John Carpenter Drops Music Video to Promote Upcoming Lost Themes IV

Famed director John Carpenter provided a clear answer to many teasing tweets over the last week or so by dropping a new music video for My Name is Death, the first single from the upcoming album Lost Themes IV: Noir.

The Lost Themes series is called a soundtrack for the movies in your mind, and is composed and performed by Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies. The latest installment is an ode to Noir cinema.

Sacred Bones Records will release the new collection May 3, 2024, and the label says, “the scene-setting new single marks new territory for Carpenter and his cohorts, propelled by a driving post-punk bassline that is embellished by washes of atmospheric synth, pulsing drum machine, and, at the song’s climax, a smoldering guitar solo. Like the film genre they were influenced by, what makes the songs on Lost Themes IV ‘noirish’ is sometimes slippery and hard to define, and not merely reducible to a collection of tropes. The scores for the great American noir pictures were largely orchestral, while the Carpenters and Davies work off a sturdy synth-and-guitar backbone. The noir quality, then, is something you understand instinctively when you hear it.”

The accompanying music video was directed by Amber Navarro and stars Natalie Mering, Staz Lindes, and Misha Lindes. Multiple variations of the album will be available for sale. The first Lost Themes, released in 2015, was followed quickly by a followup in 2016 and Lost Themes III: Alive After Death in 2021.

“Noir is a uniquely American genre born in post-war cinema,” Carpenter says. “ We grew up loving Noir and were influenced by it for this new album. The video celebrates this style and our new song, My Name is Death.”

“Sandy (Carpenter’s wife and producer) had given John a book for Christmas, of pictures from noir films, all stills from that era,” Davies added. “I was looking through it, and I thought, ‘I like that imagery, and what those titles make me think of. What if we loosely based it around that? What if the titles were of some of John’s favorite noir films?’ Some of the music is heavy guitar riffs, which is not in old noir films. But somehow, it’s connected in an emotional way.”

“It’s been a decade since John Carpenter recorded the material that became the initial Lost Themes, his debut album of non-film music and the opening salvo in one of Hollywood’s great second acts,” concludes the press release from Sacred Bones Records. “Those vibrant, synth-driven songs, made in collaboration with his son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies, kickstarted a musical renaissance for the pioneering composer and director. In the years since, Carpenter, Carpenter, and Davies have released close to a dozen musical projects, including a growing library of studio albums and the scores for David Gordon Green’s trilogy of Halloween reboots. It helped that they grew up in a musical environment. Daniel’s dad is The Kinks’ Dave Davies, and he would pop by the L.A. studio – the same one the Lost Themes records are made in today – to jam, or to perform at wrap parties for John’s films. That innate free-flowing chemistry helps Lost Themes IV: Noir run like a well-oiled machine—the 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster from Kiss Me Deadly, perhaps, or the 1958 Plymouth Fury from John’s own Christine. It’s a chemistry that’s helped power one of the most productive stretches of John’s creative life, and Noir proves that it’s nowhere near done yielding brilliant results.”