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The Super Cool Musical Pedigree of Torrey Pines


It’s an animated film. It’s a live pop-rock band. It’s a queer, coming-of-age road trip like none other. It’s Torrey Pines.

When audiences visit Torrey Pines at the Emerson Paramount Center in February, they’ll experience the entire soundtrack and sound effects created live by a three piece band and a talented foley artist, but the history of this show starts over a decade ago, when creator Clyde Petersen wrote an autobiographical piece of music about his youth. “In 2007 I wrote a song with Kimya Dawson called ‘Torrey Pines.'” Petersen told JetSpace Magazine. “We took that song on tour for many years playing it for her crowd and people responded to it very strongly.”


When it came time for Petersen to produce his first full-length film, he chose to expand the song’s story into a stop-motion animation movie about growing up queer and confused with a schizophrenic mother. For that, he was going to need more songs– an entire soundtrack’s worth in fact. “The music was primarily written by Your Heart Breaks, my band. We took songs from our discography throughout the years and made instrumental versions where it seemed to suit the film.” For the creation of this music, Petersen rounded up an all-star team of some of Seattle’s best musicians. “[ex-Death Cab for Cutie member] Chris Walla produced the music and added some wonderful tracks to the film, along with the band Earth, Lori Goldston, and [Moldy Peaches co-founder] Kimya Dawson,” Petersen explained. “I specifically wanted Chris to make the soundtrack because his album Loops is very beautiful and in line with the intention of the animation in Torrey Pines.” To round it all out, Petersen also worked with The Beaconettes, a Seattle a capella group who wear illuminated beehive wigs while singing.

Before you dive into the Torrey Pines soundtrack, we’ve highlighted some of the other great music this dream-team have released on their own. Enjoy!

The Torrey Pines recording crew. Photo by Joseph P. Traina.


“Earth is an American musical group based in Olympia, Washington, formed in 1989 and led by the guitarist Dylan Carlson. Earth’s music is nearly all instrumental, and can be divided into two distinct stages. Their early work is characterized by distortion, droning, minimalism, and lengthy, repetitive song structures. The band’s later output reduces the distortion while incorporating elements of country, jazz rock, and folk. Earth is recognized as a pioneer of drone metal.” – Wikipedia

“The fountainheads of drone metal have been surprisingly versatile from the start.” – Pitchfork

In Torrey Pines, Earth plays the musical role of a teenage metal band.



Lori Goldston

“Classically trained and rigorously de-trained, possessor of a restless, semi-feral spirit, Lori Goldston is a cellist, composer, improvisor, producer, writer and teacher from Seattle. Her voice as a cellist, amplified or acoustic, is full, textured, committed and original. A relentless inquirer, she wanders recklessly across borders that separate genre, discipline, time and geography, performing in clubs, cafes, galleries, arenas, concert halls, sheds, ceremonies, barbecues, and stadiums. Current and former collaborators and/or bosses include Earth, Nirvana, David Byrne, Cat Power, Mirah, Secret Chiefs 3, and many more…” – Lori’s website

Lori is not only part of the official Torrey Pines recorded soundtrack, she’s also a member of the live touring band. Check her out performing cello with Nirvana during their legendary MTV Unplugged performance here:


Kimya Dawson

“Singer/songwriter Kimya Dawson is best known for her work with the anti-folk outfit the Moldy Peaches, but she also maintained a lo-fi solo career during the 2000s. She made her solo debut with 2002’s I’m Sorry That Sometimes I’m Mean, a collection of spare tunes performed mostly on the acoustic guitar, and continued releasing her own albums after the Moldy Peaches took a hiatus in 2004. Along the way, she contributed eight songs to the chart-topping Juno soundtrack, which brought her music to a wider audience, and made a foray into children’s music.” – All Music


Chris Walla

“Because [Death Cab for Cutie] had little money with which to record, Walla, who was a barista at Starbucks, cashed in his stock in the company to buy recording equipment. The album was the first to be issued by Seattle independent label Barsuk. It was during this time period that the band sold out a show at Seattle’s Crocdile Café, an instance Gibbard would later cite in interviews as the moment he knew the band was starting to take off.” – Rolling Stone


It’s an all-star group of musicians and a beautiful piece of art they’ve created. Do not miss Torrey Pines‘ brief run in Boston. FEB 14 – 17.




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