It’s finally here folks. Season three of my favorite show currently running–Westworld–returns to HBO tonight, and I could not be more excited for the continuation of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s story about synthetic humans taking their place in the world.
If you know me or follow my Instagram stories closely enough, you know I am a huge fan of composer Ramin Djawadi. He’s probably most famous for his work on Game of Thrones, but I learned of his talent through this show. While his original work on Westworld displays great range of styles and a ability to blend traditional orchestral sounds with modern electronic accents, Djawadi has been particularly adept at incorporating covers of well known rock and hip hop songs into the fabric of the show.
From the introduction of “Paint it Black” as an anthem for multiple episodes, to my personal favorite “Heart-Shaped Box,” Djawadi has given us plenty of classical covers for us to enjoy from his soundtrack. A snippet of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” teased in the season three trailer proves covers will continued to be included in the show, so let’s speculate on what those gems could be over the show’s next eight episodes.
“Paranoid Android” by Radiohead
Djawadi leveraged Radiohead’s pivotal album OK Computer multiple times in season one of the show (“No Surprises,” “Motion Picture Soundtrack,” “Exit Music (For a Film),”) so I could easily see him coming back to this well again.
The piano cover above gives us a taste of how this song could build (skip to 4:20), but I also would like to hear some deep cello come in to emulate the distorted guitar riffs we hear in the original song. While the title might be a bit too on the nose, I don’t mind it as a thematic single of how some of our synthetic protagonists may feel out in the human world.
“Copy of a” by Nine Inch Nails
This may be a bit on the nose lyrically again, but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Plus, Djawadi covered NIN in season one (“Something I Can Never Have”), and NIN members Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross most recently finished working on HBO’s Watchmen soundtrack, so it seems like a match made in heaven.
While I could see a version of “The Hand That Feeds” being done as well, Diane Birch’s building cover driven by piano (above) fits perfectly into the Westworld ethos. When one of the top comments on the video says this should be in the next Westworld trailer, you know it’s what the people want.
“B.Y.O.B.” by System of a Down
I found the video below while looking for Nine Inch Nails covers, and holy shit is it a ride. Shout out to this group. The song might be a little too fast for standard Westworld fare, but a song LIKE this that brings a certain element of chaos to the table could be great for an action scene. I think we should expect more action scenes in this season, too.
“Holiday in Cambodia” by Dead Kennedys
The orchestral performance below needs a little more subtlety in order to fit in the Westworld soundscape, but I think the way the intro builds could bring similar tension like “B.Y.O.B.” could. Plus, the lyric, “Well, you’ll work harder/With a gun in your back/For a bowl of rice a day” seems fitting enough for the character of Caleb, played by Arron Paul.
Have any songs you’d like to see in Westworld? Reach out to me on Twitter, and I’ll be happy to chat about the show and follow you back!
PS – I’ll have to update the post if I get any of these right 🙂