'Shameless' Racks Up 750 Synchs (35 in One Episode) on Its Way to a New Soundtrack Release

As "Shameless" characters change, so, too, does the music.

Airborne Toxic Event, Exitmusic and Wavves were among the nearly two dozen artists used in the April 6 season four finale of “Shameless,” the Showtime series that has become a substantial home for independent recording artists.
Having licensed more than 750 songs for the series -- and including as many as 35 songs in a single episode -- music supervisor Ann Kline says 80 percent of the music used is from independent bands and independent labels. “It’s not our mission,” she says of the preponderance of music from the indie rock world. “Some of the best uses come when you have to say no to a song (because it’s too expensive) and have to go searching.”
Fourteen songs from those searches are included in the first “Shameless” soundtrack, which Varèse Sarabande Records will release on April 15. Only one song from season four, “Written Down” by David E. Sugar, is included; the rest are from the first three seasons.
In selecting the songs for the soundtrack, which Kline said was “a very difficult task,” she leaned toward “quirky and darker things” to show the range of music used in the series that, in its earliest episodes, was almost all frantic rock rooted in punk. Bands that have been used numerous times in the series also made the cut, among them JBM, Wild Yaks and Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band.
This season, which wrapped with a record audience of 2.83 million viewers for the night, according to Nielsen, saw numerous changes for the characters, many of which were reflected in the music. Overall, Kline says, cues were much longer and the pacing of the music slower.

“I would have never thought we would be using tracks with electronic instrumentation, but I can see a new future evolve with them, says Kline, singling out “Temptress” by Platium as a “weirdly dark and sexy” song used to enhance Emmy Rossum’s character Fiona Gallagher.
Key to the finale were Airborne Toxic Event’s “The Fifth Day,” which played under the return home of Fiona, and Exitmusic’s “The Cold,” which played for nearly three minutes as Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) declared himself victorious over death on the shore of Lake Michigan.
“The characters are so much more grown up,” says Kline. “The story lines had been so Frank driven -- it was always wild Frank moments or the wake of a disaster – but this season was big for Fiona. The giant use at the end [of Exitmusic] plays to show how deep his demons are and how sad he really is. With Fiona there is a light of hope.”
1. “The Luck You Got”  - The High Strung (Main Title)
2. “Survive” - The Moog
3. “Loved You All Along” - La Strada
4. “Black Cloud” - Choo Choo La Rouge
5. “Wait For The Man” - Fidlar
6. “Something For Nothing” - Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
7. “Tomahawk” - Wild Yaks
8. “Who's That Dude - Part One” - Capital City
9. “Years” - JBM
10. “Hangman” - Chris Pureka
11. “The Usual Chords” - Slow Runner
12. “Three Days On End” - Blood Relative
13. “Keep It Coming” - Letters
14. “Written Down” - David E. Sugar