Whether the songs serve as a diegetic cue or relegated to a film’s background, music ties everything together. Soundtracks are always associated with the works of Hans Zimmer, Justin Hurwitz and John Williams. While their work is undeniably great, there are some really soundtracks that don’t get as much hype as they should. Here are a few soundtracks/playlists everyone should have on their radar.
You’ve definitely heard of the one-hit wonder “Lovefool” by the Cardigans (which subsequently became successful because of the film), but have you ever listened to the rest of the soundtrack? It perfectly captures the grunge-rock sound of the 90s that we all know and love today. This version of Romeo + Juliet is a modern take on the tragedy written by William Shakespeare, so it was only right to make sure the soundtrack reflected such a dark yet dazzling film.
Whip It is possibly one of the best films made in Austin, and I cannot stress enough how underrated the film AND the soundtrack are. Serving as Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, Whip It is a sports-comedy film based on the Shauna Cross novel called Derby Girl. The soundtrack is an amazing blend of indie upcomers like (Tilly and the Wall and Little Joy) and established artists like Gotye and Dolly Parton. The soundtrack is just as quirky as the film, making it all the more memorable.
Zombieland is one of the best zombie flicks of the century – don’t even try to prove me wrong. The film is a horror-comedy about four survivors trying to live in a world run by ravenous zombies. The soundtrack is a non-diegetic masterpiece that really fits in with every scene. It captures the essence of each character that has a completely different personality, such as Talhassee’s love for Willie Nelson and the girls’ badass and nonchalant attitude. From the immaculate intro that features “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica to the scene where Columbus and Wichita finally share their kiss as the Black Keys “Your Touch” plays, everything about the soundtrack is just… *chef’s kiss*.
Oh, the movie that makes you feel absolutely infinite. This coming-of-age movie is a rollercoaster of emotions accompanied by a feel-good soundtrack that provides drops of hope.
Besides the main heart-wrenching plot, main character Charlie (portrayed by Logan Lerman) discovers new music through his friends. The best part is when Sam (Emma Watson) finally finds the tunnel song, which turns out to be “Heroes” by David Bowie, triumphantly closing out the film. The soundtrack is riddled with nostalgia and makes you enjoy the film every step of the way.
This playlist is full of Riot Girl energy, and I’m here for it! A film directed by the legendary Amy Poehler, Moxie is a film about woman empowerment, as high school junior Vivian (portrayed by Hadley Robinson) creates a zine that exposes sexism and questionable actions happening in her school. Even though it isn’t necessarily an official soundtrack, the playlist features all of the songs heard in the film. The playlist is full of punk rock sounds by artists like the Linda Lindas, Bikini Kill and Tierra Whack, and is sure to get you headbanging.
In 2016, we got a film flop and a decent soundtrack. This time, The Suicide Squad film provided a great film AND soundtrack! The movie was aesthetically pleasing and the original music featured helped emphasize the bad-assery that was happening on screen. John Murphy’s score was a cinematic masterpiece, and the soundtrack was absolute fire as it features artists Johnny Cash and Jessie Reyez. The soundtrack is weird and unique in its own way, as it definitely has something for everyone.
I am a UH Graduate Student majoring in Mass Communications, a UT Austin alum and an aspiring music journalist! My hobbies include photography, traveling for shows/festivals and taking strolls with my husky baby Luna Zoe.