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How Music Inspired Girls In The Moon

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How Music Inspired Girls In The Moon


IT’S OFFICIAL… we are over the moon about GIRLS IN THE MOON, the heartfelt and lyrical new novel by Janet McNally! Girls In The Moon is about two sisters with rock star parents who find themselves drawn into the world of music, lyrics, and love. In addition to being an author extraordinaire, McNally is a literal poet and wrote the most beautiful original lyrics to include in her novel:
Exhibit A: “I’ll stitch the words together, string them like pearls on thread, remember them out of order, and forget what it was you said.” 
Exhibit B:  “I’m nothing but a shadow, nothing but a silhouette. I lose all my certainty the farther away I get.”
We hope it’s clear by now that you’re going to need a bomb playlist to bump while reading this magical masterpiece. Lucky for you, Janet McNally has graced us with the most perfect playlist to pair with Girls In The Moon!
(But first, watch the book trailer!)

How Music Inspired Girls In The Moon

By Janet McNally
I listened to music all the time while I was writing Girls in the Moon, which makes sense because it’s a book about people who listen to music all the time.  Phoebe and Luna and Archer and Meg take music seriously and understand its magic. Songs can be medicine. They can fix things sometimes, if you’re lucky and you choose the right ones. This is the mix that Archer makes for Phoebe near the end of the book, and I have no doubt he would have obsessed over it for hours.
Here are some highlights:

“Darling Don’t Worry” by Thrush Hermit

Songs are time travel machines. They let us go right back to places in our pasts. My husband put this song on the first mix tape he ever made for me, and like all of the songs on that tape, it always feels like it’s dipped in some kind of fairy dust. It felt like exactly the right way to begin Archer’s mix for Phoebe.

“I’m All Right” by Radiator Hospital

This is such a brief, spare, beautiful song, and it seems like exactly the message Archer would want to send to Phoebe when he gives her the mix. They’ve both been through a lot with their families, and this is part of the reason they’re drawn to each other. Not all songs in a mix have to be messages, but this one is.

“Somebody to Anybody” by Margaret Glaspy

As soon as I heard this song I thought of Phoebe and her sister Luna, and then I remembered that Archer also has a charismatic older sister he doesn’t completely understand. This is another lovely, minimalist song that captures the way Archer—and Phoebe—might feel sometimes, trying to fit in and figure things out.

“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” by The Lemonheads

There are so many things we want to say to each other that we can’t, and this is why we make playlists and mix tapes. We choose songs to say what we want to say. Archer and Phoebe both know this especially well.

“Universal Heartbeat” by Juliana Hatfield

“A heart that hurts is a heart that works.” Can anyone really argue with that? Archer, knowing full well that Phoebe’s mom Meg was a 90s rock goddess, would have made sure to include one of the others—Juliana Hatfield—on his mix.

“Diamonds” by Laura Mvula

I wish sometimes that life had a soundtrack (which is why I often walk around wearing my earbuds). Archer and Phoebe spend a night wandering around Manhattan after dark, and I can imagine this song playing around them, gorgeous and glittering.

“Finite=Alright” by David Byrne

One night while they’re walking around Manhattan, Archer takes Phoebe to see David Byrne’s studio’s doorstep, and the little label by the buzzer that says his name. (Friends of mine did the same for me, but like Archer, I would never think of ringing the bell!) This is a wacky little song that reminds us that life is always changing.

“Left and Leaving” by the Weakerthans

As Phoebe says, this is a song that can break your heart. But sometimes we need songs that break our hearts in order to heal them. The Weakerthans are really good at that (which is why I chose a Weakerthans lyric for Girls in the Moon’s epigraph). Try to listen to this song without feeling all the feels. I dare you.

Girls in the Moon is on sale in hardcover and ebook now! Get a copy here or click here to start reading!


For more reading playlists, click here!
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