Twilight Watch: Is There an Indie Rock Dance Party in Twilight: New Moon?
We’re aware of how thirsty Twilight fans are for the upcoming release of the film, New Moon, but now it seems music fans may be … hungrier. If you’re both a lover of indie music and of Stephenie Meyer’s four-part teenage vampire saga, then you must be positively aching for the impending release of the movie’s soundtrack, on October 20.
When Atlantic Records released the New Moon soundtrack listing on September 22, indie kids were both shocked and delighted to see many of their favorites contributing new, exclusive material. Big name, arena-filling artists like Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Washington darlings Death Cab for Cutie are on the roster, but so are smaller acts such as Sea Wolf, OK Go, Bon Iver, and St. Vincent, who are staples of the club circuit.
We spoke to three of the bands on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack about their song contributions, moody lyrics, and whether they’re Team Edward or Team Jacob.Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf on “The Violet Hour”How would you describe Sea Wolf’s sound?
People often describe us as chamber pop, which applies to everyone from Belle & Sebastian to Arcade Fire. We’re basically a folk-rock band with sea-shanty instrumentation.What does your song “The Violet Hour” sound like?
It’s a very up-tempo, peppy kind of song with a dark twist to it. It’s about a girl who is interested in me but is also wishy-washy—someone aloof. I get the sense she’s leading me on but I’m not really sure. It’s a little bit sexy.That sounds very “Bella.”
Maybe it could apply to her character. The song does suit the movie—the vibe and lyrics, definitely.Do you know what scene it will be featured in?
All I know is it’s going to be in a party scene … a house-party scene.Can you give us some sample lyrics?
Your arms are lovely
Yellow and rose
Your back’s a meadow
Covered in snow
Your thighs are thistles
And hothouse grapes
You breathe your sweet breath
And have me waitWow, steamy stuff. What do you hope Twilight fans will take from it?
I hope that it speaks to them in a personal way. I put a lot of myself into my songs, but I don’t want to alienate anyone. It’s a good song. I hope people [who buy the soundtrack] will like it and will hopefully seek us out and check out our other records.How did you feel when you heard you were going to be on the soundtrack?
That it’s a great honor to be included on the soundtrack with the likes of Thom Yorke, Grizzly Bear, and Death Cab for Cutie. It’s really cool.If you could be a werewolf or a vampire, what would you be?
I would be a werewolf because this is Sea Wolf! Also, most of the time, you could be normal. I like wolves because they’re beautiful, intelligent, misunderstood creatures.Annie Clark, also known as St. Vincent, on her song with Bon Iver, “Rosyln.”When did you start playing music?
I started playing when I was 12—guitar and singing.What were you listening to when you were a teenager?
I was really into Riot Grrl but six years after it started. I was late to the table on that one! Growing up in suburban Dallas and not really having tons of access to what could be considered counter culture, I was aware of other stuff going on, but I didn’t have first-person access to it. You’d go to your local record store and listen to music for hours. This is back when they had CD listening stations. As much as you could find out about bands, you still had to do mail order or go to the record store. You couldn’t check out music online like you can now.How does it feel to have your music reach the legions of Twilight fans?
If I had a soundtrack with Thom Yorke, Grizzly Bear, and Bon Iver [on it] and had been hip to that music even earlier on in life, I think I’d be better off and have a richer creative outlet to draw from at a younger age. That’s the sweet thing to me about being included on this soundtrack.Have you read the Twilight books or seen the first film?
I saw the first movie. I went with my sisters to see it because they read all of the books. I think they walked out of it dreamy-eyed about Robert Pattinson.How did they react when they found out you were going to be included on the soundtrack?
I pretty much got every female member of my family just beside themselves. I’ve been asked many times if I think I’ll get to meet Robert Pattinson—fingers crossed, fingers crossed. I have a nine-year-old sister who calls me constantly about it, and I also have a 39-year-old sister, and she and her kids are thrilled about it. She’s a Twilight mom. She’s got little boys, and they love Twilight, too. It really is a phenomenon.You and Justin Vernon [of the band Bon Iver] perform a duet on the soundtrack song “Roslyn.” How did that come together?
We recorded it in July and August. It was a song Justin had been working on for a while. It was a very Internet-friendly collaboration.What’s the mood of it?
It’s a melancholy, bittersweet kind of song with softer acoustic guitar and slide guitar—we kind of make up this choir of voices. It’s a somber song, for sure, very aching, longing, and beautiful. Typical Justin Vernon.Do you know what scene they’re using it for?
I don’t know where the song will be in the film, but I know that Edward and Bella will not have sex to it.Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
I’m not really hip on the whole live-forever thing. That seems like kind of a drag! I’m really happy with life, but the thought of living forever is not my bag. Do werewolves live forever? Because if werewolves don’t live forever, than I think I’d rather be a werewolf. I saw Teen Wolf [Two] as a kid … I’m Team Jason Bateman!Tim Nordwind of OK GoDid your inner teenager relate to the story of Twilight?
I remember when relationships felt like life or death, which is pretty great. I think Stephenie Meyer has done a wonderful job capturing that unbridled teenage lust that I’m not sure I’d ever want to go through again but every once in a while I get nostalgic for. I think the stories are genius in capturing what it’s like to be a teenager.Have you read the Twilight books?
Well, three of the members of the band are vampires. In a broad sense you could say that we all are! I’ve started reading Twilight, yes. When I heard we were going to be a part of the soundtrack, I figured I should get to know what it’s all about. I have to say it’s a pretty entertaining read! I can see why millions of copies have been sold. It literally is on my bed stand.What’s the song “Shooting the Moon” about?
It’s a story about an astronaut who tries to go to the moon but doesn’t quite make it. He has to come back and apologize for not making it.An astronaut? How does that relate to Twilight?
It’s a song about trying to do the best thing but failing and then having to come back and explain. It’s about false hope.What does it sound like?
It’s a psychedelic acoustic song. It’s different from what people have known from us before. I don’t think we’ve ever released a psychedelic folk jam! For anyone who knows [of] the band, I think it will be a pleasant surprise from all guitars all the time. There’s a heavy emotive quality to our song. I hope that people who buy the soundtrack like it. You hope that it’s a gateway to people wanting to check out more.Can you give us a sample of some of the song lyrics?
What can he tell ‘em now
Sorry I let you down
Sorry I wasn’t quite true
But don’t get hung up on it
Just soldier on with it
And good luck shooting the moonSounds very apropos. Do you know what scene it’s featured in?
Yes, I do. It’s a montage scene. The song itself is a thoughtful, acoustic song, and the scene they’re using it for is a moment when you see the two kids flirting with each other for the first time.You mean Bella and Jacob?
Right, yeah.Have you seen the film?
I did see that scene and some others, but I haven’t seen the completed film. I’m really looking forward to it.I think you already answered this, but would OK Go be vampires or werewolves? Are you more Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Vampires have better style—they’re a bit more formal, which I appreciate. Werewolves just bust out of whatever clothes they were wearing as humans. I think three-fourth’s of this band being vampires constitutes us as a vampire house band.vanityfair.com