Has any other movie director had such a massive impact on the world of music?
Not that we ever need an excuse to re-enter the dark world of David Lynch, but his neo-noir masterpiece Blue Velvet turns 30 years old this week, and the milestone got us thinking about the sheer scale of his influence on several generations of musicians. From Xiu Xiu to Lana Del Rey to the band that actually called themselves Twin Peaks (too much, guys), the number of artists mining the Lynchian vibe – the mystery, the voyeurism, the brutality hidden behind the picket fence – only increases every year.
Music has always played a crucial role in Lynch’s storytelling, from the iconic scores and songs written by his longtime collaborator Angelo Badalamenti to their inspired détournement of American classics by the likes of Roy Orbison and Bobby Vinton. In recent years, Lynch has largely abandoned movie-making for music, releasing two albums of creepy, knuckle-dragging blues that’ make the perfect audio accompaniment to his visual world.
As our own contribution to the genre, we’ve come up with the ultimate Lynchian playlist. Spanning six decades of music, it includes songs from the movies, like Julee Cruise’s Twin Peaks ballad ‘Falling’ and Marilyn Manson’s ‘Apple of Sodom’ from Lost Highway, and off-kilter covers like the Pixies’ bloodcurdling version of ‘In Heaven’ from Eraserhead.
We’ve also picked songs that tap right into Lynch’s uncanny atmospheres, from Biosphere’s Twin Peaks-sampling ambience to a straight-up tribute by Stars of the Lid, and songs that creep through the dark side of Americana, from Duane Eddy’s woozy guitar twang to Angel Olsen’s trapped-in-time slow dance.
So while you wait impatiently for the Twin Peaks reboot, check out the playlist over at Apple Music or stream it below.
For more Lynchian soundtracks, head to our Beginner’s Guide to Angelo Badalamenti.