STREAM/BUY LOST THEMES III: ALIVE AFTER DEATH
Renowned composer and director John Carpenter has just released his first album of non-soundtrack music in nearly five years, Lost Themes III: Alive After Death, on Sacred Bones. John famously called the first Lost Themes album “a soundtrack for the movies in your mind.” On Alive After Death those movies are even more vivid, with song titles among his most evocative as well. “Weeping Ghost” thrillingly conjures its title figure in a wash of synthesizer, making the listener’s neck hairs stand on end as the aural specter stalks the halls of a dilapidated mansion. The pulsing “The Dead Walk” makes the zombie apocalypse feel like a rave. The gloomy, atmospheric closing track “Carpathian Darkness” casts shadow on the album with its strikingly effective minimal piano and splashes of twinkling synth. Each of the ten songs is a universe unto itself. In the run up to the album John has had the opportunity to expound upon his unique approach to music and art in interviews with GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, SPIN, The Daily Beast, Forbes, and more.
Underpinning Carpenter’s renaissance as a musician has been his collaboration with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. They’ve composed and performed as a trio since the first Lost Themes album in 2015: on studio albums, on soundtracks, and onstage. Here, the trio reaches a new level of creative mind meld. Richly rendered worlds are built in the interplay between Davies’s guitar and the dueling synthesizers played by the Carpenters. “We begin with a theme, a bass line, a pad, something that sounds good and will lead us to the next layer,” John says of the trio’s process. “We then just keep adding on from there. We understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, how to communicate without words, and the process is easier now than it was in the beginning. We’ve matured.”
Much has changed in the trio’s musical life since 2016’s Lost Themes II. Following the release of that album, the group went on their first-ever concert tour, performing material from the Lost Themes albums, as well as music from Carpenter’s classic film scores. They re-recorded many of those classic movie themes for 2017’s Anthology album. The following year, John was asked to executive produce and compose the music for the new Halloween movie directed by David Gordon Green, which promptly became the highest-grossing installment in the series. Whereas the original Lost Themes album came as a pleasant surprise after years of relative silence from Carpenter, the third installment sees him in the midst of a resurgent moment as a cultural force. The 2018 Halloween score gave his music its biggest audience in decades, and the world he releases his new album into is one that has, at long last, given him the credit he deserves as a founding father of modern electronic music.
LOST THEMES III: ALIVE AFTER DEATH TRACK LIST
1. Alive After Death
2. Weeping Ghost
3. Dripping Blood
4. Dead Eyes
5. Vampire’s Touch
8. Turning the Bones
9. The Dead Walk
10. Carpathian Darkness
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