The most important building block of Twin Peaks might be its opening theme. Eerie and wistful, it captures all the contradictory impulses of the show in just a few notes.
That song, like a significant amount of the music that shaped the early two seasons of Twin Peaks, was recorded with Julee Cruise, a singer and songwriter whose collaboration with David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti produced some of the most musically important TV moments ever.
Throughout their collaboration, they created two albums worth of material, much of it used in various parts of Twin Peaks. Now, Sacred Bones Records has released the Three Demos EP, which contains Cruise’s earliest recordings with the duo—stripped down versions of three songs that in their development helped shape the aesthetic of Twin Peaks into what it became. You can check it out now on Bandcamp.
These demos include the main theme of the series, “Falling,” and “The World Spins,” a lush and wistful track that is sung in nearly its entirety on the show during a pivotal second season moment. Even apart from the series, Cruise’s music is stirring, and these demos, while stripped of most of their production tricks and accompaniment, still capture that feeling. It’s a feeling that Lynch and his collaborator Mark Frost used to shape Twin Peaks into the show it became. One full of mystery, and hope, and fear, and sorrow. Like Twin Peaks, Cruise’s music is beautifully uncanny.
Cruise’s music was also used in the third season as well, in the opening theme and a short (short enough that Cruise was, reportedly, pretty mad about it) reprise toward the very end. And while her music isn’t as obviously important to the newer episodes, the creative energy behind it is. It all shares the same creative DNA, after all.
These demos offer a short glimpse into that early creative process. These songs, along with influencing the sound of Twin Peaks, would also go on to feature on Cruise’s album Floating Into the Night, which is highly recommended. Listen to the sounds...