ABOUT THE BOOK
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
For this playlist, you can put together a soundtrack for the entire book, rather than just for one character. It can trace the plot of the book or your process when writing. Unfortunately, while I love music, I’m completely incapable of writing while I listen to it. If there are lyrics, it’s impossible for me not to listen to them and even if there aren’t, if I know the song, I can’t stop myself from following along. However! One of the first things I did when I sent The Love That Split the World to my agent was make a book playlist. I’m a huge fan of ambient or instrumental scores, when it comes to movies and TV shows, but for this I wanted to create a hybrid: something that captured the mood of the book but also helped to follow the story. That said, I’ve done my best to keep this playlist close to spoiler-free.
1. Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer - The Thing That Made You: I used this and two other songs from the soundtrack to Beasts of the Southern Wild, and I don’t feel bad about it because it’s one of the most beautiful and magical film scores I’ve heard in my life. This song in particular is warm, earthy, humid. Perfect to set the tone for TLTSTW.
2. Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans: First of all, I’m so late to the LDR party it’s not even funny. I’ve always loved her aesthetic but I’ve newly fallen in love with her music. And this song captures Nat’s first reaction to/impression of Beau so perfectly.
3. Real Estate - Wonder Years: This song is so nostalgic, warm, and familiar. It reminds me of driving with your hand out the window, moving up and down in the wind. I definitely relate this to the last few days of Nat’s senior year.
4. Ryan Adams - When the Stars Go Blue: This was one my favorite songs in high school and I almost wonder if some bit of it planted the seed for this book. I love the idea of people being a safe place for one another, like Beau and Natalie are for each other, and of following one another through the dark, the bad, and the hard. (Also, almost any romantic song I think of as a Beau/Natalie song still works as a Natalie/Megan song, because let’s be real, Meg is Nat’s first great love.)
5. Melody's Echo Chamber - I Follow You: This haunting song is what I imagine playing when Nat and Beau part ways the morning after Matt’s party. They’ve just spent the night getting to know one another and there’s a tenuous, exciting giddy energy that’s been building up for hours and also that eagerness, anticipation, and maybe even fear that now that the sun’s come up, the magic won’t hold.
6. Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer - End of the World: I would apply this to a VERY important scene that I don’t want to explain because SPOILERS. For those who’ve read the book, I think is song meshes well with the “closet scene.” There’s something sad and lovely about, a feeling that the good and the bad are inextricably linked.
7. Smog - I Feel Like the Mother of the World: I relate this song to the scene when Nat goes with her dad to a job. It’s a hard night for Nat, and she and her dad have a conversation about what it’s like to be a sensitive person in this world. The first time I heard this song by Bill Callahan (Smog), I felt like I understood exactly what it meant, to be the mother of the world, and with a heart as soft and breakable as her own, Nat does too.
8. The Ronettes - Walking In The Rain: I love any song that uses rain or thunder field recordings, but I think this one is especially magical. It’s so sad and beautiful at once, and it reminds me of Megan’s last night in town.
9. Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You: It just would’ve been wrong not to have a Dolly Parton song on this, and this one especially fits for what Nat’s going through with Matt, her ex-boyfriend, a person she still cares about deeply despite their complicated history. In a way, Matt’s sort of an extension of her hometown as a whole--a place she knows through and through, good and bad; a place she loves but isn’t sure she belongs. So this song works on that level too.
10. Spacemen 3 - I love you: “I love you” is such an amazing, cosmic, nighttime song. It definitely reminds me of the more supernatural, wild scenes of the book.
11. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Helpless: A fun fact about this song is that in college I was in a group dance piece set to it (and a few other CSN&Y songs). The piece was dedicated to our artistic director/choreographer’s mother and was such an emotional piece to perform, that a lot times, when we performed it, all the dancers would be crying by the end. This song has made me cry ever since, and it came to mind a thousand times while I was writing TLTSTW. The concepts of wanting to change but not knowing how, of wanting to escape but not knowing where home is, of feeling helpless and lost are integral tensions in Nat’s story.
12. Fleetwood Mac - Storms: Again, “Storms” has a strong connection to Nat’s feelings toward both Matt and her hometown. She’s sort of mourning her first love and her childhood as she looks toward the future.
13. The Cranberries - When You're Gone: Just another Natabeau song.
14. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die: This song reminds me of a particular scene there’s literally no way for me to talk about without giving big things away, so….!
15. The Knife - Annie’s Box (alt. vocal): There are few artists as consistently awe inspiring to me as The Knife/Fever Ray. I love the lush, cool-toned sounds of this song, and it’s perfect for those moments when Natalie’s seeing something impossible. I think especially of the scenes with the buffalo.
16. Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer - The Confrontation: I think of this song as the soundtrack to “hopeful searching.” There are a few different moments when Nat has to search, when she’s losing something she loves, when the world’s closing in around her and she has to move as fast as she can to reach what she’s after before it’s too late. That’s what this song is fore.
17. Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space: This has been one of my favorite songs in years. Like with Spacemen 3’s “I love you,” this song is cosmic and romantic. It’s perfect for the moments when Nat and Beau are trying to hold onto one another.
18. Goldmund - Threnody: Like with “Helpless,” I was in a dance piece set to this song that was deeply affecting. So deeply affecting, in fact, that when I got married, we had a friend play this song as our processional. I love all its moments of quiet, its tenderness. I love how it breathes and how you can hear the keys click and move. There isn’t really a way for me to say where this song belong, plotwise, without spoiling something huge, but I’ll say it’s for a moment of peace and quiet confidence. Probably my favorite moment in the book.
19. Lucia - Silence: And THIS is for the immediate aftermath of the last moment.
20. Food Is Still Hot - Karen O and the Kids: Oh, this song. This song to me is musical equivalent of “Everything is going to be okay.” That’s the feeling I want people to leave TLTSTW with. Not just for Beau and Natalie and everyone in the book, but for themselves. Everything is going to be okay.
BLOG TOUR STOPS
The Young Folks
1/18 - Interview
1/19 - Guest post 1
It Starts at Midnight
1/20 - Top 10 list
The Hollow Cupboards
1/21 - Book soundtrack
Owl Always Be Reading
1/22 - Review & giveaway
1/25 - Guest post 2
1/26 - Interview
The Hardcover Lover
1/27 - 25 Random Things About Me
1/28 - Interview
A Midsummer Night's Read
1/29 - Review & giveaway
The Forest of Words and Pages
2/1 – Character playlist
Love is not a triangle
2/2 - Would You Rather?
The Book Addict's Guide
2/3 - Character playlist 2
Once Upon a Twilight
2/4 - Dreamcasting post
2/5 - Review & giveaway