Visit my 8 track page to listen to the official Anna and the French Kiss playlist.

The following are presented in the approximate order of the events of the novel. Often, it wasn’t even the lyrics that struck me—it was the feel of the song. This playlist is entirely European with nearly half of the selections written and performed by French musicians, although several are sung in English (as is common in French rock).

For the spoiler-free version of this playlist, please visit this page.

(1) Besoin De Rien — The Hellboys, French

This song and this band were my favorite musical discoveries while writing this book. French rock is actually rare (the most popular musical genres among the youth are electronica and rap), but thank goodness for the few bands that do exist! Many readers have asked me about the French band on Étienne's T-shirt, and this was definitely the one I had in mind. (Their logo is a spade with a skull inside of it.) Sadly, their singer Nikola Acin passed away in 2008, so the Hellboys are no more.

My not-so-secret wish is that if Anna is ever made into a film, this song will play during the opening credits.


(2) I've Just Seen A Face — Jim Sturgess, English

Mer is a Beatles fan because I'm a Beatles fan. So my apologies to her for not selecting the original version. Across the Universe, the film created around their music (from which this cover comes from), was released the year I started writing Anna, and I became infatuated with it. The scene featuring this song is particularly adorable, and I like to think this is how Étienne felt upon first meeting Anna in the hallway.


(3) Le temps presse — Les Shades, French

Another great French band. I have no idea what this song is about. But it rocks.


(4) Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur — Sigur Rós, Iceland

This is one of my favorite bands, and I love the atmosphere of this track. The joy is so fitting for those giddy, growing Thanksgiving feelings.


(5) Violet Hill — Coldplay, English

"If you love me, won't you let me know?" The mood becomes colder and more confused, post-Thanksgiving.


(6) Mister Driver — Plasticines, French

Another fantastic French band.


(7) Le prix à payer — Les Shades, French

Les Shades again. Love them.


(8) Bangers & Mash — Radiohead, English

It's not the song Anna and Étienne danced to on her birthday, because that band is supposed to be French, but it's the song that I listened to over and over and over while writing that scene. "Whatever turns you on, whatever gets you off . . ."


(9) Burn It Down — The Hellboys, French

And then things fall apart. Bigger and worse than before.


(10) Like A Friend — Pulp, English

This is a good example of the lyrics not being quite right, but the feeling being correct. It's certainly damn-sexy. I've always loved the dramatic tempo change at 1:42, so that was what I listened to as I wrote their steamy first kiss in Luxembourg Gardens.


(11) Backdrifts (Honeymoon Is Over) — Radiohead, English

Anna and Étienne move backward. Once again. Radiohead is my favorite band, so it was only natural that they make another appearance.


(12) Say It To Me Now — Glen Hansard, Irish

Gut-wrenching. This was perfect for writing their detention scene. "So if you have something to say, you'd better say it now."


(13) Love Like a Sunset, Pt. I — Phoenix, French

Spilling their souls on top of Notre-Dame.


(14) Love Like a Sunset, Pt. II — Phoenix, French

Kissing on top of Notre-Dame.


(15) Just Like Honey — The Jesus and Mary Chain, Scottish

I couldn't resist a song about honey, though the actual meaning behind this song is incredibly dirty. (Look it up.) This is also the song that plays at the end of Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, which made it feel like the right note to end Anna and Étienne's story on, too.

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