You may not realise how much of David Lynch’s music you’ve already heard. He shares writing credits for the song In Heaven (Eraserhead, 1977), wrote lyrics for Julee Cruise, created music for Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive and more, and has worked on several musical collaborations.
Crazy Clown Time, his first full-length musical debut, has a poetic if slightly old-fashioned sound. The album sounds like a collaboration between Lou Reed, Bjork, Neil Young, Beth Gibbons, Cat Power, Patti Smith and Lori Anderson performed as the artists slowly sink through thousands of fathoms of water with no home of ever reaching the surface again.
First track Pinky’s Dream opens with the kind of otherworldly, country guitar that would be perfectly at home on a True Blood soundtrack. Karen O guests on this track, which is one of the most dramatic numbers on the album.
On the next song, Lynch sings “I wanna have a good day today” over electronic beats in a lonely voice that sounds as though he’s singing through a snorkel. Even the Casiotone machine gun fire FX don’t spoil this quirky and melancholy track. That’s not to say Lynch has a lovely voice. In fact it’s disguised beyond recognition on most tracks, but has a yearning and fragile quality as isolating and engaging as his films. “So glad you’re gone,” Lynch drones, sounding anything but glad. “Free in my house, free in my truck, free on the street.”
Strange And Unproductive Thinking is a loopy and robotic seven and a half minute long monologue that could be straight from the lips of your high school science teacher. Crazy Clown Time is a frustrating little number, but is thankfully the only song that features Lynch singing in clown-like falsetto. The music on These Are My Friends sounds most like it’s out of a Lynch film but morphs into a downbeat doo-wop. Final track Speed Roadster is a chilling call for help from an abandoned man.
This strange, half-submerged little album is a squalid and beautiful album for artists. Buy it for the graphic designer in your life this Christmas.
Kathryn van Beek
Click here to listen to Good Day Today from Crazy Clown Time: