“Uncle Carl”

August 20, 2015
“Shameless Season Five”

The popular com-dram Shameless pushed numerous boundaries, but not just with its provocative plot. The television show licenses around twenty songs each episode, featuring numerous indie rock bands to match the gritty character of the show. Season Five follows the ordeals of the Gallagher family, including prison time, drug dealing, and hospital visits. In Episode Eight, the show placed the song “Confusion” by the Music Dealers artist Glass Oaks to build the emotional storyline with authentic indie music.




Ann Kline Supervision


Glass Oaks


The Challenge

Finding Authentic Indie Music

When music supervisor Ann Kline sat down with the creators of Shameless, the team “started playing around with scoring the show with these independent rock bands’ music, and it worked out so well that we ended up just licensing the music and doing it episode to episode,” Ann told us. As Season Five was developed, Ann sought music that would support the show’s story and also engage an audience who had to come to expect song musical curation each episode.

The Solution

Online Music Search

In Episode Eight, “Uncle Carl,” simple relationship advice quickly escalates into a crisis. Ann paired the scene with “Confusion” by Glass Oaks, an introspective yet punchy indie rock track. Glass Oaks hails from Lynchburg, Virginia and “Confusion” is from their first five-song EP, self-titled, which was fan-funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

The Result

Audience Engagement

Glass Oaks is a real, active artist whose music perfectly matched the sound of the show. Additionally, Showtime provides fans with a list of all the music licensed for each episode, which helps continue their engagement after the show ends. In fact, “Confusion” became Glass Oaks’ third most popular song on Spotify.

Related Projects


Status Message