Warning: The following contains spoilers for Daisy Jones & the Six Episode 3. Proceed at your own risk!
There’s something magical that happens when Daisy Jones & the Six‘s two lead singers finally meet and record their first duet, “Look at Us Now (Honeycomb),” in the Prime Video drama’s third episode.
In fact, the moment is so special that author Taylor Jenkins Reid — on whose novel the series is based — admits that what she wrote can’t compete with what’s on screen between Riley Keough’s Daisy and Sam Claflin’s Billy.
“I will tell you, with no caveats whatsoever, the moment for me where I watched it and thought, ‘This moment is better than anything that I could do on the pages of a book,’ is when Billy and Daisy record ‘Look at Us Now,'” Reid tells TVLine. “I never could’ve captured on the page what they do in that scene. That is one of the glories of an adaptation is that you have actors like that, making something just electric, and there’s no way that I could write it that would do what they were able to do and make it look so effortless.”
The scene also highlights a significant departure from Reid’s novel, in that the lyrics to the song (titled just “Honeycomb” in the book) are different from what’s referenced in the novel’s oral history. Additionally, the series takes liberty with the tracklist for Daisy Jones & the Six’s hit album, Aurora, which features new tunes that aren’t mentioned in Reid’s story.
Although Reid wrote lyrics for her version of the Aurora album (which you can find here), she more than welcomed the idea of music industry vets penning the show’s soundtrack. Grammy Award winner Blake Mills wrote or co-wrote and produced 25 original songs for the series, enlisting the help of musicians/songwriters Marcus Mumford, Phoebe Bridgers, Jackson Browne and Taylor Goldsmith, among others, to co-write the catchy hits, many of which are performed by Keough and Claflin.
“I was very excited about the opportunity to write lyrics [for the book], but they don’t function as songs,” Reid shares. “They function, if anything, as a puzzle for you to solve. There are clues within those lyrics. They are a conversation between me and the reader to try to understand what actually happened and whose version of things do you believe.”
“I just can’t conceive of going to Jackson Browne and saying, ‘Hey, write a song, but use these lyrics that she made up,'” Reid continues. “It’s like, no, take whatever Jackson Browne wants to give you. Let Marcus Mumford come in and write his own song. He’s going to do it better than I did. I’m an author, I’m not a songwriter. We can get into a comparison, but I think it’s a waste of time. They’re gifts, these songs.”
Co-showrunner Scott Neustadter notes that the tracks still serve the same purpose as they did in the novel, even if the words are different.
“Fans can rest assured that even these songwriters were told, ‘This is the kind of song… This is what the song needs to do in the show,'” Neustadter says. “The songs are telling the story in most of these scenes, so they had to work in the exact same way that they work in the novel. I would say ‘Regret Me’ and ‘Honeycomb,’ when you see the way they’re done in the show, you’ll also, I think, appreciate that it’s Taylor’s story, just with the different song lyrics.”
For Reid, hearing the fictional band come to life four years after her book was first published in 2019 was “incredible,” the author raves, “especially because people have asked me, for a really long time, ‘What do they sound like?’ and I have just sort of shuffled my feet and not answered because I didn’t know. I’m not a musician. So hearing the songs was incredible.”
“I’m trying to remember what was the first one that I heard,” Reid continues. “I think it might have actually been ‘Aurora,’ which is one of my favorites, and I like the way that it functions within the story. It’s a really beautiful song.”
Daisy Jones & the Six fans, what did you think of the new “Honeycomb” and the first three episodes’ songs?