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Soundtrack Review

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Songs of Defiance
Season 2


Songs by: Brendan McCreary
Performed by: Young Beautiful in a Hurry, Raya Yarbrough Laurence O’Keefe feat. William Atherton, and Trace Adkins
Label: Lakeshore Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 19 June 2015

Lakeshore Records release Brendan McCreary's album of songs for Defiance's second season. In the year 2047, it’s a new Earth - with new rules. Over thirty years after various alien races arrived on Earth, the landscape is completely altered, terraformed nearly beyond recognition. The town of Defiance, on what used to be St. Louis, stands as a living example of what happens when humans and aliens live harmoniously (and often, not-so-harmoniously) together...

Brendan McCreary delivers an impressive diversity of styles for the songs for Defiance's second season. The album contains 22 tracks (1 hr, 15 min, 22 sec) and fans of the show are really getting their money's worth. There's everything here from old crooner-esque songs; '90s tracks reworked with alien translations and the odd instrumental track.

Highlights included 'Monsters at the Ball', which was written but wasn't used in the show. It reminded me of Queen's 'I'm Going Slightly Mad'; 'Teach This Boy To Fly'; and 'No More Heroes'. There are English and Vortan mixes for a handful of songs, which is also interesting.

Track listing (With notes by Brendan McCreary)

01 - 'What’s Up (Votan Mix)' - Brendan McCreary feat. Fyfe Monroe
Getting to revisit some of these smash hits from the '90s was an absolute joy and a challenge. The prevailing idea is certain tunes have survived through the decades, through an all out apocalypse and have since been interpreted by the popular artists of the time. In many cases I was informed by Bear’s score to include some of the more synth and dub influences from the score. The goal is to integrate the visual and musical elements of the show into a whole culture with its own musical vernacular.

02 - 'Doll Parts' - Brendan McCreary feat. Fyfe Monroe
'Doll Parts' was an important song in the story arc of episode 211. It functioned as both pop song and score in the final montage of the episode. I decided to take the melancholy of the original and use that as the core of the vibe for the cover. Fyfe Monroe (who also sang 'What’s Up') provides an incredibly intimate vocal for this tune.

03 - 'One Soldier, One Axe, One Grave' - Brendan McCreary feat. Ayana Haviv
Undoubtedly my favourite track off the record, and also paired against one of the best scenes of season 2. The name of the song (which is sung in Castithan) is from a titular Castithan religious text, which is fitting given the scene’s subject matter. I’m very happy to have the complete version of the song, represented here in its entirety, as we had to shorten it to fit it to picture. Ayana Haviv provides the haunting and beautiful vocal.

04 - 'Lonely Light' - Brendan McCreary feat. Olivia Pucci
Another one of my favourites. Kevin Murphy gave me the lyrics and said he wanted it to sound like future Castithan Roxy Music on drugs. I was ecstatic! Even better that the scene takes place in a sort of Votan cosplay/trans-species club where regular humans pretend to be Castithans for an evening. Olivia Pucci sings and Chris Bleth provides the fantastic sax solo.

05 - 'Eaten Alive' - Young Beautiful In a Hurry
Poor Amanda is having a hard time at the beginning of the season, and finds herself addicted to “adreno” a crystal meth type drug popular in Defiance. When a patron in the Need Want gets a little fresh Amanda goes berserk and starts throwing fists. 'Eaten Alive' was a fresh track I had written for my band that seemed to fit all too well for the scene, with its spacey hallucinatory verses and pumped up choruses. 

06 - 'Tell Me Tell Me Tell Me' - Brendan McCreary feat. Olivia Pucci
This tune also takes place in the trans-species club and I took great pleasure in creating the lyrics which I think accurately represent the fetish nature of the club. The “future trap” style of the tune is also super groovy. Olivia Pucci sings this tune with her usual sexy bravado.

07 - 'No More Heroes' - Brendan McCreary
This is one of two instrumental tracks that made it on the record. Something about its spooky and mantratic nature makes it a special piece for me on the record. Lots of folks have told me it’s their favourite piece.

