My latest anthology, Saltwater Sorrows came out last week. One way I’m celebrating that is by sharing a series of blog posts by myself and some of my authors.

So today, I am pleased to share this guest post by  Elin Olausson about the playlist she used while writing her Saltwater Sorrows story.

By Elin Olausson

Daughter is a post-apocalyptic tale about young Noë, who lives on an island with an old woman called Lucy. Their existence is a slow, lonesome one, and Noë is desperate for there to be something more out there. She loves watching the Daughters—strange, mystical mermaids who live in the sea that surrounds the island. Who are they, and who is she?

When I think about Daughter, I visualize rocks, wind, and water. Screeching gulls and a smell of brine. The soundtrack to this story is soft and ambient, music that suits a lost girl in a world that is no more. Here are five songs that make me think of Noë and her island:

  • Ella, Myrkur
    Ella is one of the songs from Danish band Myrkur’s album Folkesange from 2020. The beautiful Danish lyrics tell the story of a girl, proud as a wolf and wise as a soothsayer, who will follow the moonlight into the depths of the sea. I love this atmospheric folk song and the lyrics remind me very much of Noë.
  • Émigré, Alela Diane
    A haunting song about mothers clinging to their children onboard a migrant vessel, hoping they’ll all reach the shore alive. The lyrics talk of salt and seagulls, of being surrounded by water, just like Noë and Lucy in my story.
  • Alfonsina y el mar, Mercedes Sosa
    This song, written by Ariel Ramírez and Félix Luna, is about Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni, who took her own life by jumping into the sea.  
  • Soleil, Françoise Hardy
    There are so many Françoise Hardy songs I could have chosen for this list, because her music is so dreamy and fits many of my stories. Soleil is light and summery, which might not be the most natural choice for a post-apocalyptic story, but I imagine that there are plenty of sunny days on the island, too. Days when Noë hopes for a brighter future and believes that there must be other people out there after all.
  • Mountains Crave, Anna von Hausswolff
    Lyrics are important to me, and I especially like lyrics that make me think and wonder about what they mean. Mountains Crave has lyrics just like that, poetic and strange, and the music is very inspiring to me as a horror writer.

Deep, mysterious, beautiful . . . dangerous . . .

Women and the sea have been tied together in myth and story from the beginning of time. Tales of women being drawn to the sea or being left on the shore, waiting for their men’s return, have been passed down through the ages.

But what mysteries lie beneath the sparkling placid waters? What power drives the wind and waves crashing against the shore? There is transformation and exaltation—magic—in the ocean and women alike. And both know that while the sea gives, the sea also takes.

Sink into the icy depths of the ocean with these stories by: E.E. King; Natalie Cannon; Morgan Melhuish; Paul A. Hamilton; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Sarah Van Goethem; Adria Laycraft; Dino Parenti; B. Zelkovich; Lisa Carreiro; Lea Storry; Nikoline Kaiser; Elin Olausson; Chandra Fisher; Hayley Stone; V.F. LeSann; Catherine MacLeod; and Jennifer R. Donohue.

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