MY JAM: A song you have to listen to no matter how many times you’ve heard it and a book that you’ll never get sick of
SONG: Postcards From Italy by Beirut. The whole album (Gulag Orkestar) is my jam, but this song in particular gives me such a road-tripping-through-southern-Europe-in-the-’90s vibe. It makes me feel so nostalgic, for what I don’t even know, and I think it’s just gorgeous. I’ve loved it since I was sixteen.
BOOK: Sweep by Cate Tiernan. I can recognize that it’s not the best series of books, but they feel like home, and they’re magickal.
THROWBACK: A song that reminds you of the cringiest time in your life and a book you read that you wouldn’t like now
SONG: Whisper by Evanescence. Yes. I was a hardcore Evanescence fan. I was a very, very emo teen, and I remember listening to this song while wearing all black and being very melodramatic and probably reading something about Elizabeth Bathory. Anyway, I still 100% love this song, lmao.
BOOK: Anything by Dan Brown, probably…I was obsessed with his books for a while but if I read them now I doubt I would like them very much.
REPLAY: A recent song that you have on repeat and a recent favourite book
SONG: Baderech El Hayam by Light in Babylon. Sooooo…recent is a relative term…and three years isn’t too long ago, is it? Anyway, this is the song I have on repeat these days, and it’s recent to me, anyway. It’s in Hebrew, I believe, which I don’t uderstand, but the singer’s voice is so fucking powerful and deep I can’t stop listening to her. Like, I have no idea what she’s saying, but it’s such an intense song I can’t help but feel it.
BOOK: Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. A modern-day adaptation of Antigone with an all-Muslim cast, this was a pleasant surprise.
GETS ME: A song that is literally me and a book that is me in book form
SONG: Devil of Mine by The Moulettes. This is the song that got me into this fantastic, weird, psudo-Gothic band. I connect with all of their songs but there’s something about this one in particular…the music video especially (which is hella weird) I adore. The lyrics make me think of vampires, so, you know. It’s just entirely My Aesthetic.
BOOK: Hmm, it’s difficult to find a book that encompasses my aesthetic in the same way this song does, but I’m gonna give a shout-out to Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aaminah Mae Safi. Not a perfect book, but one I identified with a lot, as it’s about an Arab-American girl caught between cultures.
WUT: A weird song that you liked anyways and a unique book that stuck out to you for some reason
SONG: Vampires of the West Coast by Ghost Bees (now Tasseomancy). Honestly, everything on this band’s first album is hella weird. Unfortunately, I don’t like their new stuff, but I adore this album, which is full of magic and folktales. This song is…about vampires, but it can also be read metaphorically, if you so chose. Being me, I like the literal interpretation. The dual vocals of the sisters harmonize beautifully to create a haunting sound. The lyrics are gorgeous and so sad. A close second choice is Trelawny by The Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree. It’s a rendition of the classic Cornish patriotic song “The Song of the Western Men.” It’s not weird, I guess, just a bit random.
BOOK: Sunshine by Robin McKinley. This is a very dense, very weird, and very long vampire novel. It’s the only McKinley book I’ve ever read. It exists in a world where supernatural creatures are out and acknowledged, and our main character gets caught up with a vampire after being kidnapped alongside him for reasons I can’t even remember. It’s very weird. But I enjoyed it and it definitely made an impression on me.
LET’S GO: Pick your best pump up song and a book that inspires you
SONG: A Bar in Amsterdam by Katzenjammer. This song is so wild! It’s loud and fast-paced and exciting and I used to have it as my alarm lmao. To me it has a very Cabaret Weimar Germany vibe, which for some reason I love.
BOOK: Good fantasy inspires me, so I’m gonna have to go with Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, which is a fantastically rich new world.
HILL: Your best chill or relaxing song and a book you’d curl up with on a rainy day
SONG: Inni Mneeh by Mashrou’ Leila. This is a really sad song, and its melody conveys that. It’s also got beautiful, wistful lyrics. It’s perfect for a rainy day, and it’s also the song that got me into this band, which is now one of my favorites. A close second is Berlin by Olenka & the Autumn Lovers, which is about the fall of the Berlin Wall.
BOOK: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a delightful and beautifully written fantasy romance that I want to re-read again soon. It manages to be cozy even though it’s a secondary world fantasy, which is difficult to do!
ADDICTING: A guilty pleasure song and a light, trashy read you can’t help but love
SONG: Betekdeb Alaya by Maria. This is….so embarrassing…it’s an Arabic song from like 2006. The song is about a cheating man, but the music video is specifically about a high school girl sleeping with/hella into her teacher but thinks he’s cheating. I beg of you to watch it. It’s terrible and trashy in every way and I love it.
BOOK: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows. I don’t know that this is either light or trashy, but it’s definitely a very tropey YA fantasy. I loved it when I read it a couple of years ago, and honestly, I think it would stand up to a re-read.
NOSTALGIA: A throwback song you look back on fondly and a book you read and loved when you were young
SONG: Vessel by Pearl and the Beard. It’s only a throwback in the sense that I listened to this in high school. I’m like 99% sure it’s about Odysseus and Circe, it’s a duet, and it’s gorgeous.
BOOK: I’m gonna go with the Demonata series by Darren Shan. It’s a very gory and violent YA horror series about demons invading our world. I doubt I would love it as much now, but I was obsessed with it when I was young, and I even got my brother into it! It’s literally the only book series he’s ever read in his entire life, so that’s gotta count for something. And shout-out to Harry Potter, of course.
That was so much fun! Please consider yourself tagged if you’d like to do this, and come chat with me if you like any of these songs!