If film director Wes Anderson has given one gift to the world, it’s that certain "aficionados" can enjoy a high-minded experience that otherwise shouldn’t be enjoyed, not unlike kale, Crossfit and Mumford and Sons. No other filmmaker makes use of that odd, dusty yellow hue in their movies without being intentionally sepia-toned. That look manages to communicate to the viewer that the action is taking place in a decidedly different (perhaps earlier) time, like something out of Zooey Deschanel’s erotic (Moleskine) dream journal.
Anderson’s soundtracks play a large role in creating the sense of an alternate, altogether separate history, and have a knack for stirring up a faux sense of nostalgia. That could be because, though Anderson himself was born in 1969, he consistently turns to songs and themes that came about several years before he was old enough to really enjoy them. It's also part of what make his movies so inexplicably popular for the indie-minded. Historically, he’s always preferred pop tracks over orchestral scores, because nothing says quirky like a David Bowie song performed in Portuguese, as in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel (opening this Friday) promises to be a decidedly 'Anderson-esque' Wes Anderson movie, minus one thing - the soundtrack. For the first time, he’s going with an all-instrumental score for the film. Some speculate that the setting (an imaginary country in post-war Europe) would make his go-to repertoire out of place, but maybe he just wants to give people who describe themselves as fans of “cinema” [wanking motion] something (else) to cry about.
Because the only thing Wes Anderson fans enjoy more than watching Wes Anderson movies is talking about Wes Anderson movies. There are enough lists of “best soundtrack moments” out there to last you through the end of space/time (or the movie version of Zooey Deschanel’s journal). Here are a few screen moments that stand out as being particularly, odds-defyingly effective:
“These Days,” Nico (The Royal Tenenbaums)
This song is so obscure that Jackson Browne doesn’t even remember licensing it, even though he wrote it and recorded a version of his own. Still, it perfectly captures… whatever emotion you feel when Gwynneth steps off that bus. If you can’t say it with words, say it with a song.
“This Time Tomorrow,” The Kinks (The Darjeeling Limited)
Unlike the above song, this selection doesn’t really convey an emotion, per se. It’s more just that if you were watching this scene and wondering what music would best accompany it, this is what you would come up with after consuming a mess of drugs. It's worth noting is that he worked a Kinks song (an Anderson staple) into a movie otherwise backed by Bengali music. Edgy.
“Needle in the Hay,” Elliot Smith (The Royal Tenenbaums)
This one’s notable for a few reasons. One, the dark song matches a dark scene in the film, the only one without that cloying, warm, yellow undertone. Two, just two years after Anderson used the song for a scene where a guy tries to kill himself, Elliot Smith killed himself. Trippy. Most disturbing of all, in the scene Luke Wilson shaves without wetting his face first. That’s just asking for razor burn.
Check out the trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel:
What about you? What are your favorite examples of soundtrack tunes really elevating a scene?
By Ian Lang
The Academy Awards® 'Best Original Song' Category is heated up this year. Leaving us to wonder, who's going to win?
Check out the nominees below, and tell us who you think is heading home with an Oscar® for a chance to win a DECK speaker! Enter here: http://on.fb.me/1kCkiZA
Pharrell Williams: 'Happy' from Despicable Me 2
Incredibly infectious, 'Happy' is not only gold for Despicable Me, but has become a pop radio staple. The omnipresent Pharrell Williams scores the highest-charting Oscar® nominee in this category since 'Lose Yourself' by Eminem.
Karen O & Spike Jonze: 'The Moon Song' from Her
Ten years in the making, 'The Moon Song' captures the friendship and creative chemistry between Karen O (singer from the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and director Spike Jonze. This tastemaker nominee stole the hearts of fans in pure and organic fashion.
U2: 'Ordinary Love' from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
With anti-Apartheid leader Nelson Mandela's death in December, U2 has treated this track with genuine care. Although the combination of politics, injustice, and U2 sounds like an emotional roller coaster, 'Ordinary Love' is actually quite graceful. The band knew Mandela personally, and approached this opportunity with the honor and dignity befitting the man himself.
Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez: 'Let It Go' from Frozen (sung by Idina Menzel)
With Frozen thriving at the box office, 'Let It Go' is a serious force at this year's awards. The Disney film is predicted to become a classic, with plans for it to become a Broadway juggernaut in the style of "The Little Mermaid" and "The Lion King." Disney tunes have a long history of winning at the Oscars®, and it won't be a surprise if the tradition continues this year.
From hip hop, R&B, dance and more, here's a hook up of SOL REPUBLIC's favorite new music. Enjoy these picks in your weekly rotation.
Young & Sick - 'Glass'
Young & Sick's debut single 'Glass' relies on a UK funky bass line, the singer's signature harmonies and a nostalgic feel that channels the late 70s Bee Gees - hair and all.
Vince Staples - 'Nate' feat. James Fauntleroy (Prod. by Scoop DaVille)
Ex-Odd Future member, Vince Staples, gives first person insight into growing up in Compton with 'Nate.' Produced by LA's Scoop DeVille, the track is a nod to the '90s era sound complete with soulful vocals by Grammy Award® winning songwriter James Fauntleroy. It's an instant favorite from the opening beat. Safe to say 2014 is Vince Staples' year to shine.
Tove Lo - 'Not On Drugs'
Sweden's latest pop princess is red-headed songstress Tove Lo. Heart-wrenching hooks and a synth-drenched chorus highlight her latest single 'Not On Drugs.' Oh and don't you worry, it's the truth - she's just in love.
Madeon - 'Cut The Kid'
A French boy with a love of Casio keyboard sounds, Madeon has released a free download he's been holding on for some time. Madeon plays pricks your emotions with synth stabs and vocal loops chopped between pulsing beats.
Beyonce - 'Drunk In Love (The Weeknd Remix)'
Love her or hate her, there's no arguing Beyonce's 'Drunk in Love' was one of the best tracks of 2013. Everyone from Kanye West and Future have covered the track since it's release. R&B badboy The Weeknd offers his sexed up rendition of the song. Deliciously dirty lyrics and big, syrupy bass replace Bae's G-rated version, making this take perfect for the 2am time slot.
Jungle - 'Busy Earnin'
Perhaps one of the most timeless songs you'll hear all year, "Busy Earnin" comes from the funk/soul/electro group Jungle, who won over the world last year with their debut EP The Heat. The collective, led by DJ's J and T, are back with another '70s tinged anthem fusing brassy trumpets, soulful harmonies and funked up rhythms. There's something very Pulp Fiction-y about 'Busy Earnin' that begs for the track to be played at full volume.
Cathedrals - 'Harlem'
San Francisco duo Cathedrals encourages you to drown your worries in the woozy mix of harmonic ballads, dreamy vocal loops and sultry guitar riffs in their new single, 'Harlem.' Think Florence + The Machine meets Beach House plus a healthy dose of optimism. Having released just two singles thus far, this pair of dreamers are on their way to a bright future.
Darius - 'Hot Hands'
The French producer shows off deep house fused with heavy synths on 'Hot Hands,' creating a breezy dance track that feels like a warm summer night. Hints of disco-noir and tropical percussion create an easy feeling that washes over you seconds after pressing play.
Oceaán - 'Turned Away'
Move over Jai Paul, there's new game in town. Sexy R&B words whisper through thick basslines on Manchester producer/singer Oceaán's 'Turned Away.' Creating a sound that's undeniably cool, Oceaán is undoubtedly one of the hottest new talents to watch this year. Recently signing to Chess Club Records, the somewhat elusive act has lots in store this year, including a debut EP dropping March 31st.
