Play: The Playlist | Book*hug Press

Play: The Playlist

Today, we’re sharing Jess Taylor’s playlist for her debut novel Play!

Paul (Paulina) Hayes loves her cousin Adrian. Inseparable from a young age, they play The Lighted City, an imaginary world where they pretend to live together and can escape a childhood that seems both too sad and too grown-up. But The Lighted City isn’t without danger.

Jess shares her playlist below and walks us through the presence of music in her novel, as well as in her writing process. We hope you enjoy! Play comes out on April 23, and is available from our online shop or your favourite independent bookstore.

When I write, often I hear or feel music. Novel or story structure feels like song structure, especially as it approaches the climax. I’ve tried to mimic some of what I was hearing or feeling, songs that inspired me while writing, and songs that speak to the themes of Play: healing, trauma, love, grief, art, and friendship. Like Play, which is told in three interweaving storylines over multiple time periods, the music doesn’t stick to one genre. There are some pop favourites, instrumental, lo-fi, rock, folk, and, of course, some Billie Eilish and Adele. Together, these songs paint a complete picture of the journey Paul must go on to heal herself from “the day it happened.”

Je te laisserai des mots by Patrick Watson
watch by Billie Eilish
Medicine by Daughter
The Moon by The Microphones
Six Feet Under by Billie Eilish
Vancouver by Adam Fincher
Funeral by Phoebe Bridgers
Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
Slip Into Your Skin by Patrick Watson
Circles by Post Malone
To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra
Cry by Benson Boone
Bad Decisions by Two Door Cinema Club
Heal by Tom Odell
The Kite by Luisa Marion, Noah Floersch
True Love Will Find You In The End by Priscilla Ahn
I Think I’m Growing? by Fletcher

Find the full Spotify playlist here.


Jess Taylor is a Tkaronto (Toronto) writer and poet. She is the author of Pauls, the title story of which won the 2013 Gold Fiction National Magazine Award, and Just Pervs, a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Fiction. Her story “Two Sex Addicts Fall in Love” was longlisted for the 2018 Journey Prize. Play is her debut novel.

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