‘Yellowjackets,’ ‘WeCrashed’ Music Supervisor Jen Malone on Landing the Right Tunes

·3-min read

Not only are audiences eating up HBO’s “Euphoria,” Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” and Paramount +’s “The Offer,” but viewers have also been turning to music streaming platforms to find the songs from the series. And music supervisor Jen Malone is fast becoming a household name as the mastermind behind the tunes. “We always want to cross our fingers and toes and make sure it clears,” she jokes as she refers to music clearance, which is integral to those moments. A show’s tunes often begins with the script. “Those songs are the ones we have to get the jump on immediately and get cleared and ready for the production,” says Malone. “The approach with a lot of shows is to bring us back to a certain time, and certain songs will always do that.” Here she breaks down some key music on her series.

Katy Perry’s “Roar” in “WeCrashed”

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“[Adam Neumann] would blast it at the office, so that was true. We were excited about the finale.

“Originally, it was just going to be an instrumental version, then it became a string quartet and then it was a full orchestra.”

Jungle’s “Happy Man” in “WeCrashed”

“Jungle is one of my favorite bands, and lyrically, the song worked well. We ended up using it for the main title. I think that was fun to have those connected. A lot of times we don’t use a licensed song for the main title, but for this, it was about playing around with a lot of different ideas. The band’s management is friendly with the Apple TV+ people. And it just worked out well.”

“Phantom of the Opera” Overture and “Mr. Mistoffelees” from “Cats” in “Yellowjackets”

“I’m not sure if the idea came from the showrunners or editorial, but they reached out and said they wanted to use a musical [and said] ‘Send us ideas.’ Getting a deep cut from ‘Cats’ was great. When you get some of these searches that are so fun, and you know how they’re going to play, makes the work such fun. When we saw it, it was a complete laugh-out loud moment.

“I liked [“Mr. Mistoffelees”] especially, playing it for older Misty because she’s also stuck in that in that period of what happened when she was so needed in the forest.”

Paloma Faith’s “Never Tear Us Apart” in “Yellowjackets”

“I wanted to use a female voice in this spot, because it just made sense. A male voice wouldn’t work to tell this montage and backstory of seeing where each girl came from. I tried a lot of different songs — some modern songs, some older songs. I found it by going down the rabbit hole. I love that song because it’s such a beautiful song on its own. To find a version with the female vocals was a gift, but it was tricky clearance. But we ended up getting it and it was a huge win for us.”

Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” in “The Offer”

“Getting Jimi Hendrix was such a win because we were looking at the end song and we tried a lot of different songs. I was texting with the editors asking, ‘What do you think?’ Then I called them and said, ‘I wanted to run this by you, but don’t tell anybody yet, but what do you think about Hendrix?’ They said, ‘You can get Hendrix?’ I had never tried. I was introduced to the estate and they were absolutely lovely, and we were able to make it happen.

“The show itself was like a big puzzle, and the Hendrix estate is very specific about where and how they want his music used, which I really respect from any artist. It was about working very closely with them. When we got it, I said, ‘All right, you can tell everyone.’ And with something as iconic as that, you don’t want to temp [music] with Jimi Hendrix.”

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