Johnny Jewel Provides “Twin Peaks” with Pitch-Perfect Soundtrack on “Saturday” - Music | MERRY JANE
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Johnny Jewel Provides “Twin Peaks” with Pitch-Perfect Soundtrack on “Saturday”

The “Windswept” cut is overwrought “Twin Peaks” melodrama to its core.

by Patrick Lyons

The third season of cult TV show Twin Peaks, 26 years in the making, premieres a week from Sunday and we know next to nothing about it. The second season ended with an all-time great cliffhanger, and apart from some casting and timeline details, creator David Lynch has been mum about how the series will pick up where it left off. One thing for certain is that in addition to original Twin Peaks soundtrack maestro Angelo Badalamenti, Johnny Jewel of Chromatics/Italians Do It Better will also contribute original music to the series. Knowing that, we think everything will be just fine.

Jewel is decidedly a spiritual offspring of Badalamenti, a synth wizard who mines the ‘80s for lush tones as much as he mines the late ‘50s and early ‘60s for mood and aesthetic. In addition to a career in label management and performance (as a solo artist and with the groups Chromatics, Glass Candy, Desire, and Symmetry), Jewel also has quite the film-scoring resumé, having composed the soundtracks for Bronson, Lost River, and the A&E series Those Who Kill, as well as contributing a couple of iconic tracks to Drive. Today he’s released a new solo album called Windswept, which reportedly contains a few songs that’ll appear in Twin Peaks.

We don’t yet know if the Desire-assisted “Saturday” will be one of them, but by God, it better be! There are a few moments in season one that feature Julee Cruise, a dream pop singer with close ties to Lynch and Badalamenti, singing in the fictitious Washington town’s one bar, the Roadhouse, and this song instantly conjures up that scene. The warm glow of the synths mimics the bar’s soft red light, the subtle percussion echoes the jazziness of Cruise’s music, and the bittersweet, slow-dancey vibe is overwrought Twin Peaks melodrama to its core. Listening to “Saturday,” it’s just too easy to imagine James Hurley riding his motorcycle off in a huff, or Big Ed and Norma sharing a longing glance that broadcasts the entirety of their intertwined history, or even Agent Cooper looking out of a window and recalling Caroline, his long lost love.

Jewel recently made headlines for destroying 25,000 copies of Chromatics’ long-awaited album Dear Tommy after a near-death experience, but thankfully Windswept survived the purge. Listen to the full album, also featuring collaborations with Symmetry, Heaven, Glass Candy, and Chromatics, on Spotify.

Twin Peaks returns May 21st at 9pm on Showtime.


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Patrick Lyons is a music writer based in Portland who is equally enthralled by black metal and Southern rap-- catch him making maddeningly eclectic choices on the aux cord.



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