You’re sitting in a dark movie theater watching the latest blockbuster, indie comedy, or zombie thriller when all of a sudden a familiar voice echoes in the background. Instead of focusing on the actors on the screen, you zone out while listening to the melodic tune of your favorite musician. When you’re two greatest loves are film and music, nothing could be better than hearing you’re favorite band on your favorite movie’s soundtrack.
When it comes to the silver screen, there are plenty of great film composers to choose from, but Hollywood should try a different approach. There are some amazing bands out there that could easily do the job, and breath new life into the film while at it. Therefore, we’ve come up with a list of musicians who we think could give Hans Zimmer a run for his money.
Check out our musical dream team for the silver screen…
The Romantic Comedy
We live in a world where romantic comedies are as exciting as yesterday’s news. It’s always the same people, the same plot, and the same ending. Of course there are a few exceptions, but those jewels are few and far between. However, once in a blue moon a romantic comedy comes along with a refreshing story, an unexpected ending, and doesn’t feature Jennifer Aniston as the lead.
Regina Spektor never goes wrong. She’s one of this generations most talented singer-songwriters and her next project proves it (Spektor will be scoring a Broadway Musical entitled Beauty). Spektor’s music is a breath of fresh air thanks to her story-like lyrics. Her songs always seem to sound hopeful even when they suggest heartbreak, which is exactly what many romantic comedies are all about.
She & Him – Like Spektor, the amazing vocals of Ms. Zooey Deschanel are refreshing, but She & Him’s pop-vibe embody another aspect of romantic comedies — fun! The duo creates a dream-like atmosphere that makes you feel like you could get kidnapped by a legion of angels at any moment. The group recently made contribution to the film 500 Days of Summer, which co-starred Deschanel. With She & Him the message is simple — Love me.
Sure it’s annoying, no one likes to look like a sap. Take The Soloist and the scene where Jamie Foxx plays the violin for the first time as a madman: the music reached its highest point as the camera slowly zoomed into Foxx. Joe Wright tried so hard to make you cry, and I bet that more than half the time, it worked.
The Fray is the perfect band for such a job. With hits like Over My Head, How To Save A Life, and You Found Me, this Grammy-nominated quartet is the definition of forced sadness. The Colorado-based band knows how to play your heartstrings like a fiddle. If there’s a film that centers on making “tough decisions” They’ll be there waiting in the shadows with their piano, and the deadpan delivery of their lead vocalist.
The Action Thriller
The right music can enhance any action sequence, no matter what damage is being done. If you take out the music from something like The Bourne Ultimatum, the pay off after a good fight scene wouldn’t be as big. You need the music to build up the momentum to the point where you know someone’s going to die, get their ass kicked, or jump out a window.
Might not be an obvious choice, but when asked about their last album Light Grenades Mike Einzinger said, “It sounds like 13 different bands playing 13 different songs…” That might have been an overstatement but for the most part, Incubus always makes a lovely mess. They are the perfect band to score an action thriller because they’re a bunch of musical contradictions, which could add to the dramatic, edgy side of a good thriller.
Drama is regarded as the toughest and most revered genre in film, therefore when it comes to musicians only the best need apply. The composer has to be just as emotionally invested as the screenwriter and the director. Everyone given their all to create a complicated world filled with several twists and turns.
Radiohead could score any type of film, period. But when it comes to drama, unlike other bands, they can go to that dark place that is required for most dramatic films. In the past, these psychedelic rockers have already contributed to a few soundtracks. In Baz Luhrmann‘s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, they penned two songs entitled Talk Show Host and Exit Music. If Radiohead were to score a drama (whether it be romantic, crime, or indie) the outcome would be like spiritual a encounter and who doesn’t want one of those?
Cat Power – Perhaps because of Chan Marshall’s over the top past she’s able to express all of her emotions in her music. Cat Power is an open book and because of it, she would make an amazing composer. Dramas revolve around a theme of struggle and no-one knows struggle like a once-upon-a-time alcoholic.
If you need a good dose of escapism and Harry Potter isn’t your thing, comedies are the way to go. There’s nothing better than laughing your ass off at someone else’s problems, to make you forget about your own. With this genre of film you have to be open to any and everything. Throw your shy personality out the window, because only gold star students are welcome here.
Of Montreal is to music what Groundhog Day is to film — “A Great American Something.” They don’t belong on a stage in some smelly venue, they belong on a metallic stage built right above water. I’m sure it sounds corny but, Of Montreal makes music for the soul. You can put them behind any comedy, and I guarantee that you won’t need to take that Zoloft before bed.
There is a lot of great music out there, and many more bands worthy of getting a Hollywood shout out. A song can add that missing element that a director is trying to pass on to the viewer. This is why it is so important to have the right people doing what they were born to do — music. So, if you’re in the movie business and you’re reading this article, perhaps you should pass this information along?
Which bands do you think have what it takes to score a film?