‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Lyricist Discusses Original Song ‘I Can’t Remember Love’ — Exclusive

"The Queen's Gambit" features one of 2020's music and lyrics contenders in "I Can't Remember Love," performed by jazz musician Anna Hauss.
The Queen's Gambit
Anya Taylor-Joy in "The Queen's Gambit"
Phil Bray/Netflix

The Queen’s Gambit” was one of the best things to happen to television in 2020, and among its charms is a contender for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.

“I Can’t Remember Love,” the melancholic piano-driven track from the limited series’ sixth episode, garnered attention from audiences shortly after the show debuted on Netflix last October. Below, IndieWire premieres an exclusive behind-the-scenes video on the making of the song, which was performed and written by Anna Hauss.

William Horberg, lyricist and “The Queen’s Gambit” executive producer, noted that he suggested that Hauss sing the song live in the background of Episode 6 and was eager to include her performance in the series. “I met Anna — who had come to work on the show as the hand double for Marielle Heller in her piano playing scenes — and I discovered that she was a wonderful singer,” Horberg said. “So [director] Scott [Frank] and I talked about the idea of incorporating a song into this scene where Beth Harmon goes back to the restaurant… It gave us the chance to really do characters in the scene as well as have written the music.”

Hauss’ performance in “The Queen’s Gambit” marks her second acting credit; she previously had a minor role in “Nur eine Nacht,” a German-language TV movie that released in 2012. Hauss also serves as the vocalist for jazz band “Still in the Woods,” which released its sophomore record in 2019.

As the winter TV awards season is about to start, “The Queen’s Gambit” is looking like an early favorite. IndieWire’s Ben Travers praised “The Queen’s Gambit” in his grade B+ review and offered particular commendation for Taylor-Joy’s performance.

“‘The Queen’s Gambit’ remains Beth’s story as well as Taylor-Joy’s showcase. Light on the kind of big, showy Acting scenes that draw attention to themselves (and awards voters), Taylor-Joy trusts the character, the context, and her own command to keep viewers enamored, and it works beautifully,” Travers said in his review. “Being so focused on the here and now helps keep audiences there with her, as many unspoken moments — especially during chess matches — only connect because of her richly detailed process.”

Check out the behind the scenes video on the making of “I Can’t Remember Love” below:

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