PJ Harvey and composer Tim Phillips have shared the series soundtrack to Apple TV+’s Bad Sisters. Stream it below via Apple Music and Spotify.
Bad Sisters was co-devoloped by Sharon Horgan and stars Horgan, Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, and Eve Hewson. It follows a group of sisters as they grieve a family members death while hoping to dodge investigators from a life insurance company.
The 13-track OST features 11 original songs and two covers: Leonard Cohen’s “Who by Fire,” which serves as the theme song, and the traditional American folk song “Run On,” which has at times been recorded as “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.”
The rest of the tunes were composed in a rather original way. Phillips, who has also scored for Entourage and Shameless, wrote in a statement, “Bad Sisters needed to have its roots in an earthy, feminine place and also to show heart, humor, mystery and suspense. We decided that central to this should be the use of PJ’s vocals, so we devised a novel method of working: We created a vast sample library of her singing all sorts of different things such as howls, whoops, cackles, whispers, scales of notes, quarter tone note bends, vocal slides between notes, and specially assembled melodic lines of public domain Irish poetry. We built it into a massive sample instrument so her voice would be available on demand for the scoring of the production It was then put through a variety of sonic treatments to turn her voice into a very flexible sonic texture, sometimes heard singing words, sometimes as an instrument in the ensemble.”
Harvey, whose first name is Polly, said they called this library of sounds “The Pollytron.” She said, “I loved working with Tim, who was well prepared and knew exactly what he needed from me in order to create the sound he was hearing in his head. My job was to get it all done and spent a full day providing him with all manner of curious and other-worldly vocal expressions. I thoroughly enjoyed it and had a full vocal workout. I think it is magical how Tim has used our created instrument, affectionately known as ‘The Pollytron,’ in order to access the perfect emotional soundscape for this unique series.”
Harvey will release a career-spanning box set, B-Sides, Demos & Rarities, on November 4th.