Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch have been a team for decades now. In 1986, Lynch hired Badalamenti to be Isabella Rossellini’s vocal coach for Blue Velvet; instead, he ended up composing the score for the entire film. That was the start of a lifelong collaboration, with Badalamenti scoring every one of Lynch’s projects since with the notable exception of 2006’s Inland Empire. That collaboration is still ongoing; most recently, they worked together on 2017’s Twin Peaks: The Return. And somewhere along the line, they recorded an experimental jazz album together.
The Thought Gang project first began in 1991, between the second season of Twin Peaks’ original run and the follow-up prequel movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Preliminary versions of two tracks, “A Real Indication” and “The Black Dog Runs At Night,” made it onto the Fire Walk With Me Soundtrack, and Lynch and Badalamenti continued recording a Thought Gang album in fits and starts throughout 1992 and 1993. Although fragments and working versions of tracks were included in other projects like Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire, and the Twin Peaks revival, the album as a whole remained unreleased — until now.
This fall, Lynch and Badalamenti’s self-titled Thought Gang album is finally being released through Sacred Bones. “It’s sort of like jet-fueled jazz in a weird way … but it’s all based on stories,” says Lynch. “It’s Modern Music.” Much of the LP came together as guided improvisation featuring a number of session musicians. “I would tell them a bunch of stuff and then they would play that,” Lynch explains. “It was them catching the thing and painting a picture with their instruments and talent.” As bassist Reggie Hamilton recalls of the session for “Logic & Common Sense”: “He said imagine you’re a chicken with your head cut off running around with a thousand bennies shoved down your throat!”
The album itself will be out in November, and a video piece for the album created by Lynch will premiere at Lynch’s Festival Of Disruption in October. “It is a short video featuring my friends the ants, along with cheese, etc. and one and a half tracks tracks from the upcoming Thought Gang album,” says Lynch by way of explanation. Listen to first single “Woodcutters From Fiery Ships” and find the Thought Gang album details below.
01 “Stalin Revisited”
02 “Logic And Common Sense”
03 “One Dog Bark”
04 “Woodcutters From Fiery Ships”
05 “A Real Indication”
06 “Jack Paints It Red”
07 “A Meaningless Conversation”
08 “Frank 2000 Prelude”
09 “Multi-Tempo Wind Boogie”
10 “The Black Dog Runs At Night”
11 “Frank 2000″
12 “Summer Night Noise”
Thought Gang is out 11/2 on Sacred Bones Records. Pre-order it here.