The Turning is a contemporary update of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, about two kids in an old mansion that seems to grow haunted upon the arrival of a woman named, Kate. Director Floria Sigismondi chose to recast the story in the Nineties and pair the film with an era-appropriate soundtrack. While the film will feature music from some Nineties stars (Courtney Love and Kim Gordon among them), most of it comprises present-day artists like Mitski crafting Nineties-inspired tunes.
On “Cop Car,” Mitski embraces the vintage soft-loud dynamics of the grunge era, building to a heavy barrage of guitar chords that teeter between melodic and discordant. “I am cruel, I am gentle, I can make you laugh,” she sings, “I’ve loved many boys, I’ve loved many girls/I don’t think about the past it’s always there anyway.”
In a statement, The Turning‘s soundtrack producer, Lawrence Rothman, said of Mitski’s contribution: “There is a pinnacle scene where Kate’s mind starts to unravel while in her car and we needed a cinematic but grunge influenced song shadowing the scene. I reached out to Mitski to see if she wanted to get involved as Floria and I had a feeling she would deliver a song that was guitar-based but cinematic. ‘Cop Car’ went beyond what we imagined and we were ecstatic when she sent it to us!”
Along with Mitski, the Turning soundtrack will feature Soccer Mommy, Cherry Glazerr, Kali Uchis, Alice Glass, Alison Mosshart, Vagabon and Girl in Red. One of the film’s stars, Finn Wolfhard, also contributed music with his new band, the Aubreys.
As for Mitski, “Cop Car” marks her first new music since the release of her acclaimed 2018 album, Be the Cowboy. After an extensive tour in support of the album, the musician announced last fall that she would take a hiatus from music.