Westworld Season 2 Music Guide

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Westworld Season 2 Music Guide

For as silly as it is, the music of Westworld—complete with old-timey saloon covers of Radiohead—was a perfectly fitting as a soundtrack to the show’s first season. This was a theme park for sleazy people to get sick kicks in an R-rated DisneyLand jazzed-up with a cheap Western veneer. These obvious Top 40s tracks given the lazy cowboy treatment serve as a perfect reminder that this exists in a real world, where recordings of Soundgarden and Rolling Stones occupy the same universe as robots who think they’re human and do sex things. It’s so bad and so perfect.

As Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy told me during Season One:

I think that we did want to gently remind the audience that this was possible, that this is not a real western, that this is a synthetic western. The point of view of the show is largely limited to what the hosts understand about their world. And they don’t understand much; they don’t know what that outside world is, they don’t know when that outside world is. They’re coming to discover that. But their world has been sort of fabricated and filled with cultural references. Their dialogue features allusions and homage. That music in the saloon. And on a creative level, we just loved the idea of being able to take advantage of popular music but recast it as something that you’d feature in the Old West. And we love the player piano as the symbol for the hosts themselves, but as a symbol for the kind of collision of the Old West and the modern world.

And by every indication, that’ll continue to be the case in Westworld’s second season. During the Super Bowl, the first trailer for Season Two featured a haunting piano version of Kanye West’s “Runaway.” There are few things on TV as ridiculous as humming along with West’s lyrics—”Here’s a toast to the douchebags”—while a robot Evan Rachel Wood rides a horse and fires an 17th century rifle.

It won’t stop there, either. Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson reports that sources told her that there’s Western versions of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” and other modern songs on the Season Two soundtrack.

Listen to the Westworld-ized “Runaway” below, and we’ll continue to update this post throughout Season Two, as more new tracks come up in the show.

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