Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo first trained their creative focus on David Lynch’s surrealist small-screen masterwork Twin Peaks in 2015, when Australia’s Gallery of Modern Art in Queensland commissioned the duo to reinterpret the music of the series for a Lynch-centric exhibition. Xiu Xiu took those reinterpretations around the world on tour, and later recorded Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, a studio album they would release in 2016.
To celebrate the five-year anniversary of that record, Stewart and Seo are sharing their previously unreleased rendition of Twin Peaks composer and longtime Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti’s “A Real Indication,” a song featured in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Lynch’s polarizing 1992 series prequel film.
Recorded at Xiu Xiu’s NURSE studios in Los Angeles, the cover features drummer David Kendrick (Gleaming Spires, Devo, Sparks) and arco double bassist Jherek Bischoff, who produced Plays the Music of Twin Peaks. While Badalamenti’s original is jazzy with stand-up bass, shakers and strings, the Xiu Xiu version is far more discordant and menacing, with Stewart’s tensely quavering vocal delivery amplifying the uncanniness of the song’s oblique lyrics, originally (and notably) delivered by Badalamenti himself.
Stewart recalls how the cover came together in a statement:
Until Angela and I read an interview with David Lynch wherein he described his doubt that Angelo Badalamenti would be able to do the vocals on “A Real Indication,” but then was left laughing on the floor in delight at what an amazing job he did, we were confused by the song. We always loved it but thought it was a song from outside the Twin Peaks universe; a song by other artists that they used on the soundtrack. When we read this interview and realized how deeply it in fact was in the universe AND had Angelo Badalamenti singing, we regretted not including it on Plays the Music of Twin Peaks. When Polyvinyl approached us about an anniversary release, the opportunity to do it as a bonus track thankfully gave us a chance to redeem ourselves.
It is funny how lucky we were to have released Plays the Music of Twin Peaks when we did. The third season was announced while we were in Australia preparing for the first concert of the soundtrack we would ever play. It was fully back in the zeitgeist at the exact time we were working on it. The White Lodge had given us a little kiss. It was amazing to have been able to inhabit that monumentally inspiring world for a couple of years. As crazed and devoted fans, who could have asked for more? In the meantime we have watched Season 3 over and over and our love for this epic has only grown. It is irresistible although more than a little on the nose to say this of the reissue but, we are so excited that It Is Happening Again.
Listen to Xiu Xiu’s “A Real Indication” cover below and revisit the original track further down.