Music plays a large part of the storytelling in Deadly Premonition, and similarly to Earthbound, its soundtrack wears its influences on its sleeve. Much of the inspiration for the songs seems to be Angelo Badalamenti, close collaborator and composer for many of David Lynch's works, but there are a few songs that reference other pieces as well, and quite a few that simply have no correlation (that I know of). Some of the soundtrack's eclectic-ness may be due to the fact that there were more than one composers on the dev team, whose creative processes seem to have been inspired by several sources; other tracks appear to be outright homages.
[DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE SOUNDTRACK HERE] Lovingly ripped by the_miker! Unfortunately when I made this page it was with a different version of the track, so some of the track names might need to be updated for accuracy.***MAJOR SPOILERS*** for both Twin Peaks and Deadly
What follows is simply an amateur analysis of some of DP's more memorable tunes (and even some that aren't), and an exploration of the role music plays in defining the narrative through mood and emotion. DP's music planner was Keiji Teranishi.
The Soothingly Haunting Main Theme
The most well-known piece from TP is Julee Cruise’s “Falling”, the instrumental version of which is used in the opening. By contrast the most recognizable tune from DP is the haunting melody “Life is Beautiful”, with its infamous kazoo section. Thematically though, “The Woods and the Goddess” is probably closer to “Falling”, both songs drawing you in with calm, ethereal tones while hinting at a darker underside yet to be revealed.
See also the Other Comparisons section for non-TP similarities to Woods and the Goddess.LAURA PALMER'S THEME = GREENVALE (INSTRUMENTAL)
Dark But Strangely Uplifting
Introspective and mysterious at first, then both get strangely uplifting at around the 1:30 mark. Considered the "second theme" of both works as they tend to play over crucial emotional moments, and thematically match the dual tone of both TP and DP's narratives as tales of personal redemption disguised as a murder mystery. As noted previously, somewhere in the middle, both songs swell into an emotional straining for hope and love before settling back into their original moody, pensive state.
THE BOOKHOUSE BOYS = UNDERGROUND
Theme Song for a Special Agent
Cool finger snapping rhythm with the horn section coming in fashionably late to the party. It is worth noting that Dance of the Dream Man is playing over Cooper's very first appearance as he heads towards Twin Peaks in his car, while FBI Special Agent is obviously named for our hero and plays any time he's driving a police cruiser. So consider these the personal "on the road" themes of our protagonists from the Bureau, with York's forceful, driving trumpets contrasting with Cooper's more tactful investigative approach.
Music to Solve Mysteries By
Lightly chilled, tingly backbeats with ominous portent. Darkly complex and layered, both evoking the sensation of strange happenings on a rainy night. The "time to solve this craaazy case!" theme.
ROCKIN' BACK INSIDE MY HEART = MISS STILETTO HEELS (Carol's song)
The Barroom Diva Song
Dreamy lounge pop with female vocals. Both sung in bars by women onstage at around the early-middle mark of the story, complete with red curtains, while the protagonists look on in quiet wonder. Incidentally, music planner Keiji Teranishi states that he considers Miss Stiletto Heels the second theme of the game.
AUDREY'S DANCE = THOMAS MACLAINE
You Can Dance If You Want To
The perfect anthem for two characters who like to break into slow, languorous dancing at the most inopportune moments. Audrey and Thomas, this one's for you.
SYCAMORE TREES = AMAZING GRACE
The Sweet-Sounding Melody from Out of Left Field
At first I thought there wasn't going to be a direct match for this one, but then I remembered the random black singer in the final episode of TP that doesn't seem to have anything to do with what's going on, except that his appearance somehow fits the bizarre nature of the scene. Like Amazing Grace in DP, it's totally unexpected, only happens once, and underscores a crucial moment right before the climax. It's the sweet-sounding melody that says, "Well done, hero. You've made it this far, but now you're really in for it..." And the craziness doesn't let up from there.
