Written by: David Brook
Artist/Composer: Fall on Your Sword
Soundtrack Featuring Songs by: Ani DiFranco, Dan Deacon, Taken by Trees, Vex Ruffin and Big Troubles
Produced by: Fall on Your Sword
Duration: 35 min (score) & 45 min (soundtrack)
Label: Lakeshore Records
Lola Versus was released in the US earlier this month and didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, which wasn’t helped by the critical drubbing it received. Now I can’t comment on the film itself as it hasn’t reached these shores yet, but I can happily say that the two soundtracks (Original Score and songs from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) don’t look to be following in these footsteps and came as a pleasant surprise when I checked them out recently.
The film is an indie romantic comedy starring Greta Gerwig as the titular Lola. Dumped by her longtime boyfriend Luke (Joel Kinnaman) just three weeks before their wedding. With the help of her close friends Henry (Hamish Linklater) and Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones), Lola embarks on a series of desperate encounters in an attempt to find her place in the world as a single woman approaching 30.
Looking at the Original Score album first of all, this opens with the light and shimmering ‘Beach Dream’, before kicking into ‘Opening Titles’, which introduces the general tone of the album. Catchily rhythmic, instruments provide a lot of the ‘bounce’ over light percussion. Vocal ‘dahs’ and ‘dos’ add to this, giving a slightly quirky, light and fun feeling to the soundtrack. It all has more of an indie-band sound than a straight up soundtrack, which is refreshing.
This style is repeated in a slightly more subdued fashion over the next couple of tracks until ‘Encounter at Pratt’ introduces quite a mellow tone. There’s still a rhythmic presence in the background but with sustained notes and a more relaxed guitar melody. ‘Strip Club and Aftermath’ takes us quickly back to the original feel though – albeit with a funkier take on it in the first half.
Elsewhere ‘The Godfather Break Up’ has an ‘Italian’ waltz feel to its opening, obviously riffing on its name. ‘Walk to Water’ is brief but ‘big’ and uplifting. Quite a few very short 1 min cues are scattered around that change the style briefly. ‘Reconciliation’ for instance is a sweet, subtle little number then breaks into the massively upbeat ‘End Titles’ which repeats the style of the opening piece, but bigger and brighter.
Overall it’s a tad repetitive and lacks an obvious melody with its emphasis on rhythm, but is still likeable and well produced. It’s difficult to say how well it complements the film without seeing it, but it certainly gives off a quirky indie romantic comedy vibe.
The song-based Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album is a great selection of indie-pop/rock and singer-songwriter tunes. They’re all from various artists but retain a fairly unified ‘hip’ feel despite quite a mix of tones and styles. I must admit I don’t know many of the artists that feature on this, but I’m certainly going to look up a few of them as I enjoyed the album quite a bit.
Big Troubles kick things off nicely with ‘Minor Keys’, which has a light Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine sound. The Ettes and Vex Rufflin follow this to add a feistier, punchy rock sound to proceedings. Rufflin’s ‘Would You Take It’ has a bit of a Black Keys/White Stripes garage rock sound to it that I really liked.
Dan Deacon’s ‘The Crystal Cat’ reminds me of the score with a bigger sound and added vocals including a crazy heavily processed chorus. It’s noisily fun and euphoric, which is always good in my books. This was certainly one that made me look up the artist.
Seapony’s ‘Go Away’ brings things back to more conventional but still likeable dream pop. The Fruhstucks’ ‘My Punk is Alive (Inside)’ continues this dreamy sound, but brings out the synths and a hip 80′s feel.
Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers crank things up a notch, delivering a quite grungy sound with ‘Heaven in Stereo’, but with a poppy chorus. The synths reappear soon after though with Class Actress’ funky disco synth pop in the catchy and danceable ‘Careful What You Say’.
Things get a bit folkier after this for 2 tracks with the beautiful Taken by Trees and Ani DiFranco, the two artists I had actually heard of. A Serge Gainsbourg style track with a sexy 60′s vibe, ‘Flower Gun’ comes next from Jesse Voccia and Nori Takei.
The score’s bouncy upbeat sound comes back as the album reaches its climax with ‘Saturn Returns’ by Kyle Forester who provides Lou Reed style vocals over the playful indie music. This score sound is then cemented on the final track as the cue Strip club and Aftermath is used to round things off.
Overall the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is a very enjoyable and catchy listen which nicely complements the score. Full of hip new bands, it’s a great way to hear from some artists you may not have given a try yet. Recommended.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack:
Lola Versus – Original Score and Lola Versus – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is out now on CD and digital download.
To find out more head over to www.lakeshore-records.com
Listen to samples