dear Wormwood.” Interest piqued, I downloaded the sampler and loved it. The online liner notes say:
“This album is a collection of letters, all written by a single protagonist and addressed to a single recipient, a conversation to which the listener is an observer as a relationship gone wrong reaches its breaking point – the words and music are at times affectionate and bittersweet, at others resigned and resolute.”
In the concert, linked below, the brother-sister Heaths describe the influence of C.S. Lewis and The Screwtape Letters. They also mention The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss as providing the inspiration of the melodic and instrumental part of the music. In celebration of Screwtape after 75 years, I would encourage you to take a listen to what the Heaths describe as “musical fan fiction.”