How Tori Amos Became ‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2’s Musical Muse

No show on television has more or better needle drops than “Yellowjackets.” In the recently-concluded Season 2 alone, the Showtime drama featured a bevy of recognizable and iconic hits like Papa Roach’s “Last Resort,” Radiohead’s “Climbing Up the Walls,” and The Cranberries’ “Zombies.” Behind those choices is music supervisor Nora Felder, who selects and approves all of the alt rock and ’90s classics that soundtrack the Yellowjackets team’s descent into cannibalism.

“When I first spoke with the team I had told them it was really important for me, if possible, if I could get the scripts early on,” Felder said about her process during an interview with IndieWire Awards Editor, Crafts and Animation, Bill Desowitz at IndieWire’s Consider This event on June 3. “Whenever I have the stories and the characters in my head, it makes it a lot easier for me to start going through my music listening process … lyrics will all of a sudden jump out at me that can attach to the story when I know what the story’s about.”

Felder was one of three members of the “Yellowjackets” team to appear at the IndieWire Consider This event at NeueHouse Hollywood June 3. Felder was also joined by series star Christina Ricci and executive producer Karyn Kusuma at the brunch event to discuss the second season of the show, which premiered in March and wrapped after the ninth episode aired May 26. In a panel conversation with IndieWire editor in chief Dana Harris-Bridson, the three discussed the buzzy show’s Season 2 finale.

Season 2 contains two prominent needle drops of songs from singer-songwriter Tori Amos’ popular 1994 album “Under the Pink”: “Cornflake Girl,” which plays at the end of the season premiere, and “Bells for Her,” which plays at the end of the third episode. In her interview with Desowitz, Felder explained that she didn’t intend to choose multiple songs from Amos, but felt both fit the scenes they soundtracked perfectly: “Cornflake Girl,” with its lyrics about not fitting into a societal mold, plays when Shauna (Sophie Nelisse) eats the ear of her dead friend Jackie (Ella Purnell), while the spiritual “Bells for Her” plays during a significant moment for the cult leader Lottie (Simone Kessell).

“I remember the editor called me saying, ‘I’m presuming you want this to hit on the bite,’” Felder said about the ‘Cornflake Girl’ needle drop.

Watch the full interview with Felder above. For more stories from IndieWire’s Consider This event, learn more about our panel with Felder, Ricci, and Kusama, watch it, and see photos from it here.

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