As I wrap up another season full of moving, sassy, romantic, and knee-slappingly funny music moments at TV Jukebox, I’ve been excited to single out some amazing tunes by new-to-me acts: Brooklyn’s sultry-spooky duo MS MR, soulful piano balladeer Sara Jackson-Holman, L.A. poppers Milo Greene, and singer-songwriter Adam Agin, to name a few. That said, I realized after taking stock of the nearly 300 songs I name-checked this past season that there were a few surprising omissions.
Perhaps these songs were too big or (more likely) expensive for their own good. Then again, that didn’t stop five shows from featuring Rihanna and Mikky Ekko’s “Stay” this spring, or another five series from spotlighting Adele’s couldn’t-get-any-bigger “Rolling in the Deep” during its 2011 heyday. So, music supervisors and Jukeboxers, I present my wishlist below.
Mumford & Sons
Nine of the 12 songs on the Brits’ 2009 breakout album Sigh No More were featured during the last few TV seasons. When Babel came out to huge numbers last September, I was positive at least a few of the tracks would make it to the small screen (not counting their Road to Red Rocks doc, of course). In particular, I imagined “Hopeless Wanderer” underscoring the sort of emo-action hybrid moment perfected by that The Vampire Diaries. Damon (or Klaus, if you prefer) gets angsty and goes on a tear to Marcus Mumford’s throaty growl? Missed opportunity!
Her piano swooner “River” gorgeously closed out The Game’s May 14 ep, but her bouncy “Next to Me” has gotten shockingly little love aside from a So You Think You Can Dance driveby. Sure, it was released last April), but it never bubbled up like it should have, and a prime placement (say, during a snappy Grey’s opener or a rom-com-style montage between Mindy and Casey on The Mindy Project) could have really broken the song. We’ve seen it happen before with basically Ellie Goulding’s entire career and, more specifically, Icona Pop’s “I Love It” – a track released in May 2012 that simmered for several months before it really hit (thanks in part to an excellent inclusion in Girls this past Jan. 27).
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Another older track that recently hit its stride: “Can’t Hold Us.” The Seattle twosome nailed their live performance at the MTV Movie Awards, and this jam would be a great underlay for any requisite party-gone-wrong scene on a procedural, or perhaps it’s just vintage-y enough to sneak into one of Scandal’s Pope & Associates gettin’-it-done sequences. In my wildest pipe dreams, though, the song would accompany a Phil Dunphy dance routine on Modern Family – the ceiling-bursting horns are practically built for that Dunphy cheer power.
The Swell Season
Sure, the band’s 2009 single “Low Rising” got placement on a November ep of How I Met Your Mother. But, after Once took the Tony last spring, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s older releases got a second wind that should have had more bearing on scripted TV (the Broadway rendition of “Leave” was an also-ran on last season’s So You Think You Can Dance). Music supervisors comb through bands’ back catalogs all the time, and the gnashing, wailing crescendo of 2007’s “When Your Mind’s Made Up” is still just as affecting as it was six years ago. Hansard guested on Parenthood last December. If Kristina’s health situation had played out with a little more grit, a reprise would have been in order.
Swedish House Mafia
The now defunct EDMers’ Grammy-nominated “Don’t You Worry Child” (particularly the juiced-up Tom Staar & Kryder Remix) seemed tailormade for a sweaty Arrow workout sequence when both entered the zeitgeist last fall. More recently, Olly Murs brought a little more gravitas with a piano cover that slowed down the tempo but kept the original’s pulsing emotion. That song would have been right at home on 90210’s series finale or, if used correctly, might have inspired one of the few bright spots in Glee’s mostly rudderless fourth season.
Of course, these are just a few starting points. Your turn, PopWatchers! What song would you have liked to hear on TV this past season?