A new Pete Townshend song, “It Must Be Done,” will premiere in the episode of the TV series The Americans that airs April 30th. Townshend wrote the song with Nathan Barr, who has composed music for movies and TV shows, including True Blood, Hostel and Cabin Fever and received Emmy nominations for his work on The Americans and Hemlock Grove.
“What I was struck by was that Nate composes on the cello, an instrument my partner and orchestrator Rachel [Fuller] uses, so I have listened to a lot of cello music and I have really fallen in love with it,” Townshend said in an interview about the song with Billboard. “We exchanged ideas [between England and Los Angeles] and I was immediately struck by this very evocative piece he had written, very plaintive. I added some guitar, then came up with some lyrics.”
Townshend said that his goal was to keep the song simple, in keeping with the show’s themes. “Here’s this couple whose whole life is about duty, duty without honor, duty without explanation,” he said. “There are no accolades. They’re not living a lie but doing things they find hard to do. Everybody has a part of their life that’s difficult to explain. For me it’s, ‘Why the fuck am I in the Who?'” (He did not comment further on that last question.)
In other Townshend news, rumors are swirling that the Who might be working on a new album. Frontman Roger Daltrey told the NME in January that, should Townshend want to make another Who record, he’s up for it. “Pete’s got hundreds of songs so the only question is whether we get around to it,” he said. “But he wants to make an album and I’m always ready and raring to go. We’ll see.”