Sarah Koenig pulled a Beyoncé this morning, surprise-releasing the first episode of Serial’s second season accompanied by a New York Times feature. The wildly popular investigative reporting podcast tapped Nick Thorburn aka Nick Diamonds for its season 1 theme song, and he’s back this year with brand new theme music. As producer Julie Snyder explains to the Times, “We wanted to change it because the theme the first year really belonged to that story.” You’ll be happy to learn that MailChimp is also back. This season’s story deals with the controversy and mystery surrounding Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, whom Koenig describes as “the US soldier who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years.” Check out the music by streaming or downloading the episode at SerialPodcast.org; Thorburn’s new theme kicks in at the 3:12 mark.
UPDATE: Thorburn talked to Vulture about his latest Serial score. His thoughts on the difference between the seasons:
The first season was a kind of a true-crime thing. I heard the first episode and made a library of music [for the producers to use] based on what I got from the first episode. Where I first went to was the Angelo Badalamenti Twin Peaks kind of thing: the twangy, echoey guitar and icy synths. This time around, I’m still sort of creating a library of sounds for them instead of more traditional scoring. I’m giving them a lot of cues and moods and tonal things. The music is different, but it’s sort of me just trying to go against the instinct of writing songs. My instinct is to have all these changes and these melodies, and I’m trying to reel that in and create a mood without necessarily a beginning, a middle, and an end.
He also says Islands have a big 2016 coming up, he plans to release this latest collection of Serial music, and he thinks Adnan Syed “probably” was the killer in season 1. Read the full conversation here.