08 - 'Advice From a Casti Dowager' - Brendan McCreary
Another collaboration with lyricist (and the show's creator) Kevin Murphy. The goal here was to create a liturgical style of music that Castithans might listen to during a prayer or religious ceremony. The lyrics here detail how important it is for Casti women to be subjugate to their men and essentially know their place in Castithan society. Quite the counterpoint to what’s actually happening on screen.

09 - 'Teach This Boy To Fly' - Laurence O’Keefe feat. William Atherton
This song was written by Larry O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy and features a fantastic vocal performance from none other then William Atherton who plays Viceroy Mercado. This is also his great musical declaration of Castithan superiority to humans, as he is a frequent visitor to the trans-Casti club.

10 - 'Dead Girl Walking' - Brendan McCreary feat. Ayana Haviv
I adapted this piece from Kevin and Larry’s fantastic broadway hit, Heathers: The Musical. After David Peterson translated the lyrics, the amazingly talented Ayana Haviv showed up to the studio and knocked it out of the park. Easily the hardest translation and vocal performance on the record. Probably the biggest production piece as well. 

11 - 'Tarr Tracks' - Brendan McCreary
Young Alak has it in his head to quit the family business and start a record label. Kevin thought it would be fun if he was into super lo-fi psychedelic future-'60s rock. And thus the 'Tarr Trax' suite was born.

12 - 'All The Love That I Got' - Brendan McCreary feat. Zach Jones
Any chance that I get to write an old school R&B tune I will. Zach Jones sings this with incredible authenticity and Sam “Sluggo” Phipps (of Oingo Boingo fame) lays down the sax. This was the most fun I’ve had writing a song EVER. Big kudos to Bryan Taylor on drums as well. Such a great track.

13 - 'Baby It’s True (I Love You) (Votan Mix)' - Brendan McCreary feat. Raya Yarbrough
This is just a tender and simple love song that I duet with the amazingly talented Raya Yarbrough (who you can also hear all over the season 1 record). I have always loved samba so this was great fun.

14 - 'Datak Love Shack' - Brendan McCreary
Another Kevin Murphy/Brendan McCreary collaboration, I got to flex my Tom Waits muscles on this tune. This tune is paired with a fantastic scene between Stahma and Datak and the lyrics detail in no uncertain terms on the subject of Datak’s virility.

15 - 'It Happened To Me' - Brendan McCreary feat. Ayana Haviv
I’m particularly fond of this song. Lots of mood, atmosphere, and odd time signatures, all wrapped up into a power ballad package. The guitar solo rules too. 

16 - 'Just Another Night With You' - Brendan McCreary
The idea behind this tune, is what would old timer Castithan gangsters like to listen to? The answer is obviously a Deano or Frank-esque style piano jazz!

17 - 'Talking In Whispers' - Brendan McCreary feat. Olivia Pucci
This was the first song in the first episode of season 2. It’s unobtrusively playing in the background at the Need Want when we first see Amanda and Pottinger potentially flirting. I wanted to make this an example of what bands in Defiance might be up to in 2047. The lyrics also telegraph Amanda and Pottinger’s eventual… relationship.

18 - 'Monsters At The Ball' - Young Beautiful In a Hurry
This was the first tune I wrote for season 2 after 'Lonely Light' but it never quite found a home in the show itself. I loved the production and the hooks in this tune so much though, I still wanted to share it with the world. I feel the lyrics are representative of just how reprehensible some of the characters become throughout the course of the season.

19 - 'Just Another Night With You (English Mix)' - Brendan McCreary
20 - 'Baby It’s True (I Love You) (English Mix)' - Brendan McCreary feat. Raya Yarbrough
21 - 'What’s Up (English Mix)' - Brendan McCreary feat. Fyfe Monroe
22 - 'Across The Storm Divide' - Trace Adkins


Darren Rea

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