This is a pretty long playlist because I was writing this book for a year and a half, so I had a lot of time to find good songs. While I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, I do listen to it when I’m editing and often I’ll listen to songs before I start writing to get me in the right mood (and to transition me from mom-of-three-with-messy-house to writer). Most of the time, I find these songs after I’ve written the part in the book to which they connect; in the case of Bruce and Neil they were, of course, known to me before I started writing.
I often thought of this as Ky’s book as I wrote it (though the story certainly belongs to Cassia and Xander too), and I think that is really reflected in the playlist for the book–lots of songs about searching, loving, and becoming.
Anyway. I wanted to wait a little bit so that you had a chance to read the book BEFORE you listened to the songs, as they’ll mean more then…and CROSSED has been out for three weeks…and I can’t wait any longer! And please, if you enjoy these artists’ work, BUY their songs to support the arts and music.
1. Empty by Ray LaMontagne
The melancholy and beauty in this song made this the #1 most-listened to song while I was writing CROSSED.
2. A Dustland Fairytale by The Killers
There’s a such a story in this song, and the chorus is unbelievable.
3. Edwin’s Tale–1862 by Peter Breinholt & Big Parade
The perfect song for Ky as he’s out in the decoy villages, and for anyone left behind.
4. Violet Hill by Coldplay
The mention of snow is especially perfect for the book. It’s what I picture playing in the background during Chapter 3.
5. Blue Lips by Regina Spektor
One of the songs I discovered at the very end of editing CROSSED. I especially like the part where she sings about “all the pictures in his mind” because that’s how Ky thinks. And the blue references throughout the song have a lot of resonance for the color blue, which is emphasized in this novel.
6. Doubting Thomas by Nickel Creek
I’ve always thought of this song particularly as Ky’s song, because it’s hard for him to believe sometimes that someone like Cassia could really love him.
7. The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen (the version w/o Tom Morello)
This song has haunted me since it was first released back when I was in high school, and it kept coming back to me as I wrote Ky’s journey during CROSSED.
8. Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson
This song felt like what Cassia would be thinking/singing to herself as she searched for Ky.
9. Yazala Ambambuti by Samite
10. If I Should Fall Behind by Bruce Springsteen
This one makes me cry just about every time. You can picture the farmers in CROSSED gathering around a campfire to sing it. (And how great is it that it’s Bruce and his wife singing to each other?)
11. Sinner’s Sonnet by Andrew Whitman
A great song about searching and love.
12. The Climber by Neil Finn
His voice and the words are lovely, but it’s the background that really gets me every time.
13. Captain of a Shipwreck by Neil Diamond
My all-time favorite Neil Diamond song. This song is not just something Ky would sing to Cassia, but I also think of it as a song that Xander would love.
14. Crossfire by Brandon Flowers
For me, this song really fits Chapter 35 and how Ky is feeling then.
15. Set the Fire to the Third Bar by Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright
Ky and Cassia, maps, poems, trying to find a way to each other in spite of everything. In spite of themselves.
16.In for the Kill by La Roux
How Cassia feels near the end of her book when she makes her decisions about the Rising and about Ky.
17. The Rising by Bruce Springsteen
If you’ve read the book, you’ll know exactly why I picked this song.
18. This Hard Land by Bruce Springsteen
19. Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford & Sons
A last-minute addition to the playlist, but it’s the perfect Sisyphus stone song. And everything about it fits Ky in this book.
20. Every Time It Rains by Charlotte Martin
There’s a particular scene near the end of CROSSED that this fits, but it also calls back to things that happened in MATCHED and to what will happen in Book 3. It’s the ideal song to end the playlist.
And I often listen to a soundtrack or two as well. This time, it was the soundtrack to HERO by Tan Dun.
I hope you enjoy the playlist, and have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!