I’ll admit, I don’t know much about the Fifty Shades of Grey series, but from what I do understand about it, I can tell you there’s no artist more fitting for the movie’s soundtrack than The Weeknd. Presenting the first single from the upcoming film adaptation, Abel brings us a slinky little ditty that fits in perfectly with the theme of the upcoming motion picture. Appropriately enough, the Canadian crooner aims for a more cinematic sound on this number, relying on mooney piano riffs and heavy strings to set the mood, instead of his typical alternative R&B sound. Despite the departure though, his sleek vocals sound just as sharp on this seductive, spine-tingling new tune. Take a listen to “Earned It” below, and make sure to grab yourself a copy on iTunes.
Empire Of The Sun
Wandering Star (Dumb and Dumber To Official Soundtrack)
Well, this was a little unexpected. Who could have foreseen Empire Of The Sun creating original material for the Dumb and Dumber To soundtrack? Though this track has been out for nearly a month, it somehow slipped past our radars until the band uploaded it to their SoundCloud page last night (forgive us for not paying much attention to that film’s music lineup). Like many of their memorable releases, “Wandering Star” makes for an unforgettable ride, full of magical synths and rhythmic kickdrums that’ll instantly get your toes tapping. It’s as addicting a listen as we’ve heard in awhile, and is bound to be a staple in our playlists well into 2015.
Ten years ago Zach Braff’s last film Garden State did wonders for propelling indie, specifically The Shins, into the mainstream spotlight. It seems Wish I Was Here, his Kickstarter-funded forthcoming directorial sophomore effort, will be similarly musically inspired, with a soundtrack boasting many of the screenwriter and star’s favorite artists, including Paul Simon and The Head And The Heart.
The Shins appear once again with shimmering new tune “So Now What,” with frontman James Mercer taking a break from side-project Broken Bells to write the song specifically for this sountrack. Just as wistful and dreamy as they were a decade ago, the now Portland-based sextet seem eager to reunite with Braff with lines like “I guess we’ll just begin again / I hope you know you’re my best friend” making up the soaring chorus lifted by Mercer’s gentle and softened falsetto.
Another new track commissioned for Wish I Was Here is Bon Iver’s eerie and minimalistic “Heavenly Father.” Justin Vernon’s vocals layer over a looping synth vibration in what, according to NPR, was an incredibly spontaneous recording:
“They were enjoying it and laughing, but at a certain point, they just got quiet. When it was over, Justin started humming. We talked afterwards about the relationship between Zach’s character and his brother [Josh Gad], and Justin and Nate talked a little about their father — all the while Justin kept distractedly humming. Eventually, he sang out the words ‘heavenly father.’ Before I even left their house, Justin was recording the first version of the song in his downstairs studio. His inspiration was that immediate.”
The complete soundtrack is due out July 15 via Columbia with the film hitting theaters three days later. There will be a separate vinyl release on August 5, with Garden State’s soundtrack being reissued the same day. Check out the tracklist below:
01 The Shins “So Now What”
02 Gary Jules “Broke Window”
03 Radical Face “The Mute”
04 Hozier “Cherry Wine (Live)”
05 Bon Iver “Holocene”
06 Badly Drawn Boy “The Shining”
07 Jump Little Children “Mexico”
08 Cat Power & Coldplay “Wish I Was Here”
09 Allie Moss “Wait It Out”
10 Paul Simon “The Obvious Child”
11 Japanese Wallpaper “Breathe In [ft. Wafia]“
12 Bon Iver “Heavenly Father”
13 Aaron Embry “Raven’s Song”
14 The Weepies “Mend”
15 The Head & the Heart “No One to Let You Down”
Anand Wilder and Maxwell Kardon
Talk about an all-star cast: Yeasayer co-founder and multi-instrumentalist Anand Wilder and longtime friend and composer Maxwell Kardon have announced the completion of a new musical featuring fellow bandmates Ira Wolf Tuton and Chris Keating, James Richardson (MGMT), Christopher Powell and Ryan Kattner (Man Man), Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), K Ishibashi (Kishi Bashi, of Montreal), Haley Dekle (Dirty Projectors), and more.
