Music to read by: The Accident Season
Moira Fowley-Doyle talks us through the music behind her novel.
In The Accident Season, Cara’s best friend Bea plays sad, lonely
The Black Cat and Whiskey Moon Masquerade Mixtape:
The Water – Johnny Flynn (with Laura Marling)
Elephant Gun – Beirut
In the Woods Somewhere – Hozier
Glory and Gore – Lorde
Howl – Florence and the Machine
I Follow Rivers – Lykke Li
Glass – Bat for Lashes
O Children – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
From the Woods – James Vincent McMorrow
Wolf – First Aid Kit
Blood I Bled – The Staves
Little River – The Tallest Man on Earth
Change of Time – Josh Ritter
The Water by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling is the perfect song for the sad and eerie, dreamy feel I wanted for The Accident Season, mostly because of the quirky, folky, bittersweet sound of it and the lyrics: “The water sustains me without even trying/ The water can’t drown me; I’m done with my dying.” I love it because it fits in so perfectly with the fear of accidents and Cara’s belief that whether in secrets or in memories we all drown, in one way or another.
I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li is another river song, and a song I can easily imagine the friends dancing to. Cara, her ex-stepbrother Sam and her best friend Bea call their Halloween party the Black Cat and Whiskey Moon Masquerade Ball. They invite all of their classmates to the abandoned house but more come
Elephant Gun by Beirut is exactly the type of lilting ukulele circus music I can imagine them all dancing to, the kind of music that’s a little bit mad-dash and all-over-the-place and magical. Later, as the party gets more chaotic, I can imagine the Bea’s mixtape playing songs like Glory and Gore by Lorde because it’s so intense and always makes me want to move. This is for the anarchic party, the crumbling staircase groaning under so many bodies, the wild drunken
Howl by Florence and the Machine and In the Woods Somewhere by Hozier are the songs for the wolves. Hozier just has this amazing gravelly voice and this song is for Cara’s troubled sister Alice and her older, musician boyfriend Nick, and for the wolves. I think it fits because it’s beautiful and sexy but also creepy, and like something dark calling you into the trees. This is the song for when everything starts to go wrong.
From the Woods by James Vincent McMorrow and Wolf by First Aid Kit are other dreamy/creepy
Two songs that I listened to on repeat while editing The Accident Season are Glass by Bat for Lashes because it’s just this perfect dreamy, magical, fairy-tale song and it’s so gorgeous, and O Children by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds because the music perfectly encapsulates the mood I was going for, the darkness I was looking to infuse into a dreamy story and the pacing like a train starting slowly and then hurting at breakneck speed and never really ending. (Also, it reminds me of the scene in the film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where everything looks so grim and hopeless and friendships are splintering and tempers are fraying but in a tattered tent on the top of a cliff two friends are quietly dancing.)
Little River by The Tallest Man on Earth is another in my collection of river songs, but it’s also an ending song – where things are bittersweet but also at the same time kind of lovely: “It's taken you so far, far past the cliff's edge/ And now your feet just poke around to feel the ground.”
Change of Time is by my all-time
It's the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom. The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara's life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara's family becomes inexplicably accident-prone.