Among the many dark gifts that Showtime’s hit series “Yellowjackets” gives us, the most exciting this season is music.
The show — which jumps between a squad of teenage football players trapped in the Canadian wilderness in the 1990s after a plane crash and the souls of adult survivors in the present day — embraces nostalgia, featuring cherished tunes from the turn of the last century, with staples from Tori Amos and Early Smashing Pumpkins, Massive Attack, Veruca Salt, and much more.
On Sunday’s episode of “Yellowjackets,” the queen of alternative rock Alanis Morissette will release a version of the show’s theme song, “No Return,” and she’s already released it as a single.
One of the most unexpected and most successful uses of throwback music came in the first episode of Season 2 last month, when Warren Cole’s Jeff had a moment in the car after an intense experience with his wife Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) – during which he was rocking. It’s hard for Papa Roach “Last Resort” (sure, the track actually came out in 2000, but that doesn’t detract from its vintage vibe).
In an interview with CNN, the show’s music supervisor, Nora Fielder, explained that the song choice for Papa Roach was scripted, and “served as the perfect physical outlet for Warren whose anxieties were running high while he was sitting alone in his garage.”
Still, other notable moments in the script would have to translate, and Felder relishes the opportunity to match those moments with appropriate songs from the period.
“I get immersed back in the era of the show and the zeitgeist as I start building my own playlists for the show,” she said. “The main thing I try to remember is to stay true to the story and let it tell me what it might need musically.”
Case in point, from the same episode — putting on Amos’ signature song “Cornflake Girl” from her groundbreaking 1994 sophomore album “Under the Pink.”
The song — which appropriately contains the lyric “things are getting kind of gross” just as Shauna (Sophie Nelis) is about to grasp something unimaginable — “quickly came to her mind as a possibility” for Felder.
“I felt that Amos’ words could serve as a suitable launching pad for the end of the first episode—not only as a reflection of Young Shawna’s state of mind,” she noted, “but also as a reflection of the past and present moods and mindsets of the other “Yellowjackets” characters in season 2.”
Felder’s work is challenging in the sense that there is often a perfect wish-list selection for a song during a particular moment in each script, which may then change either because of something technical or because the needs of the scene evolve during production, as a result of many elements, including the performance of the actors.
“Everyone on the team always wants the best possible song choice to further the story,” she said. “When we get to post (production), a common question that arises between us during the collaboration process is simply, ‘Do we think we can beat this? ”
During this collaborative process, Felder says she doesn’t “believe in having an exact roadmap on how to blend songs with any scene or story”.
“I always say, ‘Let the picture tell you what you need.'” (Kind of like wild I think?)
Another moment that seems to be perfectly integrated with the music playing is the now-infamous “Last Supper” scene from last week’s second episode, which boasts Radiohead’s “Climbing By The Walls” from their amazing 1995 album “OK Computer” on the soundtrack.
“The song seems to refer to those unspeakable monsters that can live in one’s head,” Felder noted, referring to the bizarre collective hallucinations the group experiences while dismantling one of their own. “I can’t think of a more perfect way to nail this haunting scene, aka ‘the fiesta.'”
To express just how important music is to the ambient feel of “Yellowjackets,” one need look no further than the deeply creepy trailer for the show’s second season, which features Florence + The Machine’s extraordinary, riveting rendition of No Doubt’s timeless 1995 hit, “Just a Girl.” .”
“I’m a huge fan of ‘Yellowjackets’ and this era of music, and this song in particular had a huge impact on me growing up, so I was thrilled to be asked to interpret it in a ‘very disturbing’ way for the show,” band leader Florence Welch said in a statement shared with CNN. that.
“We really tried to add some horror elements to this iconic song to fit the style of the show. And as someone whose first musical love was pop punk and Gwen Stefani, it was a dream job.”
From her collaboration with “Yellowjackets,” Morissette also felt inspired by the show.
“I see similarities between ‘Yellow Jackets’ and my point of view during songwriting: sheer, jugular intensity without fear of going for profanity,” Morissette said in a statement. “I’ve striven throughout my career to support women’s empowerment and sensibilities, to see the world through a female lens, and what’s so great about this show is that each character is allowed to be dynamic and complex rather than oversimplified and short-handed versions of women. I feel proud to be part of the ‘Yellowjackets’ legacy. ”