It was already enough of a surprise gift when, last Monday, an underseen short film from David Lynch appeared on Netflix without any warning. Not content just to give us “What Did Jack Do?”—an intense interrogation between Lynch as an unnamed detective and Jack Cruz, a suit-wearing, talking monkey accused of murder—we’ve now been presented with a companion piece in the form of two songs from Cruz’s music career.
The Flame Of Love is set to release as a limited-run 7-inch through Sacred Bones Record Society sometime this spring, but both songs are already available to stream via Bandcamp. The first of them, “True Love’s Flame,” is pulled from the end of the short, when Cruz, overcome with emotion over memories of Toototoban, the chicken who won his heart, sings a moving ballad. The second, “Dancin’ In The World Of Love,” is a brand new, longer number from the lovelorn monkey.
The songs are described in accompanying text as having arrived “just in time for the Grammys,” celebrating “the primate star crooner of yesteryear” through music that provides “an excellent example of Cruz’s emotional prowess and magical, gold-dipped vocal cords.” While the description also says “not much is known about Cruz’s career prior to his involvement with Lynch,” it does tell us that The Flame Of Love was written by Lynch and collaborator Dean Hurley, and that Lynch “carefully crafted” the record’s stunning artwork, which features Cruz posed mid-song in front of a backdrop comprised of a flat purple floor and a starry night sky.
New Lynch music is always welcome and, though The Flame Of Love is short, it’s still a great addition to his musical catalogue. That the record gives us even more time to spend with Jack Cruz, possible card-carrying member of the Communist Party, plastic bag specialist, buck knife-wielding gator-slicer, and son of the De Witt Family’s resident pipe-fitter, only makes the release more exciting.
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