Viewers of FX’s smash show "Atlanta" - currently in the midst of its critically acclaimed second season - last night were treated to a surprise in the form of a score by Thundercatand Flying Lotus. This season's fifth episode saw the frequent collaborators compose original music which featured throughout its runtime, intermingling with illustrious music supervision by Jen Malone and Fam Rothstein.
The show's musical themes and surrealist storytelling prove a natural fit for the pair, but their connection to the project stretches beyond the plot. Creator, writer and protagonist Donald Glover, who also has a recording career under the name Childish Gambino, is a longtime friend of Thundercat (AKA Stephen Bruner) and invited him to score an episode. Fittingly - just as leading characters Earn and Paper Boi never seem to leave each other out of the fun (or the trouble) - Thundercat then turned to close conspirator Flying Lotus to work on the project with him. (Atlanta’s director, Hiro Murai, also directed Flying Lotus's award-winning music video for "Never Catch Me" featuring Kendrick Lamar - tidily rounding up the crew's creative synergy.)
The score serves as the latest bright spot in a year full of blinders for Thundercat, a vanguard of the LA jazz scene who in early 2017 released his fourth and most celebrated album to date on Brainfeeder entitled Drunk. The record featured a cast of collaborators ranging from legendary crooners Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins to hip-hop heavyweights Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell Williams, and most recently was given the chopped n' screwed treatment by OG Ron C and DJ Candlestick of fabled Houston screw outfit The Chopstars.