The Once by Anna Carey Playlist:
Bon Iver, Skinny Love
The novel opens with Eve living in Califia. She’s spent months thinking about what happened to Caleb, wondering if he’s alive and where. This song reminds me of that churning, torturous place she’s in—wanting to be with him, but hating the pain of the situation.
Ani DiFranco, Swan Dive
There’s a moment in the beginning of Once when Eve sets out to find Caleb. This song perfectly captures the risks inherent in loving someone. Eve knows it’s dangerous, but cares about him more than she does herself.
Jose Gonzalez, Crosses
The imagery in this song reminds me of the first night Eve goes to meet Caleb in the City, how the streets are dark, how there are shadows in the windows above. His is the reassuring voice that sees her through.
Ryan Adams, So Alive
This song is all energy. There’s a scene in Once that takes place under a bridge, and I could nearly hear this song playing as I wrote it. It speaks to how exhilarating it is to be in love.
Passion Pit, Sleepyhead Acoustic version
Sleepyhead was originally one of my favorite dance songs, but when I heard the acoustic version it nearly made me cry. Slowed down it’s so tender and intimate, and the lyrics capture this simple, private moment between two people.
Iron & Wine, The Trapeze Singer
Eve makes several painful decisions throughout the course of the story. In one, she says good-bye to Caleb indefinitely. This song is one of the most painful and beautiful love songs I know. “Please, remember me” is repeated eight times.
Sia, Breathe Me
There’s a scene at the end of Once where Eve is in intense pain, and can’t fully comprehend what just happened to her. This song articulates that confusion and loss.
Florence and the Machine, Seven Devils
This song builds to a slow, simmering rage, and reminds me of the last chapter in Once. I can’t say more than that for fear of giving too much away…
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