Schoolboy Q feat. A$AP Rocky - 'Californication'
LA rapper and Top Dawg Entertainment crew member, Schoolboy Q drops his highly anticipated album Oxymoron this week, and is topping charts left and right. Along with the release came the secret bonus track 'Californication' featuring fashion's favorite lyricist, A$AP Rocky. This West Coast gangster anthem feature's Q's theatrical wordplay, Rocky's purple hazed flow and nods to Rich Homie Quan, Soulja Boy, Hatorade and more.
The Distinguished SOLdier Award is given out to our most loyal SOLdiers-those who live and breathe SOL REPUBLIC.
They embody our philosophy while sharing inspiring music and SOL REPUBLIC experiences with the SOLdier community. In addition, these SOLdiers go above and beyond their duties, by constantly providing feedback to BOSS & Hella in an effort to improve the SOL REPUBLIC experience.
This month the Distinguished SOLdier Award goes to Reily Warren! Reily has been a SOLdier of Sound since September 2012. Her SOLdier submissions are full of energy and show her passion for music. Thank you Reily!
Read the interview below to find out more about Reily:
Hometown / Currently Living
How would your friends describe you in 5 words?
Energetic, funny, athletic, smart and thoughtful.
How did you hear about SOL REPUBLIC?
I was watching the 2012 Summer Olympics and saw Michael Phelps wearing these awesome headphones right before all of his races. All I knew about them was the SOL on the side of the headphones, so I searched the web to find the company that created them. It turned out to be SOL REPUBLIC and I've been hooked ever since.
How long have you been a SOLdier of Sound?
Since September 26,2012. So about a year and a half.
When you tell your friends about the SOLdier program, what do you say?
I tell them about the amazing sound and build quality that comes with all of their headphones. I then tell them about the awesome community that comes with the brand of SOL REPUBLIC and about the SOLdier of Sound community. By the time I'm done talking, they're stoked to sign up and be a part of SOL REPUBLIC.
What life activities are made better when listening to music?
Everything is made better with music. I love listening to my Tracks HD or JAX whenever I ride my longboard, go running or when I'm just hanging out at home.
If you visualize music as you listen, what (generally) do you imagine?
I imagine having a great time with friends and family...and just enjoying life.
If you could send advice via a fortune cookie to your fellow SOLdiers, it would read...
Happiness can be found between a pair of Sound Engines.
What type of music makes you reach for headphones? What type of mood makes you reach for headphones?
I like almost every kind of music whether it's pop, country, rock or EDM. It really just depends on what mood I'm in. If I'm just hanging out at home relaxing I usually listen to country, but if I'm riding my longboard and want something fast-paced I listen to Pop or EDM.
Tell me about your most memorable music experience.
My most memorable music experience would have to be my first concert. It was this September and it was a Florida Georgia Line concert. My seats were up high, but that didn't matter. The crowd's excitement and the beat of the music was awesome and it's something I will never forget.
Tell us about a specific event or period in your life that is linked in your mind to a song/album.
The song 'Party Rock Anthem' by LMFAO is linked in my mind to my Tae Kwon Do performance at my school's 2013 Asian Celebration. Whenever I hear it, it automatically takes me back to that day. High energy, great friends and lots of fun!
The song that defines the soundtrack of my life is...
'It's my Life' by Bon Jovi. This is the soundtrack of my life because I want to do something important with my life and I want people to hear my voice.
SOL REPUBLIC celebrates the people who make music, love music and are devoted to music. The exclusive SOLdier of Sound community lets you compete in challenges and earn points that can be redeemed for SOL REPUBLIC gear. Learn more about the SOLdier of Sound community here: www.soldierofsound.com
This month, Savior of Sound Ricky Vaughn, aka the New York Trap Lord aka Moombah God aka Twerk Ambassador, has heisted the SOL REPUBLIC podcast.
With his unique blend of hip hop, club and electronic sounds, Ricky Vaughn has all the weapons to turn a party out. Now, tune in and turn up!
Comment on the Sound Cloud link for a chance to win RELAYS.