Likely the most influential and beloved television soundtrack of all time, Angelo Badalamenti's dark jazz mood piece for Twin Peaks moves with a distinctly slow, sinister, sensual elegance. It was the second collaboration between the composer and director David Lynch, following 1986's landmark Blue Velvet. At an initial meeting, Lynch, who didn't yet have a script, described the feel of the show: a girl alone in the woods while the sycamore trees sway in the wind. With Lynch in his ear demanding it be slower, Badalamenti improvised the haunting, iconic "Laura Palmer's Theme."
The rest of the Twin Peaks score moves in similar shadows, stalking between noir moods and romantic swoon, cool jazz and warm dream pop. It's a musical universe befitting Twin Peaks, Washington itself: slow-motion tempos, velvety synths, gently brushed drums, vibraphones, twangy guitar, simple melodies, dissonance, and a liberal coating of reverb. In three tracks—"The Nightingale," "Into the Night," and "Falling"—you can also hear the croon of Julee Cruise, who set the red-curtained stage for generations of drifting, melancholy vocals, including those of Lana Del Rey, Beach House, Chromatics, and Sky Ferreira. Badalamenti's uncanny world and evocative textures would have wide-ranging impact, in indie gloom bands like Cigarettes After Sex, "doom jazz" bands like Bohren & Der Club of Gore, and the austere film soundtracks of Cliff Martinez.