LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR: PLAYLIST (SPOLIERS)
(1) Animal Arithmetic — Jónsi
Bold, colorful, bombastic. From the moment I heard this, it became Lola's theme song. I listened to Jónsi's entire Go album literally hundreds of times while writing this novel, so I could probably post the whole thing and be done with this playlist. (I won't.) (But you should listen to it.)
(2) I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend — The Ramones
Lola, meet Max. One of the few songs specifically mentioned in the book, because, well, it's perfect.
(3) Your Ex-Lover Is Dead — Stars
"God, that was strange to see you again . . ." Cricket re-enters Lola's life. "I'm not sorry I met you, I'm not sorry it's over, I'm not sorry there's nothing save."
(4) I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You — Colin Hay
The lyrics to this song! I wish I'd written them. Cricket still isn't over Lola. Is she over him?
(5) Sinking Friendships — Jónsi
I had to select at least one more song from this album. It was hard to choose, but I picked this one for its appropriate title and for the lovely way Jónsi sings the line, "My lips are pale blue, my shivering half-moon." Gets me every time.
(6) I Don't Know What to Do — Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
"I'm so confused by you." Poor Lola is confused for the bulk of this novel. Break Up was another album that I listened to again and again, another that I recommend in its entirety. But this song in particular applies so well to Lola's journey with both Max and Cricket.
(7) Dreaming of You — The Coral
"Up in my lonely room, when I'm dreaming of you. I still need you, but I don't want you now." Both Lola and Cricket can identify with these lyrics.
(8) Keep Your Head — The Ting Tings
Bouncy and honest and more than a little frantic. I can imagine Lola listening to this as she prepares for a night out.
(9) All for the Best — Thom Yorke
Longtime blog readers know that of course Thom would appear here somewhere! I like how uneven this track gets, how it's always teetering on the edge of desperation. "Say you love me. Say you love me. Say you love me. Let's just say you love me."
(10) Think I'm In Love — Beck
Lola finally wakes up. And it's a bit alarming. "I think I'm in love, but it makes me kinda nervous to say so."
(11) Pretty Things — Rufus Wainwright
"Pretty things, so what if I like pretty things?" It's an idea that Lola is forced to reckon with and, eventually, accept. This was something that she and I both had to accept about ourselves. Such a beautiful song.
(12) I Have Loved You Wrong (live) — The Swell Season
"Forgive me, lover, for I have sinned, for I have done you wrong." This song. THIS SONG. The emotion here is so painful and spot-on. "You've been, every now and then, on my mind. You're every now and then on my mind."
(13) I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself (live) — The White Stripes
There are a lot of anxious, anxiety-ridden songs on this playlist, which, again, is how Lola and I both felt during the duration of most of the novel. I love the energy of this live performance, and I can imagine Lola in this kind of state once she realizes her true feelings for Cricket.
(14) Wake Up — The Arcade Fire
This song is overused in pop culture but for a great reason. It has such a perfect drive behind it, that push toward understanding. Which is exactly how I like my stories to end.
(15) Yellow (live) — Coldplay
Speaking of overused! But, once again, I can't help it. This song was the inspiration for Cricket's story about Lola. I heard this live version, which was juuuuust different enough that it got me caught up in the lyrics, which made me realize—for the first time—that they don't make a lot of sense. They're beautiful. But what do they mean? So I sat down and wrote Cricket's tale as a way to explore them. I wasn't even sure if the story would make it into the final novel, but I'm happy that it did.