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TV music that rocks

Love the songs you hear on your favorite shows? TV’s top music supervisors reveal the new acts they’re excited to feature this season

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Season Kent (Revenge)

”We used two songs from Angus & Julia Stone in the pilot: ‘Hold On’ for when Emily’s on the beach, and ‘For You’ during the big montage at the end. We wanted dark and haunting and emotional, and Julia’s voice hit all those things. We put the piano-driven ‘Avenue,’ by German singer Agnes Obel, in the second episode during a takedown montage. We’ve also used the Fruit Bats‘ ‘You’re Too Weird’ and Sun Kil Moon‘s ‘Blue Orchids,’ and at the bar, the Stowaway, we used this indie electro-pop artist Little Majorette in a big party scene. There’s a Hamptons vibe to the show, and their ‘Undercover’ has an upscale, sophisticated sound you can imagine being played at those parties.”

Alexandra Patsavas (Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie)

Benjamin Francis Leftwich is an English singer-songwriter, and his song ‘Box of Stones’ appeared in the first episode of the Grey’s season [when Meredith kidnaps a child she wants to adopt]. It’s indie rock, but you can still hear the classics in there. For Hart of Dixie, we’re focusing on country music. Much like The O.C. had the Bait Shop, Dixie has a venue called the Rammer Jammer, where we’re showcasing on-camera talent. Our first band was the JaneDear Girls, who have a great look and a beautiful country sound.”

Christopher Mollere (The Vampire Diaries)

”In the premiere, we used ‘Drop in the Ocean’ by an excellent singer-songwriter, Ron Pope, and it jumped into the top 100 on iTunes. Then there’s Mona, who have a Kings of Leon-type edge to them. I really dig their song ‘Shooting the Moon.’ And a band from Austin called Ume, who are heavier indie rock, with female vocals; we put their ‘Run Wild’ in the September 29 episode.”

Gary Calamar (Dexter, House, True Blood, Death Valley)

”I’m loving Gotye‘s beautiful, soulful art-pop. ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ is a standout, very pretty and minimalist. And I like Napoleon‘s ‘1973, 1975…,’ this great mix of bleeps and beats with supercool spoken-word samples. On Dexter there’s a high school reunion, and we used MC Hammer’s ‘U Can’t Touch This.’ It gives you an insight into what Dexter and his classmates were into back in high school in 1991. No Hammer pants! But it’s a really fun episode.”

Liza Richardson (The Secret Circle)

”I used the Naked and Famous‘ ‘Young Blood’ in the pilot, which has kind of become a hit — Cassie’s listening to it when she’s in the car. The show has its own musical voice; it’s dark, twisted, spooky, mysterious. And there’s plenty of that stuff around that really knocks me out, like the Drums, who remind me of the Smiths and Joy Division, but a little more fun. Jonathan Wilson has this great ’70s canyon-rock vibe that I’m really into. Class Actress is really seductive and retro synth-wave. And Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are these teen siblings whose ‘Tomorrow’ is a supercatchy ska jam that always gets stuck in my head.”

Thomas Golubi? (Breaking BAD, The Walking Dead)

”I’m a fan of Alex Ebert‘s work as Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and the Ennio Morricone feel to ‘Truth’ really grabbed me for Breaking Bad‘s season premiere. We also put this surf-rock band the Oh Sees‘ ‘Tidal Wave’ in a scene at a Mexican hacienda where [meth kingpin] Don Eladio lives; we figured these are guys who are looking for what’s cool, and it has a swagger to it. And I chose this German electronic artist Apparat — I can’t tell you which song! — for the finale; it added real melancholy to a scene that was otherwise very macho. I’m also using the Taalbi Brothers‘ ‘Freestyle’; they’re 13- and 15-year-old musical-prodigy brothers from Wisconsin who play a mean Spanish guitar.”

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