Happy Hour at the White Lotus
The second season of the White Lotus exploded into pop culture last fall. Jennifer Coolidge’s clumsy boating antics as flighty heiress Tanya McQuoid became an internet meme.
The series follows the guests and staff of a luxury hotel chain, where their psychosocial dysfunctions are exacerbated by the idyllic setting.
Sofi Tukker’s Coachella Performance
As the bumping beats of The Chemical Brothers fade out on the Outdoor Theatre stage, a sizeable crowd moves towards tonight’s headliner. As they move on, they pass by a series of giant art sculptures — oversized purple flowers, a few robots, and more — snapping selfies and pics for their Instagram feeds.
Backstage, Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern chat with us about their first headlining set at Coachella and building their Freak Fam community. They also share their favorite moments from their electrifying set and a fun new addition to their live show.
From ‘Gibson Girl’ to the final song of ‘Hearts Aglow’, Weyes Blood’s set is a joyous celebration. Fans down the front wave mini pride flags and cheer on the singer with gusto, while those further back get included in the singalongs.
The White Lotus’s “Renaissance” Theme
After a successful first season last year, the new iteration of HBO’s The White Lotus returns this week, with the resort setting moving from Hawaii to Sicily. The series is again helmed by creator Mike White, and stars Jennifer Coolidge as a rich woman who finds herself in the middle of a pandemic crisis that turns her life upside down.
The original theme, titled “Renaissance,” is written by Chilean-Canadian composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer. It begins with a placid piano melody and mysterious vocals that sound like yodelers in the throes of an acid trip, before building into a hypnotic orchestral dance song that sounds more like an opera than a typical EDM track.
The track has garnered a lot of attention for itself, having been remixed by the likes of Tiesto and Dominic Fike, and featured at shows such as Coachella. It’s also become a staple at pop-culture gatherings, such as the recent SXSW.
The White Lotus’s “Aloha!” Theme
When TikToker Taylor Owen posted a reaction video to the new theme song for the second season of The White Lotus, it garnered 450 thousand views. The song begins with the tranquil plucking of a harp, and then reaches into grand melodic vocals. But then the beat goes from a smooth tempo to a frenetic pace that would be perfect for a nightclub.
Like its first season, the show focuses on people whose psyches are thrown off by their surroundings. Whether they are in Maui or Sicily, their lack of humane peripheral vision leads them to behave badly. Mike White’s characters are a reminder of the costs of malign inattention, and their obliviousness makes them pathetic.
Unlike most pop culture stories of class satire, The White Lotus’s story is about who has to care how other people feel, and how that distinction often comes down to money. Belinda is a key character in this regard, and she plays the role of a Black woman with a particular sense of humor about wealth and privilege.
The White Lotus’s “Aloha” Music Video
The White Lotus is a funny, smart show, but it’s sometimes unclear what it’s trying to say. Its upstairs-downstairs story flicks at exploitation and colonization but never fully engages with it. Its Hawaiian music soundtracks the spiritual epiphanies of entitled tourists, and it portrays the native Kanaka Maoli as hollow plot devices.
That’s why it’s so gratifying that DJ Tiesto has released a remix of the series’s haunting theme song, a chameleonic blend of wooden flutes and operatic vocals that won Chilean composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer an Emmy for season one’s “Aloha!” and season two’s “Renaissance.”
The new version puts the track squarely in dancefloor territory, featuring pulsating bass and a climactic drop. Listen below.