David Lynch and his Twin Peaks composer Angelo Badalamenti have just unearthed an album’s worth of the pair’s unreleased musical collaborations from the early ’90s. This experimental jazz collection arrives November 2 on Sacred Bones Records, under the name Thought Gang.
Lynch, though best known for his surreal filmmaking, has released two solo albums in the past decade, Crazy Clown Time (2011) and The Big Dream (2013). Lynch’s musical work is unsurprisingly atmospheric and eerie, incorporating industrial and electronic textures in unexpected ways. Rather than sing, Lynch typically performs spoken-word vignettes, with varying levels of distortion and filtration on his voice. It’s like a spookier Tom Waits sound, if such a thing is imaginable.
On the first single from Thought Gang, “Woodcutters from Fiery Ships,” it is Badalamenti who provides the oddly laconic voice-over to accompany the skittering, speedy free-jazz instrumental performance. As befitting the style of both men’s previous work, Badalamenti’s monologue is like the voice-over in a hard-boiled noir detective story, only what he describes becomes quickly surreal and horrific.
Other tracks from the Thought Gang album might ring a bell with Lynch fans, as they have slowly trickled out into the pair’s collaborations over the years. “A Real Indication” and “The Black Dog Runs At Night” both can be heard in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Other fragments and unfinished versions have appeared in projects like Hotel Room, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire. Most recently, “Logic and Common Sense,” “Frank 2000,” and “Summer Night Noise” have appeared as musical score in the third season of Twin Peaks.
The full tracklist for Thought Gang is below. Listen to “Woodcutters from Fiery Ships” now:
1. Stalin Revisited
2. Logic and Common Sense
3. One Dog Bark
4. Woodcutters From Fiery Ships
5. A Real Indication
6. Jack Paints It Red
7. A Meaningless Conversation
8. Frank 2000 Prelude
9. Multi-Tempo Wind Boogie
10. The Black Dog Runs at Night
11. Frank 2000
12. Summer Night Noise
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Justin Remer makes movies, directs music videos, and plays in the bands Duck the Piano Wire and Elastic No-No Band when he is not writing movie reviews. His folk-rock documentary MAKING LOVERS & DOLLARS is currently streaming on Amazon.