(Please note: this was supposed to be posted back in March, surrounding the release of the film and soundtrack.)
The film everyone’s talking about at the moment? The Hunger Games.
The film boasts an understated but beautiful collection of folk, blue grass, country style songs that many a teen THG fan cannot get their head around. (Of course, this is a very similar fanbase to the Twilight one, many teens only being introduced to Muse through Supermassive Black Hole).
I had seen all over another social blogging site that Taylor Swift sang the first single for the soundtrack and was ultimately dismayed. To say the least, I’m not a TS fan. (I love Terror Squad but not Taylor Swift). Then the tracklisting was revealed- Arcade Fire, Kid Cudi, The Decemberists? Dafuq? And plenty of other artists I was not accustomed to. Still, I decided not to count the chickens before they hatched and thought I’d give the soundtrack a good hard listen before ripping it to shreds.
Release day arrives, I listen. I listen again. And once more. I have not hated it as I thought I was going to. In fact, I know some of the songs in full by the third listen and have totally disregarded the day’s playlist. I have found myself liking very much “Safe and Sound” by the aforementioned Miss Swift (and her second more rockier piece, “Eyes Open” but moreso for the accompaniment of my new favourite duo, The Civil Wars. They also have another song on the soundtrack called “Kingdom Come”, my absolute favourite of the entire album.
The album is a masterpiece and I think because so many of the contributing artists are not the Katy Perrys, Rihannas or Lady Gagas that this generation is so happy to give up their taste for, it will be and remain underrated no matter how disgustingly well the film does worldwide.
The tracklisting is as follows (not in any particular order) :
- Taylor Swift (Feat. The Civil Wars) – “Safe & Sound”
- Taylor Swift – “Eyes Wide Open”
- Arcade Fire – “Abraham’s Daughter”
- Kid Cudi – “The Ruler & The Killer”
- Miranda Lambert (Feat. Pistol Annies) – “Run Daddy Run”
- The Civil Wars – “Kingdom Come”
- The Decemberists – “One Engine”
- Glen Hansard – “Take the Heartland”
- The Low Anthem – “Lover is Childlike”
- Punch Brothers – “Dark Days”
- Secret Sisters – “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder”
- Birdy – “Just a Game”
- Maroon 5 & Rozzi Crane- “Come Away To The Water”
- Jayme Dee – “Rules”
- Carolina Chocolate Drops – “Reaping Day”
- Neko Case – “Give Me Something I’ll Remember”
My absolute favourites from the Hunger Games soundtrack would have to be Maroon 5 & Rozzi Crane’s “Come Away to the Water” (written by fellow soundtrack artist, Glen Hansard), Kid Cudi’s “The Ruler & The Killer”, Arcade Fire’s “Abraham’s Daughter”, The Civil Wars’ “Kingdom Come” and Birdy’s “Just A Game”. All very different from each other but still very much, encompassing the gamut of emotions and key parts of the story to the Hunger Games film.
Both The Civil Wars and Birdy have released their debut albums shortly after the soundtrack.
Birdy has a charming but haunting type of voice and is homely and pretty throughout her self titled album. She’s only 16 years of age!
The Civil Wars debut Barton Hollows showcases the duo’s mix of uptempo and slower country-folk with a few of their own arrangements on a couple of popular contemporary songs as well.
While many overlook a simply beautiful soundtrack like this, I would urge more people to check it out. It is full of pure and authentic homemade music without the autotune, robotic noises, constant bass drops and pop-shit-tastic hooks.
It is music. Music that means something and is a product of making something from nothing.