All the New Music That Keeps ‘Twin Peaks’ Weird
What else can be said about Twin Peaks' lasting influence? David Lynch's series expanded its cultural reach in a multitude of ways, most obviously via its Angelo Badalamenti score. The composer's sweeping, over-dramatic sections drew the show mockingly close to daytime soap operas of the era, whereas dramatic horns created an even larger feeling of horror than what was happening on screen.
But 25 years after its original run, the show is much different. Most notably in that Badalamenti's score is mostly absent, as of last night's episode. This serves to both subvert what fans were expecting from the new season and distance it from the original. In the place of the first run's moodier stretches of music, there is often silence, which creates a vacuum of discomfort. But beyond that, Lynch has employed a variety of interesting artists to make Twin Peaks a little more strange (and cool).
Here's what we've heard so far:
MUDDY MAGNOLIAS, "AMERICAN WOMAN"
In a particularly unsettling scene, we hear a slowed-down version of "American Woman" during a first-person, Lost Highway-esque shot of a car driving. This little bit of Americana being distorted into something totally disgusting is peak Lynch, a moment that set the tone perfectly for the new series' first episode.
THE VARIOUS SOLO WORKS OF DAVID LYNCH
Trickled throughout the first couple of episodes are songs written and performed by Lynch himself. If you aren't aware of what he's been up to since Inland Empire, he's been periodically releasing solo albums over the years. While his new music will probably be released on Twin Peaks' upcoming soundtrack, for now you can get a feel for what it's like via 2013's The Big Dream.
When it was announced over a year ago that the new season of Twin Peaks would feature a variety of musicians, including Chromatics, no one was quite sure how that roster would materialize on the show. But that question was answered in its second episode, when Chromatics took the stage at the show's Bang Bang Bar to play a new song, "Shadow" — a nice, emotional end note to the first two episodes being bundled together.
THE CACTUS BLOSSOMS, "MISSISSIPPI"
You might not be incredibly familiar with the Cactus Blossoms, but the band's inclusion offered a cool dichotomy to the rest of the show's weirder, shoegazey moments with some forward-thinking country music.
DAVE BRUBECK, "TAKE FIVE"
You've probably heard Dave Brubeck's composition a million times already, and it's appearance on the show isn't too much to note. Still a pretty number, though.
AU REVOIR SIMONE, "LARK"
The Williamsburg dream-pop band has been out of the spotlight for a few years, seeing as how their last album came out in 2013. But they made a much-welcome return to the show with their dreamy track "Lark." It's a pretty and mystifying kind of song, with sparse vocals and heavy synthesizer overtones throughout.
JOHNNY JEWEL, "THE FLAME"
We've talked about Jewel's solo appearance on the show, and his songs have made their mark as perfect fits for the soundtrack thus far. Here's hoping for more.
THE PARIS SISTERS, "I LOVE HOW YOU LOVE ME"
Feeling like something right out of Blue Velvet, it's a strangely eerie track that adds a nice counterpoint to the rest of the music.
BLUNTED BEATZ, "I AM (OLD-SCHOOL HIP-HOP BEAT)"
Would genuinely love to know if Lynch came across this one or if it was another person on staff. A trip down his YouTube search history would be a fun time for all.
TROUBLE, "SNAKE EYES"
Did you know that David Lynch's kid has a band? They're called Trouble, and they definitely have a lot of passed-down strangeness. "Snake Eyes" sounds like it could've been in Fire Walk With Me's "pink room," and has all the jazz and excitement you could ask for.
UNIFORM, "HABIT" & "TABLOID"
By far, last night's coolest moment was the inclusion of two tracks by NYC noise-rockers Uniform. The band put out one of last year's hardest albums in Wake in Fright, and their music seems tailor-made for the weirdness that abounds in the show.