As a wise person once said, “You can listen to a great album hundreds of times, but you can’t watch a great movie hundreds of times — unless it’s Caddyshack.” While the very best films are undoubtedly worth watching over and over again, there’s no arguing it’s easier and more time-efficient to spin a great soundtrack a bunch of times than it is to keep re-watching the actual film. This is just one reason why a properly curated soundtrack album stands the test of time.
With The Orchard now a leader in the film and television distribution space, the company’s global reach in the music sphere makes it a natural fit to produce soundtrack albums for the film division’s offerings and select other cinematic releases. The Orchard is fully equipped to bring compelling soundtracks to fruition, expertly handling curation, distribution, sales, promotion, licensing and design.
Riding high in the wake of Cartel Land‘s Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary feature as well as working with other critically-lauded releases like Dior And I and The Overnight, The Orchard film team is continuing to line up exciting film projects to distribute throughout 2016 and beyond. Thanks to these efforts, one of the company’s first major soundtrack releases is for Louder Than Bombs, the highly anticipated English-language debut of Norwegian director Joachim Trier. An official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, this powerful film opening in U.S. theaters this Friday, April 8 follows the inner trauma of a family confronting tragedy and its aftermath. The cast is a strong draw: Academy Award nominees Jesse Eisenberg (Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, The Social Network), Amy Ryan (Birdman, Gone Baby Gone) and David Strathairn (Lincoln; Good Night, And Good Luck); Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, The Usual Suspects); multiple award winner Isabelle Huppert (The Piano Teacher); and stunning newcomer Devin Druid.
Seamlessly blending modern electronic and alternative rock with a potpourri of lost classics spanning soul, post-punk, gospel and more, Louder Than Bombs (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) makes for deeply engaging listening, evoking the humanity and the chaos the film depicts. The album opens with the pulsating beat of German electronic music pioneers Tangerine Dream with their classic “Love On A Real Train.” As director Joachim Trier has pointed out, this atmospheric track is central to a more lighthearted portion of the film, a conscious homage to classic American teen films of the ’80s like The Breakfast Club and Risky Business, the latter of which famously used this same song.
Frantic mood swings follow, as the vintage post-punk of Nottingham, England’s Medium Medium on “Hungry, So Angry” gives way to alt-rock standard bearer Beck on the dreamlike “Chemtrails,” co-produced by Danger Mouse. The late disco-funk star Sylvester — of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” fame — checks in with “Rock The Box,” a percolating #25 Dance hit from 1984 ripe for rediscovery. Carrying the momentum forward is Princeton, New Jersey synth obsessive Com Truise with “Open,” a quintessential piece by the progenitor of experimental “mid-fi synth-wave” and “slow-motion funk” known for his remixes of Daft Punk, Maroon 5 and Charli XCX.
The short-lived gospel-soul vocal group The Supreme Jubilees’ sole album was reissued to high praise in 2015, Pitchfork declaring it to possess “some of the most sublime harmonies to be found in either secular or gospel music.” A highlight of that album brings the soundtrack a spiritual focal point with “Do You Believe.” This soulful anchor bridges the underground hip hop of Brooklyn’s Torae (known for his work with DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Talib Kweli) on “Over You” (featuring Wes) and the energized mid-’80s vibes of Norwegian drummer/producer Per Tjernberg on “Manhattan Jungle,” which, much like the film itself, reimagines New York City through the eyes of a Norwegian artist. After brief instrumentals by two more Norwegian artists, Gisle Tveito and Kåre Vestrheim, Classical selections by Chopin and Bach lead directly into the film’s score.
The original score composed by Ola Fløttum comprises the remaining ten tracks, veering between discreet and propulsive as the mood demands. “Composing for Louder Than Bombs and Joachim Trier was just like a dream,” says Fløttum, who also works as an artist under the name The White Birch and has collaborated on songs with Trier. “Working on such a powerful film, as a composer you can just dive in and be free with your own creativity. You have to question yourself if each scene really needs music and, when it does, gently let the music swell from inside to find the perfect balance without overdoing it.
“Louder Than Bombs has such fantastic actors and is a brilliant portrait of a family’s grief and their struggle in finding the language to deal with it,” Fløttum continues. “It’s a fragile story, and the music had to pay respect to this and be as fragile as the unspoken sorrow which so often occurs between people who can’t find the words to connect with each other and share their pain. Hopefully my music speaks to that and this beautiful and touching film.”
Louder Than Bombs (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is available for download and streaming at all digital providers today, Friday, April 8. If you’re in the U.S., catch it today in theaters, too.