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EXCLUSIVE: Drum & Lace and Ian Hultquist On How Hulu’s ‘Rosaline’ Redefines Renaissance Pop (INTERVIEW)

Rosaline is the latest 20th Century Studios original film to hit Hulu.

Based on the novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle, the film follows “the most famous love story ever told” (Romeo & Juliet) through the eyes of Juliet’s cousin – and Romeo’s ex – named Rosaline, played by Kaitlyn Dever.

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In the film, after originally trying to devise a plan to win her old boyfriend back, the titular character eventually winds up on a path of self-discovery and tries to do everything she can to keep the star-crossed lovers from breaking up.

On top of the hilarious and heartfelt performance Dever delivers, the film’s other definitive feature is its music. Composed by real-life husband and wife duo Ian Hultquist and Sofia Hultquist (under the solo pseudonym Drum & Lace), the music perfectly captures both the time period’s aesthetic and the contemporary melodrama our main characters find themselves at the center of.

In an exclusive interview with The DisInsider’s Dempsey Pillot, the duo discussed their musical process, as well as the rising trend of injecting popular music into period pieces.

Now, viewers have probably noticed it done in Hulu’s The Great, as well as Netflix’s Bridgerton. The Hultquists call it “Renaissance pop.” On paper, it seems like an out-of-the-box creative choice. After all, people don’t flock to period pieces for the music. But the use of contemporary music – when done right like in Rosaline – can elevate the story and its stakes.

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In the interview, Sofia suggested that the reason why more artists are choosing to use more modern music in period pieces is because, “[the music] lends itself well to like costumes and colors. And there’s something cool about the anachronistic and putting like modern music with with that.”

But creating covers of contemporary classics such as “The Boy Is Mine” or “All By Myself” wasn’t originally the plan. She adds that when she and Ian got hired, they weren’t sure what the limitations would be. In fact, the two didn’t know whether or not they would need to record using actual Renaissance instruments. While using those instruments present physical limitations, naturally they also laid the foundation for a more modern sound.

While most of the covers are instrumentals, there are also some great vocal covers. One of those is the rendition of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” Arranged by the Hultquists, but sung by Norwegian artist Anna of the North, it is a blissful and beautiful banger that rivals the original.

Sofia’s vocals also appear throughout the film’s score – on about a third of the film’s music to be precise. When asked why she does’t have a more prominent presence, Ian explained, “We reserved [it]…because her voice is kind of like our secret weapon when we work together. “

He added, “It’s such a cool sounding instrument [that] we tried to reserve it for really impactful moments in the film. Like, when Rosalyn had really deep, romantic connections with people when she’s really in her head.”

If you don’t believe him, you’ll just have to see the film and hear the incredible score for yourself.

You can listen to the full interview down below!


Rosaline is streaming exclusively on Hulu now.

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