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Songs in the Key of Dread: Lost Themes, by John Carpenter

The legendary filmmaker returns to the pop culture scene with a refreshingly retro, movie-less soundtrack.


In a move that would make Snake Plissken proud, legendary filmmaker John Carpenter (Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13) has unleashed a new album.

It’s called Lost Themes – and it’s full of the rugged and eerie instrumentals we’ve come to expect from the jack of all trades writer, director, and composer.

From Brooklyn indie label Sacred Bones, which has released music from fellow auteur David Lynch, the album features refreshingly retro-sounding material without the big-screen component. Although, according to Carpenter, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Lost Themes was all about having fun,” he said. “It can be both great and bad to score over images, which is what I’m used to. Here there were no pressures. No actors asking me what they’re supposed to do. No crew waiting. No cutting room to go to. No release pending. It’s just fun.”

It’s clear that Carpenter – who last released the forgettable film The Ward in 2010 – has some weight off his shoulders.

Plus, the music remains very cinematic in its own right. As drums and synths swirl hypnotically in and out of range, it’s easy to picture a hodgepodge of Carpenter serial slashers and tongue-in-cheek urban action heroes along for the ride. Even better: It makes great background music while reading, say, creepy true crime stories.

Welcome back, John. We were lost without you.

Download the album on Amazon, iTunes, and Sacred Bones Records.

Photo: Courtesy of Scared Bones Records