Fans of ‘This is Us’ are still suffering from severe withdrawals, especially after that shocker of a mid-season finale. Don’t worry, we won’t be spoiling anything about season 3 here, what has happened or what is to come. However, we do need to talk about that heartbreakingly beautiful song Rebecca aka Mandy Moore sang in episode 7 ‘Sometimes,’ which was co-written by her Moore’s husband Taylor Goldsmith along with the show’s in-house composer Siddhartha Khosla.
The song, ‘Invisible Ink,’ sung by Moore is about Rebecca's journey and it was very meta for Khosla to think of co-writing the song with Moore's husband for her. “He is a great songwriter in a band called Dawes and so he and I got together and wrote this song. It was a wonderful collaboration,” said Khosla, who has created many original songs for the show, including the hit song, 'We Can Always Come Back to This,' from Season 1 which ranked #12 on iTunes Top 100 songs, ranked #1 in the Billboard Blues Charts for four consecutive weeks and earned Khosla a Guild of Music Supervisors nomination for Best Song/Recording for Television."
He explained to Meaww why the song is so special: “It was a marriage of melody and lyrics and having those lyrics come from Taylor's first-hand experiences of seeing Rebecca's character develop - and maybe Mandy even practices it at home, whenever she does to prepare.”
As magical as the song was, Rebecca’s talents were snubbed by the record label executive to whom she submitted the demo. He even called her “Pittsburgh good,” which made most of us fans pretty mad. Khosla, however, is unshaken in his belief that Rebecca is great and so is ‘Invisible Ink,’ saying one record label executive’s opinion means nothing in the grand scheme of things.
“The direction on this is for cinematic impact and just because one record label executive said that she is Pittsburgh good, doesn't mean that the song isn't amazing. As we know, when it comes to art, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and I have full faith that Rebecca could have written a gorgeous song and so I won't pay any attention to the fact that the reaction was lukewarm. I think if anything, I look at it from the perspective of how could the record label executive not like it,” he said, explaining his stance.
Moreover, the song was pivotal in her relationship with Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) as well. Earlier in the episode, we saw Rebecca, clearly smitten with Jack, tell her friend that despite her feelings for him, she is hesitant about the relationship because he is quite closed with his emotions and refuses to let her in on everything that is making him hurt.
When Rebecca sang the song for him in the car, he saw his own story in the lyrics and broke down in front of her. Even though they agreed on never talking about his life in the army and his painful past, this showed Rebecca he is the one for her.
As Khosla put it, “You look at Jack to feel the impact of the song more than anybody else. It doesn't matter that a record label executive rejected her. It's more important that it moved Jack to tears and that's what we were trying to achieve - this incredible, visceral reaction from Jack. It is about Jack hearing the song, sung to him in the car and seeing his own life through those lyrics and melody and emotion.”
As beautiful as ‘Invisible Ink’ was, we are hoping to see more original songs on the show, being sung by the talented cast. We definitely hope for more from Rebecca, and, of course, from her daughter Kate, played by Chrissy Metz and Hannah Zeile – both of whom are amazing singers.
“There is so much talent on the show,” said Khosla, adding, “I am excited to write a song when the time is right and when it feels authentic to the storyline. We want the songs to come authentically out of these characters. There is music in the life of Rebecca, there is music in the life of Kate and at some point, there is going to be more of these moments.”
Khosla, who is thrilled to have gotten to work with “everybody from Bryan Tyree Henrie (who played Ricky) in season 1 to Hannah Zeile to Chrissy Metz to Mandy Moore in terms of singing with them and making music with them,” said he is glad to be on the receiving end of the intense love fans have for the show.
He said, “It's really humbling and incredibly empowering to know that we have such a loyal, massive fan base for the show. It just gives you the confidence to keep on going and to keep on making good, artistic choices. It never feels like pressure, it just feels like support.”