Following Chromatics appearance at the Bang Bang Bar which closed out the first episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, the band released their latest video. “Shadow” invokes all we love about David Lynch both musically and cinematically, and it’s one damn fine piece of art!
When Twin Peaks: the Return was announced a couple of years ago and the internet was thrown into a tizzy. Some of us immediately wondered what sort of path the series would take musically. Julee Cruise’s vocals throughout the first two seasons and prequel film, “Fire Walk With Me”, as well as Angelo Badalamenti’s timeless score were gonna be tough acts to follow. Enter Portland electro-pop band, Chromatics.
David Lynch’s productions have always included a so-unhealthy-it’s-creatively-obese blend of music and cinematography. From “Blue Velvet,” to Rebekah Del Rio’s Spanish language Roy Orbison cover at Silencio in “Mulholland Drive.” Twin Peaks has always been what we all go back to. Twin Peaks changed the landscape of television and its music had a lot to do with it.
The closing scene of the feature length first episode of Twin Peaks: the Return occurred in the out-of-town roadhouse, the Bang Bang Bar, which in the last twenty-five years has turned into a kind of music venue. Somewhere to go during the weekend; somewhere very new millennia. Somewhere we see original characters Shelly Johnson and James Hurley, still in the town they grew up in and yet forever changed.
Onstage is the house band. Composed of Ruth Radelet, Adam Miller, Nat Walker, and Johnny Jewel (Jewel has composed several songs for the reboot). These four musicians make up the band Chromatics. An electro-pop foursome that has been making waves on the indie scene for years now.
Radelet’s look is reminiscent of Julee Cruise’s appearance in the Twin Peaks pilot and Melissa George in Mulholland Drive. It’s a combination I love and one that’s undoubtedly Lynchian. Put them in a blender and, with the help of Showtime’s cable network status, creme them up. It’s a look that captures Twin Peaks in the midst of an episode that’s a little — how shall I put it? — out of the glass box with notably less blood.
The song is brilliant. Its accompanying video, which the band released after the episode’s airing, takes the same amount of inspiration from the towering Douglas Firs as its melody. Directly out of the Black Lodge, even. Where envy doesn’t cover it, awe sure does.
As a song, “Shadow” has undergone several iterations already (Jewel famously destroyed all copies of the album it formerly appeared on), but it’s in Twin Peaks that it finds its feet. A spiritual kind of person might say the universe was waiting for the two worlds to collide.
Chromatics’ “Shadow” succeeds in bringing the magic of Twin Peaks into the 21st century, with the crash-bang of drums from an electric field of dreams. Don’t believe me? Watch.