Here at 25YLSite, we handle a lot of heavy lifting. Analysis, interpretation, in-depth discussion, introspective interviews…you name it; we’ve got it. “Favorites” takes a lighter approach to the material we usually cover. Each week, we will take you through a list of favorites—whether it’s moments, scenes, episodes, characters, lines of dialogue, whatever!—in bite-sized articles perfect for your lunch break, a dull commute, or anywhere you need to take a Moment of Zen. So, sit back and enjoy this week’s offering: Lindsay Stamhuis’ favorite songs inspired by Twin Peaks.
Mount Eerie, “Between Two Mysteries”
Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum spent his youth near the Snoqualmie National Forest, and you can hear that influence in this song. Not only does it have a kind of sad, droning resignation to its progression, but Elverum samples “Laura’s Theme” in the opening seconds. There’s no doubt that we’re meant to make these connections. The song seems to describe a first-person perspective of being surrounded by “moss-covered stumps” or “buried in more air, buried in space”; singers die and songs fade where he is. The town, he whisper-sings, “rests in the valley between twin peaks”, after all. Are these the two mysteries of the title? While not being a direct telling of a story of Twin Peaks, there’s enough here to draw inferences. Call Jacques; he needs to book Mount Eerie for the Roadhouse, stat!
This ’80s New Wave-esque track has the feel of Twin Peaks—another synth-pop act for the Roadhouse, Breakfast could open for the Chromatics without missing a beat. Aside from the direct call-out in the lyrics—“I don’t talk to him until then / Saying fire walk with me”—there’s an interesting picture painted here. The singer describes visiting a diner; the waitress there “works the night and day and night” (waves to Norma). She meets a man, “six feet tall and kind of shy” (Ed Hurley, is that you?). There’s “love and murder” lurking “behind their blood-stained eyes” (okay so maybe that’s not Ed and Norma, but what about Coop and Annie?). And then there’s the title of the song itself, referencing Diane—our Diane Evans? Meanwhile, the video evokes the colour palette and style of Mulholland Drive, so at the very least, this song/video feels very Lynchian. It really does make you wonder…
Sky Ferreira, “Night Time, My Time”
Sky Ferreira had a small but…interesting role in Twin Peaks: The Return and it’s widely known that she was a fan of the show and of David Lynch. Her 2013 song “Night Time, My Time” borrows so heavily from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me that this almost seems like a gimme. But it’s such a good song that it’s hard to pass it up. Several lines of the song are taken from Laura Palmer’s own words—“Falling in space / Will I slow down / Or go faster and faster”, for instance, and “And no angels will help us out / ‘Cause they’ve all gone away” are both taken from her conversation with Donna in the Hayward’s living room in FWWM, as is the title of the song. The video evokes a similar atmosphere. Ferreira stalks around as various personas, but each time we see her she reminds us of Laura’s nighttime job as a sex worker.
Bastille, “Laura Palmer”
This one is also a bit obvious, but hey, it’s a jam and I’m not even ashamed to admit that I’m blasting it on repeat as I write this! Dan Smith is another very open fan of Twin Peaks, and his ode to the tragic life of Laura Palmer takes top notes from the show and sprinkles them over this song about a similarly troubled soul. As such, the song does more to evoke Twin Peaks than directly aping it. But there are still some standout lines. “All the people of the town / Cast their eyes right to the ground” sounds exactly like our favourite townspeople ignoring Laura’s plight; “What terrifying final sights / Put out your beating heart” could be a direct reference to Laura’s final night in the train car. And then the constant refrain—“The night was all you had”—reminds us that, for Laura and so many others in her position, the night brings something that daylight can’t.
Bat for Lashes, “Laura”
This song just screams Twin Peaks, whether it’s a direct and obvious reference or not. The song seems to be written from the perspective of a friend of Laura’s; I can’t help but hear this as Donna Hayward’s plaintive plea to her friend after her death. “Drape your arms around me and softly say / Can we dance upon the tables again?” could be a reference to the night spent at the Pink Room in Fire Walk With Me; Laura is “stuck in a pale blue dream”. Her “smile is so wide and her heels are so high”. She’s “the train that crashed [the singer’s] heart” and “the glitter in the dark”. It evokes a deeper-than-friendship love between the singer and her Laura. But it also reminds us that Laura makes everyone love her:
You’ll be famous for longer than them
Your name is tattooed on every boy’s skin, ooh, Laura
You’re more than a superstar
Honourable Mention: Beach House “Wishes”
This song is likely not at all inspired by Twin Peaks, but damn if I don’t head-canon that anyway. Beach House sounds like the kind of band that 2017’s Twin Peaks would have featured in the Roadhouse, so there’s that. The video, too, has a weirdly Lynchian vibe; unsurprising, given that it’s directed by Eric Wareheim. Oh, and Ray Wise stars in it. This is like the Twin Peaks Steeplejack football team’s halftime show if it were directed by Nadine Hurley. It’s weird and wonderful and if you told me it actually was inspired by Twin Peaks, I’d believe you.