David Lynch Playlist: The Director’s Favorite Bands and Singers Perfect for ‘Twin Peaks’

Lynch has been vocal about a few of his musical favorites — these would be great fits for the Roadhouse.
Uk Musician Ringo Starr is on Stage with Us Director David Lynch (l) at a Celebration of His 75th Birthday at Capitol Records in Hollywood Los Angeles California Usa 07 July 2015 the Former Beatle Celebrated with a Peace & Love Salute at Noon with Friends and Fans United States Los AngelesUsa Music - Jul 2015
David Lynch and Ringo Starr

If someone found a TV network willing to give them 18 hours of original programming all under their domain, it makes sense that person would want to bring a bunch of their favorite bands along with them.

Over the run of “Twin Peaks: The Return,” David Lynch has used the close of every episode as a showcase for past collaborators. Some of these acts have been household names – who could forget Nine Inch Nails rounding out the infamous Part 8 – while others have been more under-the-radar favorites.

These are artists that not only fit thematically with each individual episode, but also hew close to Lynch’s personal fandoms. The director has been open about it in the past, including his appreciation for Au Revoir Simone. Moby, for whom Lynch directed a music video in 2009, popped up this past week and longtime collaborator Chrysta Bell recorded multiple albums with Lynch before taking the role of FBI Agent Tammy Preston.

So who else might show up in the coming weeks? We looked through some of Lynch’s favorites and picked some likely candidates (plus the songs we hope they’d play).

TV on the Radio

After over a decade and a half of being one of indie rock’s most celebrated groups, TV on the Radio is a top act at this year’s Festival of Disruption, Lynch’s two-years-running annual weekend of music and meditation. Lead singer Tunde Adebimpe is also one of indie film’s most underutilized actors, giving fantastic performances in “Rachel Getting Married” and last year’s “Nasty Baby.” Maybe “Twin Peaks” can set up a double bill?

Tiny Ruins

After some online approval, Lynch and New Zealand singer/songwriter Hollie Fullbrook collaborated on the track “Dream Wave.” Originally destined for a “Hunger Games” soundtrack, the song is now available here. “Me at the Museum, You in the Wintergardens” might just be the most beautiful song this side of “God Only Knows,” but anything off Tiny Ruins’ stellar debut album “Some Were Meant for the Sea” would also be a dreamy episode sendoff.

Chris Isaak

The singer’s most famous tune “Wicked Game” might have an iconic video, but the song came to prominence after appearing on the soundtrack for Lynch’s “Wild at Heart.” Isaak would later play Special Agent Chester Desmond in “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” so whether he shows up as himself or the federal investigator who had mysteriously disappeared, it would be a surprise if he’s not involved in “The Return” somehow.


Lynch voiced his approval to all his Twitter friends after the Nashville duo released their first album in 2013. (The group’s appreciative response is proof that social media can actually be a force for good sometimes.) The steel guitar, Western trumpet fanfare and lush harmonies of “Footprints” might be just the thing to shake up the Bang Bang  Bar. But most tracks off their most recent release “Walking with a Stranger” would make for just as strong an acoustic set.

St. Vincent

Annie Clark, in the midst of a growing directorial career herself, was a Festival of Disruption headliner last year. St. Vincent’s most recent self-titled album has plenty of pulsating hits, from “Digital Witness” to “Rattlesnake.” But “Strange Mercy,” with its electronic twang and minimalist story lyrics seem right up the show’s alley.

Laura Marling

The singer behind the best album of 2017 also happens to have a prominent spot at this year’s Festival of Disruption. Of all the songs from performers at this year’s lineup, “Soothing” seems the most logical “Peaks”-ready episode-closer. Just look at that red from the music video that she directed herself!


This thing is so good” is quite a Lynchian endorsement. The MySpace link that Lynch linked to may be dead, but Lissie’s song “Little Lovin'” sure isn’t. “Twin Peaks” performers have rarely been this peppy, but given that things have been going better for Dougie in recent weeks, this song might just be thing to bring a little brightness to a world of face-slashing demons and evil doppelgängers.

Ariana Delawari

Delawari and Lynch collaborated on her 2009 album “Lion of Panjshir,” a blend of musical stylings recorded in both Los Angeles and Kabul, Afghanistan. The video above isn’t just a guide through the album’s sound — that curtain-background framing already makes it feel like a deleted scene from the show.

Ringo Starr

Imagine this: After months of wild speculation and unpredictable madness, “Twin Peaks” closes out with a rousing rendition of “Photograph,” complete with an All-Starr performance! At the end of 2015, Starr’s “The Lifetime of Peace & Love Tribute Concert” helped benefit the David Lynch Foundation. Perhaps their philanthropic efforts could lead to a magical on-screen partnership.

In the meantime, while we wait to see what the next trip to the Bang Bang Bar brings, here’s a playlist of all the bands who’ve dropped by so far.

“Twin Peaks” airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. You can read all IndieWire’s “Twin Peaks” coverage here

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