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The Music of ‘TURN’ Season 1: Jake Bugg, Joy Williams & The National’s Matt Berninger

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TURN's Heather Lind as Anna Strong and Jamie Bell as Abe Woodhull (Antony Platt/AMC)

TURN’s Heather Lind as Anna Strong and Jamie Bell as Abe Woodhull (Antony Platt/AMC)

By Brian Ives 

AMC’s Turn is a new drama set during the Revolutionary War that tells the story of America’s first spy ring. An exciting premise, but not one that seems to call for a whole lot of music. Particularly not from modern indie rock bands. But the show, which sticks with the music of the era, will be using some of today’s most blog-worthy artists to reinterpret songs from the 1700s. We’ll be speaking with the show’s music supervisor, Thomas Golubic from SuperMusicVision, who also works on the Walking Dead, all season long about the modern twist he’s putting on centuries-old music.

Jake Bugg is only barely drinking age in the U.S., but his sound has been noted for its sense of history. Jimi Hendrix, Nick Drake and the Beatles are just some of Bugg’s influences, as well as the somewhat more modern Oasis. But on the premiere of Turn, he goes back considerably further than that, with his rendition of “Turpin Hero,” produced by Tony Berg, who has worked with Aimee Mann, Michael Penn and X. Bugg’s backing band not only includes Berg on the drums, but guitarist Matt Sweeney, formerly of Chavez and Billy Corgan’s short lived Zwan, violinist/cellist Gabe Witcher of the Punch Brothers and bassist Daniel Rhine from Sara Bareilles‘ band.

Related: Interview: The National’s Matt Berninger on Closeted Indie Rock Deadheads

The show’s original theme song, “Hush,” also got some indie love from the likes of  The National’s Matt Berninger and Joy Williams of the Civil Wars with producer Charlie Peacock (Civil Wars, Lone Bellow).

So how did these two artists ends up coming together? Golubic told Radio.com that the show’s executive producer Barry Josephson had originally reached out to Williams about creating the theme, but they quickly realized it needed a little something extra.

“When listening to her demo we realized the main title theme needed a male counterpart, and when Matt Berninger of The National was available for a recording session with Joy we put the two of them together in Tony Berg’s Zeitgeist Studios,” Golubic said. “We think the results are magic.”

TURN airs every Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.

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