Scandi-noir TV show themes compiled for ultimate serial killer dinner-themed party album

Moody music collection set to offer alternative to Christmas cheer

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The Independent Culture

The ominous musical themes from The Killing, The Bridge and Wallander, along with selections from other brooding crime series such as True Detective, Peaky Blinders and Breaking Bad will be compiled on a Christmas compilation album.

The perfect soundtrack to a dinner party, where one of the guests moonlights as a serial killer, the Fade To Black album, released this month, collects the atmospheric - if downbeat - music accompanying some of television drama’s most artfully staged scenes of murder and mutilation.

The crime novelist Ian Rankin has penned the sleevenotes for the collection, which features Massive Attack, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Mogwai and the Chamber Orchestra of London, “together on one album for the first time”.

The 23 tracks include music from the BBC2 dramas The Fall, in which Gillian Anderson’s detective hunts a serial killer, whodunnit police thriller Line of Duty and the award-winning murder-mystery drama Top of the Lake.

Fans of the haunting theme to Scandinavian thriller The Bridge can now enjoy "Hollow Talk" by Danish chart-toppers Choir Of Young Believers in full.

The Handsome Family, American purveyors or murder ballads for two decades have enjoyed a career resurgence after HBO chose their "Far From Any Road" song as the theme to its twisted True Detective series.

Mogwai’s soundtrack to eerie French supernatural drama The Returned is included alongside Massive Attack and Hope Sandoval’s "Paradise Circus", from the BBC1 crime series Luther.

Rankin believes that the selection demonstrates the integral role which music plays in the best crime dramas. “There are sounds here to spark the imagination, tunes filled with tension and intimations of horror, quickening the pulse or lulling the listener into a false sense of security. So sit back and let the darkness embrace you.”

Uplift is provided on the by "Halfdan E", the main theme from Danish political drama Borgen and the Blind Boys Of Alabama’s "Way Down In The Hole", which introduces the first series of The Wire.

Falling, Julee Cruise’s ethereal song from Twin Peaks, is included as a nod to the surreal 90s series which inspired the offbeat, narrative twists of many of contemporary drama’s most acclaimed shows.

Fade To Black is released on 27 October.

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