According to the press release, Break Line The Musical “harkens back to rock concept albums of the early 70′s,” exploring “the classic arc of lost love, betrayal, and pride,” and is based on “a labor conflict in a Western Pennsylvania coal town” that the duo’s fathers had discovered in “an old folk song taught in Quaker schools in the 1950s.”
Conceived six years ago, Wilder’s project began to take shape in between Yeasayer albums and is reminiscent of his band’s debut LP, with a lighter, springier version of All Hour Cymbals’ freakier folksy vibe. Taking inspiration from The Kinks and The Byrds, the musical puts a contemporary twist on a classic art form.
Ahead of Break Line’s release this July 15th on Secretly Canadian (July 14th, rest of the world via Mute), Wilder and Kardon have given us a small taste of what’s to come with ‘Wedding Day,’ a sleepy track that begins with children’s laughter and reversed guitar strums before Wilder’s croons raise the tempo into full-blown folk-pop festivity.
Backwards Feat. Tame Impala
Although we still have no idea what Divergent is really about, we do know that its soundtrack has spawned some pretty interesting collaborations so far. This latest effort from Kendrick Lamar and Tama Impala however, easily takes the cake. The powerful single grabs your attention right off the bat, as Kendrick bombards the mic with a fierce intensity that’ll leave you taking at least a few steps “Backwards” yourself. The only reprieve from Kendrick’s full-scale assault comes through the contrastingly soothing chorus, which features a sample of Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” and helps provide the song with some balance. While it may seem like this one is coming out of left field for the Compton rapper, there is some precedent for its sound. In some ways the track almost seems like a mashup of the laidback style heard on “Money Trees” from Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city and his fiery remix of Imagine Dragons‘ “Radioactive.”
Check out the single above, and head over to Pitchfork if you’re interested in streaming the full Divergent soundtrack days before its release on March 11th. Featuring additional music from the likes of Skrillex, Ellie Goulding, Chance The Rapper, A$AP Rocky, Gesaffelstein, Snow Patrol and more, the soundtrack can be pre-ordered through iTunes now as well.
A$AP Rocky x Gesaffelstein
Over the last week, the latest novel-to-movie, Divergent, has been building buzz for their already hyped film by enlisting some of the most exciting up and coming artists to contribute to the soundtrack. For hip-hop fans, today’s release is likely the most exciting. On “In Distress,” French house producer Gesaffelstein teams up with A$AP Rocky for an intense, and appropriately theatrical, track.
Gesaff’s dark and minimal funk sound works particularly well with Rocky’s slowed down, purple-tinted persona. We have already seen Gesaffelstein producing hip-hop on the big stage with his impressive contribution to Yeezus and this is yet another indication of his compatibility with the current direction of the genre. If you are not already familiar with the talented producer’s work, make sure to check out his stellar 2013 album, Aleph.
Check the heavy “In Distress” above and hit the Buy link if you’d like to get the whole Divergent soundtrack.
Despite the stardom and accolades that come with being Miguel, the crooner proves that he can still appreciate the “Simplethings” in life with his most recent single. Created for the soundtrack for HBO’s Girls, Girls, Vol. 2: All Adventurous Women Do…, this new tune features the singer describing the desired traits in his ideal mate. In a perfect world, he’d love to have someone to lay with, laugh with and (of course) smoke with, that’s also real and true. It sounds easy enough, and we hope Miguel eventually finds that special someone. In the meantime, we can listen to him sing about it below. You can pre-order Girls, Vol. 2: All Adventurous Women Do… on iTunes now, which also includes contributions from Beck, Vampire Weekend, Lily Allen, Jenny Lewis and more.