Jack Ladder’s horror soundtrack: “Like batteries dying in a child’s toy”

Sydney singer-songwriter Jack Ladder has put together a soundtrack for Australian sketch horror series Watch With Mother. The six-episode series, available as an app on iPad and Android tablets, presents a cast of morbid and unusual characters in short sketches that are as likely to fill viewers with unease as they are to amuse.

“The first scene I was sent made me feel nauseous—in a good way,” said Ladder. “It had the nostalgic feel of an Australian television drama, something like A Country Practice, but starring Dennis Hopper as Frank from Blue Velvet.”

The soundtrack combines forgotten pop classics from the ‘60s and ‘70s by The Knickerbockers, Sue Thompson and Bill Woody, with original compositions that saw Ladder return to Wychwood Farms, where final tracking for his darkly gothic 2011 album Hurtsville took place. He recorded several new songs there with members of Blue Mountains doom-and-gloom merchants Castratii as his backing band. A song from the Hurtsville sessions called ‘3 Stomachs/No Weekend’ closes the album.

Ladder summed up the new material like this: “For the original music I wanted to capture the sound of the batteries dying in a child’s toy … When the frequencies start to wobble around, the pitch widens and the tones bleed into one another.”

The soundtrack will be available on Spunk Records from September 14.

If you’ve got a strong stomach for impalement and general macabreness, you can watch a trailer for Watch With Mother featuring Ladder’s music below.