That ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Song is Melanie Martinez’s “Carousel”

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 09.08.14 in News

The FX series American Horror Story has a history of sharp musical connections. Stevie Nicks performed on the show last season, a recent teaser used a 1963 song by Françoise Hardy and the show’s eerie theme music was co-composed by former Nine Inch Nails member Charlie Clouser. Now we have the first full trailer for the upcoming American Horror Story: Freak Show season, and it devotes a full minute to a spooky, carnival-themed song that probably sent more than just Wondering Sound’s editors racing to their Shazam apps.

The artist is New York singer/songwriter Melanie Martinez, and the song is “Carousel,” from her Dollhouse EP, out earlier this year. At once inviting and vaguely sinister, the track neatly suits the trailer, putting Martinez’s hushed, airy vocals between music-box chimes, calliope-like oompahs and plenty of shuddering electronics that update trip-hop; Lana Del Rey, whose “Video Games” Martinez has covered, is a natural comparison. If Martinez’s name or voice seem familiar, she appeared on, well, The Voice, and she isn’t the NBC singing contest’s only link to AHS: Maroon 5′s Adam Levine, Martinez’s coach on the show, made his acting debut on season two of the FX series.

Martinez didn’t win on The Voice, but she’s surely scored a coup here. AHS: Freak Show, debuting on October 8, brings with it an enviable set of associations; the cast alone includes Jessica Lange as ringmistress, Kathy Bates as a bearded lady and Angela Bassett as a woman with three breasts. Let the circus commence.