Songs to Kiss (or Read) To

kissing ted callahanAmy Spalding's Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) — which is out today! — has characters who feel like your friends, perfect everyday moments and crushes that are truly, you know, crushing. It's a great book for lots of reasons, and one of our favorite parts is the fact that it's highly musical. So when Amy offered to share a soundtrack she built for the book, we said: Yes, please. Behold, musical amazingness with commentary from Amy herself. (Find the extra-long Spotify playlist here.)

When I wrote Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) from drummer Riley’s point of view, I immersed myself in music even more than I usually do. I needed music to inspire the fictional bands in the book, to paint the live music scenes and to put me in the headspace of someone in the midst of the indie music scene in L.A.

I built a playlist based on the book and listened to it constantly while writing and editing. Here are five of my favorites from that original playlist I built back when I was getting started!

 “Romance” by Wild Flag – From the moment this song squeals itself out of the gate, its message of fevered love of music is up front and powerful. Wild Flag’s drummer, Janet Weiss, is one of the most talented in modern music, and Riley would look up to her tremendously. If there was a theme song for the book, this would be it!

 “Boyfriend” by Best Coast – Los Angeles’ frontwoman of Best Coast, Bethany Cosentino, sings about a crush — ya know, those painful soul-shattering probably-hopeless objects of affection — and nails it. This song is what it feels like to want someone you worry you’ll never have.

 “Bad Kids” by the Black Lips – In the book, Riley and her bandmates are obsessed with local (and fictional) band Andrew Mothereffing Jackson. In my head, AMJ sound a heck of a lot like the Black Lips, whose Good Bad Not Evil is one of those records I never, ever grow tired of playing.

 “Kiss Your Lips” by Allo Darlin’ – My friend Todd suggested Allo Darlin’ as a band to listen to for inspiration for the book, and as soon as I heard this song it went straight to my playlist. Swoony and sugary sweet and awkward all at once, this sounds just like kissing scenes I wanted to write!

 “Go!” by Plumtree – This song sounds like a night out with friends; it sounds fast and fun and in the midst of adventures had. It is the perfect soundtrack to driving around late at night in L.A. (even though Plumtree was a Canadian band).

♥♥♥ PS-In what is possibly the most incredible PS ever in an I Heart Daily post. Amy gives us Further Listening: “Weekend” by Smith Westerns, “He Gets Me High” by Dum Dum Girls, “Take Me Anywhere” by Tegan and Sara, “Anyone Else but You” by the Moldy Peaches, “Punk Rock Girl” by the Dead Milkmen, “You Said Something” by PJ Harvey, “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side” by the Magnetic Fields, “Do You Realize??” by the Flaming Lips, “By Your Side” by Beachwood Sparks, “A New Wave” by Sleater-Kinney, “For the Feel” by Bleached, “Modern Love” by David Bowie, “Break My Heart” by La Sera, “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley, “I Like It in the Dark” by Crocodiles, “Separations” by Diarrhea Planet, “How Are You Doing?” by Dog Party, “Radio On” by Ex Hex.