The Musical Legacy of “Twin Peaks”

Last week, David Lynch and Mark Frost announced the return of “Twin Peaks”, the cult TV show they co-created in 1990. The show, which ran for two seasons before ending on a cliffhanger, would pick up where it left off. Fans wept; takes were written; listicles about the best sweaters and characters were steadily produced. It was a ravenous response for a television show that’s been off the air for 23 years, and was originally cancelled due to a perilous decline in ratings.

But in the meantime, its influence grew. Shows like “The Killing” and “Lost” borrowed liberally from its format; it was referenced by “The Simpsons” (where millennials like myself probably saw it for the first time) and saw its cast reunited for an episode of “Psych”. In music, artists—some of whom were too young to remember the show as it aired—began positioning themselves as fans, hoping to capture a bit of its attendant mystique. Sky Ferreira’s 2013 album, Night Time, My Time, took its title from a quote spoken by one of the show’s main characters, Laura Palmer. (The lyrics of the title track mimic her dialogue, too.) Artists such as El-P, DJ Shadow, and Mount Eerie interpolated bits of dialogue and soundtrack into their own songs. The British rock band Bastille wrote a song called “Laura Palmer”, while Surfer Blood wrote a song called “Twin Peaks”. Then, there is literally the band called Twin Peaks.

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