Breezy single previews singer-songwriter's new album, due out in August.
Lucy Schwartz has a deep resumé in the world of film and television soundtracks -- the 23-year-old singer-pianist has written songs for "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1" and "Shrek Forever After," as well as "When We Were Young," the theme song for the long-running NBC series "Parenthood." And "Boomerang," her latest single that was used in the final episode of the new season of "Arrested Development," may finally be the one to introduce the veteran performer to a larger audience. The light likable pop track has sold 4,000 downloads to date according to Nielsen SoundScan, and previews the follow-up to her 2010 album "Life in Letters."
"I feel like it's a very unique and different challenge than just writing a song for yourself," Schwartz says of her film/TV contributions. "It’s sort of like you’re a part of the acting performance in just setting the mood. I like that challenge."
Schwartz's introduction to film music can attributed to her father, composer David Schwartz, who composed the music for television series including "Northern Exposure," "Deadwood" and "Arrested Development." The latter allowed the younger Schwartz to appear in multiple voice cameos on the show, including the James Bond-spoofing "Mr. F" and "For British Eyes Only" snippets from the show's third season.
"I think I was finishing my homework in high school and was getting ready for bed," Schwartz says about her impromptu "Arrested" invite. "[My father] was like, 'They needed a silly British woman’s voice,' and I love to speak in accents, so he called me."
After the show's nearly decade-long dormancy, Schwartz unexpectedly found herself a part of the its highly anticipated 2013 resurrection thanks to Mitch Hurwitz, the show's creator and a family friend. After Schwartz passed along her new record to Hurwitz as a gift, the creator became so infatuated with the bouncy "Boomerang" that he re-edited the season finale only two days before it was supposed to be finished, just so the song could be used.
"I guess [Hurwitz] was listening to it late at night as he was driving home from editing, and he suddenly was like, '"Boomerang" is the way it has to end. It has to end with that song,'" Schwartz says.
"Boomerang" doubles as the first single from Schwartz's next full-length album, "Timekeeper," due out on Aug. 27. The album stands alone from the rest of Schwartz's catalog by utilizing an eclectic range of sounds and instruments. And not surprisingly, many of the album's themes were inspired by a movie -- the 1991 Albert Brooks/Meryl Streep comedy "Defending Your Life," where the main character dies and has to defend his life in a trial where he either moves on to the afterlife or has to return to Earth and start over again.
"I sort of liked that idea of what happens after you die," explains Schwartz. "And that was what 'Timekeeper' was about. You reach heaven, and you look at your life and figure out if you need to give it one more go, or if you learned everything in that round."
Indeed, Schwartz stresses that she sees "Timekeeper" as a "visual" project. As a teaser for the album, Schwartz released a black-and-white, sci-fi themed trailer about an actual timekeeper who is listening to Schwartz's music through the horn of a futuristic phonograph.
The recording process was equally unique for Schwartz, who kept it in the family and co-produced the new album with her father, who works under the pseudonym d.Fly. Schwartz says it was a liberating experience to have so much creative control over the project and to have done it all with her father.
"I think we both bring different ideas to the table, but we’re open to listening to each other when we disagree," Schwartz says. "It was very freeing to be able to go forth with what I wanted to do."
Schwartz is currently planning a few projects that will be putting her behind the camera: expected to be out in August, the "Boomerang" music video, which she directed, is expected to bring big laughs with goofy canine cameos. Further down the road, Schwartz is writing a movie-musical that she won't give out too many details about -- but from what she did say, it will cross just as many genres as her music.