Melinda and I have been DMing not stop about the new Chicks album since it debuted. We both love it.
When Melinda pitched this list to me for a post on Smexy, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. In the comments, tell us your favorite song from this album and what romance novel you would match it up with. Huge thank you to Melinda (@MelindaEdits) for this post.
The Chicks released their 8th studio album on July 17th and I’ve probably listened to it at least 300 times since then. I can’t remember falling so in love with an album like this since Beyonce’s Lemonade. To me, it has that same feel to it in that it is telling a very personal story from beginning to end. Which I’m sure all albums do, but this one really spoke to me.
And it spoke to me in the same way that romance novels do. Every song leaves me with the same feelings I get from romance – feeling seen, and relating so completely to art, and making me feel joy, rage, sadness, and hope.
So I wanted to go through the track list and rec a book for each song that evokes the same emotion for me because…I just love The Chicks and romance so much.
Gaslighter – Ladies Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
This book is a beautiful feminist historical where two women are basically gaslit by an entire society. Lucy has been overlooked as an astronomer and had her important work dismissed completely while Catherine’s gorgeous embroidery hadn’t been recognized by even herself as true art. The two come together in a beautiful FF romance that evokes the rage and joy of this song for me.
Sleep at Night – The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
This song may be ragey and directed specifically at an ex but WOW does the video make me feel so empowered by the support The Chicks show for each other. Which is exactly what I felt from the friends in The Boyfriend Project who meet when they all are dating the same slimy man, ditch him, and keep each other. The romance in it is great, but the friend group is the best part!
Texas Man – Teach Me by Olivia Dade
This song is about being older and wiser and ready for love. Teach Me by Olivia Dade may not be set in actual Texas but the feeling of this book is exactly the same for me – Rose is an older female MC who has certainly lived some and has seen some things. She’s not so sure she’s ready for love, but Martin helps her realize she is. They’re both ‘a little more traveled’ and I love their HEA.
Everybody Loves You – Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn
This song is very much about going back and forth on trying to get over and hate someone. Forgive and forget. Or just forget. I chose Luck of the Draw because Zoe has done something that both she and Aidan thinks is unforgivable and the book is about them putting her through the process of trying to get that forgiveness. Clayborn is really masterful at working through this process and their grief.
For Her – Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz
For Her strikes me as very much an intersectional feminism anthem asking people to stand up. For every woman. Cybernetic Tea Shop is a quiet book set in the future about robots. But it’s also a FF book with an ace MC and is about standing up for each other’s personhood. This short book does quite a bit philosophically and politically in such a short space.
March March – The Girl in the Picture by Chelsea M. Cameron
Another song I’m going to go literal with because this song in this year just has my mind flipping through all of the scenes from all of the protests I’ve seen the last few years. The Girl in the Picture is a story featured in Rogue Passion – the Rogue Anthology #5. This is a sweet FF romance with the MCs meeting when Saylor’s picture goes viral after a protest and Echo is the journalist she meets. It feels like the perfect match for this song.
My Best Friend’s Wedding – A Taste of Her Own Medicine by Tasha L. Harrison
I love this book by Tasha L. Harrison about Sonja figuring out her life after getting a divorce. This song talks about ‘Burnin’ the world that I know / Watch me, watch me outrun it.’ And Sonja burns down her old world and meets Atlas when she takes business classes. The whole book is her building this new life and burning the path that she’s known before.
Tights on My Boat – Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon
This song is clearly about an ex who…isn’t great. I love Rafe so much but wow is the ex in it trash. He’s not over the top trash but he’s definitely enough. Sloan, the female MC, will get her best revenge by living her best life as a surgeon with her nanny Rafe though!
Julianna Calm Down – American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera
This song feels like therapy to me in the best way. I genuinely turn it on at top volume and scream it at the top of my lungs. Particularly ‘strut the fuck around’. It’s so therapeutic. American Fairytale’s Milo is a social worker who works with domestic violence survivors and his personal and professional life are built around making their lives better. Tom and Milo work through their own couple issues and help their community.
Young Man – Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh
I’m not going to go incredibly literal with this one, probably because I’m not a mother myself. But this song made me think of the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. Raphael watches over his Seven for actual centuries and trains them, helping them each come into their own. He’s such a fatherly figure for them and his love for them is incredible. “Take a good look at my life / Try to understand I’ve done my best” I swear those are words Raphael would say to Dmitri.
Hope It’s Something Good – Snow Kissed by Laura Florand
This song gave me such angst just listening to it. Snow Kissed is a marriage in trouble story about Kai and Kurt who’ve suffered through multiple miscarriages. The book is incredibly angsty and basically the two breaking through the walls they’ve both erected to protect themselves. It’s a beautiful, painful story that really matched the way this song made me feel.
Set Me Free – You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Set Me Free is really the perfect ending to this album. To me, it’s a perfect song about wanting to be free of a painful past. You Deserve Each Other is about a marriage in trouble as well and at first glance it may be a light hearted book where the two are petty and trying to make the other finally break and file for divorce. But on second glance it’s really about Naomi needing to be free from herself and the expectations she set for herself.
We all deserve to have a Happily Ever After. Whether that’s by ourselves, with a partner, with children, or with not. This album and these books can help us along the way to those HEAs.
Editor’s note: we made changes to the opening paragraph to make it clear that Melinda wrote this piece.