Soundtracking is a regular column that appears on Cineplex.com looking at the music featured in the biggest new releases both in theatre and on home video. Shane McNeil looks at Spike Jonze’s musical relationships with Arcade Fire and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ahead of the release of Her.
Spike Jonze ends his four-year silence this holiday season as his fourth cinematic feature, Her, hits theatres starting Dec. 18.
The former music video auteur’s tale of unlikely love in a digital age has been on the radar for many movie fans since the first trailer dropped back in August. That clip revealed some sonic familiarities to fan of Jonze’s work, re-introducing one of his primary musical collaborators.
The clip opens with Aphex Twin’s 2001 track “Avril 14”, but it is just past the 35-second mark that the trailer turns to one of Jonze’s stand-by musical cues: Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Their 2009 single “Skeletons” arcs over the middle of the trailer – the bridge, if you will – before the clip is brought home with an original song from the soundtrack by Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O: “The Moon Song”.
Jonze has a detailed history with the New York trio, but it was curious that Jonze should choose a six-year old track instead of a song of the band’s 2013 effort, “Mosquito”, but Karen O is the one with the obvious connection to Jonze (who co-wrote “The Moon Song”), having composed the original songs that formed most of the soundtrack to Jonze’s last film: Where the Wild Things Are.
But what will really get music fans excited about Her was surprisingly omitted from the trailer. Montreal’sArcade Fire composed parts the film’s score, bringing their relationship with Jonze full circle after Jonze used their 2004 anthem “Wake Up” to score the Where the Wild Things Are trailer.
The Montrealers contribute some instrumentals to the score, including tracks entitled “Dimensions” and “When You Know You’re Gonna Die” that back the emotional wave of the film alongside tracks from The Breeders, the aforementioned Karen O track as well as “Supersymmetry,” the closer off Arcade Fire’s October release, Reflektor.
Jonze and Arcade Fire have actually made much of their partnership in the years between Where the Wild Things Are and Her, teaming up on a few really creative works. Jonze directed the video for the title track of the band’s Grammy-winning 2010 album The Suburbs, which he would use to form the basis of a 30-minute film called Scenes from the Suburbs that accompanied the deluxe edition of the album.
But the two teamed again this fall, with Jonze directing a half-video/half-live performance with the band at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards. That clip went viral in November as Greta Gerwig went nuts (musically speaking) to the Reflektor highlight “Afterlife”.
If you can’t wait for Her, you can at least get your Spike/Arcade Fire fix through that infectious video.