THE WORLD SPINS = AFTER THE RAIN
The Sad Song
Slow, dream-like and melancholy. They both have that sort of gray empty feeling you get after a long cry, which I think is how they're supposed to sound, and that's how they're placed in the stories.
The Unsettling Track
Starts off distorted, creepy, with some industrial noises thrown in for good measure. The song for when bad stuff starts to happen on a regular basis. Both of them involve high-pitched saxes, but DP brings them to the forefront and lets them go wild.
MOVING THROUGH TIME = YORK AND ZACH
This one is a bit of a cheat since Moving Through Time is technically from the Twin Peaks movie soundtrack, but it's still Badalamenti. Darkly introspective and mysterious, both pieces seem to reflect a spiritual transitional period. They also both kind of sound like the music from Zelda: Ocarina of Time that plays whenever something mystical is happening.
FRESHLY SQUEEZED = COMIC RELIEF
They don't really sound anything alike, but if there's a "wah-wah-waaah" moment imminent, count on one of these tracks to show up. Audrey's coming on to Agent Cooper? Cue the music! York makes inappropriate comment at dinner table? Cue the music! The Deadly Premonition composers even named their comic relief music after its own function. That's like naming your dog "Doggy".
COP BEAT = EMERGENCY
If there's such a thing as mild urgency, these tracks convey it.
BLUE FRANK = UNKNOWN SONG 4
"Evil is Kinky" Theme
Ominous yet somehow lighthearted at the same time, but still kind of creepy. I'm not sure if this track was ever used in the game, hence the lack of a proper title; but they certainly do sound like they belong together.
LOVE THEME FAREWELL = HESTHE1
Equal parts creepy, sad, and buried deep inside, a struggle for salvation. Given the subject of both pieces, Laura and George, respectively, I'd guess that only one of them made it back into the light... Another connection? Both were victims of child abuse.
HESTHE1 is a particularly interesting case because it's not really used anywhere else except when you're driving George's car. The other piece that shares George Woodman's name is pretty much the polar opposite of this song, but I'd like to think that it's a subtle clue that he's not completely damned.
A REAL INDICATION = ILUVMOV (Emily's theme)
"WTF Moment" Track
Nothing from TP quite beats Emily's wonky salsa tunes, but A Real Indication comes in during the TP movie precisely to confuse you. Similarly, Search For York... Well... My reaction was pretty similar, anyway.
??? = GEORGE WOODMAN
No direct analogue, not even close, not with its screaming guitar chords and heavy rock tones. But since this is the part of the game that is least like TP in every respect, I'll give it a pass. That goes for pretty much all of the combat/boss sections except Thomas.
But Wait! There's More!
Falling and Woods and the Goddess are probably closer in narrative function than in actual sound. As PureFox from the Giant Bomb forums discovered, The Woods and the Goddess also has heavy similarities to the song ELM from Cowboy Bebop. ELM in turn has a few things in common with Seal's Kiss from a Rose, so if you like any of these songs, you might as well check out the other three! Also note, the song titles all reference plants.
AMERICAN IDIOT by GREEN DAY = YZ1DRFL (racing mini-game theme)
One of the Greatest Gifts of the 20th Century
...is what York thinks of punk rock. Yes, even Green Day, it seems, as it plays constantly on a loop any time you take York's car out for a spin. For more arbitrary connections between punk rock and Deadly Premonition, check out York and Zach's Deadly Mix Tape.
SUPER MARIO BROS. OVERWORLD THEME = LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (aka the Whistle Song)
Always Save the Best for Last
As the most recognizable piece of music from the game's entire soundtrack, there isn't much to compare Life Is Beautiful to from Twin Peaks; honestly it sounds like DP is borrowing more from Koji Kondo than Angelo Badalamenti here. But does Mario have KAZOOS?
Also download this terrifying superimposition of the two tracks laid over top of each other and synched up using Ableton. Thanks to beetjeff!