Writer’s Room: Sounds of Season Two

Series writer Kevin Deiboldt shares the soundtracks inspiring Copper’s second season.

Most folk have habits; rituals that ease different activities. For me, music is an important component of the writing process. I tend to use it as a tool to focus my thoughts and help set a specific emotional tone in my head. Digging into a new year of Copper has been no different. And so, just as I shared a playlist last season – in honor of our (then) impending premiere – I’ve put together a few tracks that have been fueling my current script. They’re not songs that would (or should) necessarily score the episode – but they all hit different emotional aspects found within.

“Attaboy” (The Goat Rodeo Sessions). I tend to listen to music sans lyrics when I first put words on the page. This was an album I listened to extensively last season, and a track that I often utilized to help put me in the right mindset. Coming back to Five Points after a short time away, it only made sense to dip back in to the (cess) pool with the same song.

“Tick Of The Clock” (Chromatics), “In Motion” (Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross), “A Poor Man’s Memory” (Explosions In The Sky). The episode I’ve been writing has a definite drive to it – and it was important to keep that engine going. I found myself leaning on songs that mirrored that quality. “Tick Of The Clock” was one I kept on repeat for hours at a time while I worked a complex – and tense – series of scenes. “In Motion” is from The Social Network soundtrack, which has an incredibly dark-yet-kinetic balance to it. I listened to that album constantly. Explosions In The Sky are my go-to artists when I’m working on a scene (especially emotional ones) for the first time. This particular track, “A Poor Man’s Memory,” helped immensely in building one of the climactic scenes of the episode.

“She Brings the Sunlight” (Richard Hawley). As I start to drill down and rework the script, I’ll listen to music with lyrics, depending on what notes (pun intended) I’m trying to hit. Richard Hawley’s latest album strikes a blend of beauty, darkness and edge (noticing a trend here?), which worked perfectly. (Fun fact: the song BBC America used in our trailer last year – “Leave Your Body Behind You” – is from this album.)

“Know Your Rights” (The Clash), “Roadrunner” (The Modern Lovers). Again, needed to keep the energy – and intensity – up throughout. These songs do it for me. Just need to ensure I keep up with them.

“Our Anniversary” (Bill Callahan), “Angeles” (Elliott Smith), “Black Moon” (Wilco). This episode has more than a handful of emotional, impassioned scenes. As I worked on them, I drew upon different artists. Callahan has a stark, stoic voice – which can lace even his loveliest songs with an ominous quality. Smith’s work is legendary; whispering tunes of pain and intimacy. “Black Moon” strikes a very specific tone in my mind – which worked well with a moment of quiet, exhausted, late-at-night reflection.

I’d love nothing more than to show you all the work that was buoyed by this music, but you’ll have to wait a few more months for that. See ya in 1865.

Listen to Copper: Season 2 Tunes by Kevin Deiboldt on Spotify.

Have questions or comments for Kevin? Leave them below! And for more of Kevin’s ‘Copper’ musings, check out his personal blog, Ithaca Mafia, and follow him on Twitter at @Kluv32.

  • Daren

    Hopefully we get to see Irish jake Rock a battle again!

  • Shaun

    Great music to write by…but speaking as a fan and NOT a critic, I hate the soundtrack to the show. Not the music selection itself, but the fact that it’s used so often during scenes of supposedly high emotion. Good writing and good acting makes that unecessary. It’s not much different from a laugh track. I cringe every time the music is cued, and feel as if I’m watching an episode of Miami Vice, circa 1985…it really mars an otherwise good show. Let the audience figure it out on their own, and let the writing and acting speak for itself!