Reinterpret one of Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic songs with a modern pop sound? No problem. Music supervisor Rob Lowry is just ambitious enough to try it. Faced with this challenge, Lowry tapped Norwegian pop singer Dagny to cover “Landslide” for the pivotal end montage in the most recent episode of Freeform’s The Bold Type.
Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” was written into the script via a reference in the dialogue, and while often those songs get swapped out when it’s time to license the music for the scene, this one was special. TBT fans will recall that Jane’s mother passed away from breast cancer when Jane was young. In an episode about Jane’s emotional journey around her mother’s death and her own risk of developing breast cancer, “Landslide” serves as both a powerful connection to the past, and an anthem about change.
Showrunner Amanda Lasher, episode writer Becky Hartman Edwards, and Lowry all loved the thematic ties between “Landslide” and the episode’s storyline, but including the original version of the song seemed challenging. Lowry was concerned not only about blowing through his music budget for the rest of the season, but also about bringing the spare ‘70s sound into a show celebrated for its’ pop soundtrack.
“It’s just not really in this DNA of the show,” shares Lowry. “There have been moments where we’ve toyed with the idea of using an older song and it just didn’t work.”
Lowry suggested bringing someone in to cover “Landslide” and came up with a shortlist of artists he thought could do justice to both this iconic song and the sound of The Bold Type. Lowry himself is generally not a fan of covers unless they’ve been done particularly well. And this song has been covered very notably before, so the pressure was on to come up with a perfect fit.
“Dagny was one of the artists that I was really excited about for this project,” says Lowry. “I just think she’s doing something interesting. All of her music is fantastic. It’s catchy, it’s really smart and sounds like cool pop music. But, man, her voice is timeless. It doesn’t feel like it’s trapped in a particular moment and it transcends time and genre.”
Lasher agreed, immediately singling out the up-and-coming Norwegian pop songstress on Lowry’s list and responding “Dagny! Dagny! Dagny! I love Dagny!” She had this level of enthusiasm, even though it was well before Dagny’s catchy hit “That Feeling When” had been chosen to close out the season 2 premiere.
Both Lowry and Dagny are repped by the same agency, so after some quick outreach behind the scenes to her manager and label, and Dagny was on board. “Dagny was super stoked on it and her management loved the idea,” shared Lowry. “They were all incredibly easy to work with.”
Lowry pulled together a creative brief with some general guidance and an “instrumental palette” to work with and some of the emotional beats the song needed to hit, but ultimately he wanted Dagny to bring her voice and creative vision to the project.
“We reached out to Dagny because we love her perspective. We wanted her to follow her creative instincts and make the song a representation of what she thought it should be,” said Lowry.
Dagny was traveling to London to do some sessions and she linked up with a producer there, while Lowry waited anxiously back in L.A. After only a week, Dagny’s manager sent through a rough cut for Lowry’s feedback.
“I had goosebumps the entire song,” recalls Lowry. “I was so blown away. I literally had zero notes about things to change.” They mastered it and Lowry sent it to Lasher, who texted him back “I’M CRYING! THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL!”
After the goosebumps faded, the relief set in. “We didn’t have a back up plan,” said Lowry. “We really needed this to work. And she just knocked it out of the park.”
Listeners will immediately recognize Dagny’s distinctive sound in this lush and layered version, where her vocals bring depth and richness to the poppy beat. The song swells and retreats, hitting different emotional beats through the montage of scenes with Jane and her brother reminiscing about their mother, Sutton’s Paris Fashion Week triumph, and Kat realizing that being burned by her first influencer experience shouldn’t make her too cautious.
“Dagny just absolutely killed it,” says Lowry. “It’s ethereal, it’s spacious, it’s breezy, it’s sentimental… And when the chorus hits it’s truly one of those goosebumps moments. It sounds like one of her own songs, but of course it’s one of the greatest songs ever written.”
There are still a few more episodes left this season and Rob can share a couple of fun details about what’s coming up. Fans who loved seeing multi-talented stars Aisha Dee, Meghann Fahy, and Katie Stevens belting out “Mamma Mia” at karaoke night will be excited to know there is more singing to come. All three will be singing in one of the upcoming episode, plus one of the ladies will have a solo song to share.
And, believe it or not, the team is already hard at work on season 3. The premiere episode will even feature a live performance – being filmed this week – by one of the artists previously featured on the show. No spoilers here, though.
And you won’t be able to wrangle spoilers out of Lowry on Twitter, either. Lowry has hosted a series of “ask me anything” type sessions where he’ll answer questions about being a music supervisor, film/tv music, composing, pitching, his specific shows/movies, and more. Any aspiring music supervisors or artists who want to learn about sync should be following him (@robertlowry), as he tries to help eliminate the mystery around the role of music supervision.
“When I was getting into music supervision I had zero resources. There was nothing I could google, music supervisors were impossible to get in touch with,” remembers Lowry. “If someone tweets at me and I tweet back at them, it makes the wall fall a little bit. You can get a hold of this person. It’s a job – and it’s a great job – but I don’t want people to be discouraged from pursuing it because they feel like it’s not something that’s realistic or obtainable.”
While he’s a (mostly) open book and one of the few music supervisors who is happy to answer questions online, he’s not going to tell you what happens to Kadena. You’re just going to have to tune in to The Bold Type (Tuesdays 8:00pm ET/PT on Freeform).
〉Listen now: Landslide by Dagny
〉More music by Dagny
〉All the music featured in The Bold Type