The Twilight franchise is known for many things – its lead actors, bringing vampires and werewolves to a cultural fever pitch, the seemingly insatiable fandom that surrounds it, and the story’s sometimes unbelievable plot lines which, in this fourth installment, will give audiences a wedding, a honeymoon, and (naturally) the birth of a vampire/human offspring. But beyond the blood and the fur, the music featured throughout the series has always been an equally important part of the Twilight experience. Author Stephenie Meyer (who penned the novels the films are based on) has even noted the specific pieces of music she was listening to when writing the various books. The impact and influence of music has always been a part of the Twilight world and the anticipation that accompanies the announcement of which artists will be on each soundtrack is almost as though a new actor is joining the cast.
Fans turned out in droves to not only see the actors from the films, but to also watch performances from the artists on the soundtracks for Twilight and New Moon at fan events, selections of which can be seen on Music Videos and Performances from The Twilight Saga Soundtracks, Vol. 1. Regardless of what you may think of the films, the soundtracks have always boasted an impressive list of artists who provided original songs for the films such as Muse (“Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)”), Death Cab for Cutie (“Meet Me at the Equinox”), and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (“Hearing Damage”). However this time around, the artists populating the track listing for the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 soundtrack may not be ones you have heard before. That is not to say these artists have not been around for a while, but there is a greater chance you have heard of Vampire Weekend (as featured on the Eclipse soundtrack) and not Cider Sky (which will be on the Breaking Dawn soundtrack).
Breaking Dawn will take the series in a new direction as the characters face the consequences of a pregnancy rather than who is taking whom to prom. With change in the air, it is not too surprising that the film’s soundtrack (as announced Monday) is following suit and tapping new artists, and ones you may not have expected. The first single, “It Will Rain,” (which dropped Tuesday) comes from Bruno Mars, a singer known more for R&B than the indie rock scene you would normally expect to hear from the Twilight films. Mars wrote the song with the film specifically in mind and “It Will Rain” does sound like someone struggling through the rain rather than someone “making it rain” in the club. Rapper Theophilus London is another surprising choice as rap (like R&B) is a genre that has yet to be featured in the series. Mars has proven he can adapt his sound to fit within the series and London usually raps over R&B and electro-pop beats that probably would not sound out of place next to more alternative rock tracks.
Even though these particular songs are not yet available, you can listen to other song froms these artists to get a feel for their sound. Listening to the music of Angus & Julia Stone, The Features, and The Belle Brigade, it starts to paint the picture of what we can expect from this soundtrack. The overall style still seems to lean towards indie rock to continue the feel and sound established by the previous films, but the addition of artists like Mars and London should work to mix things up a bit.
The soundtracks for these films have not just been full of artists intended to grab attention; they also work well within the films themselves. Lykke Li’s “Possibility” helped convey the deep melancholy Bella (Kristen Stewart) slipped into in New Moon, while Thom Yorke’s “Hearing Damage” proved an action scene can (and maybe sometimes should) be set to an almost trance-like tune (with a steady beat) that made what could have been an otherwise standard chase scene one that was hard to tear your eyes away from. The Chop Shop’s Alexandra Patsavas (who has been the music supervisor on all the Twilight films, as well as on shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl) has always been diligent in her selections and chooses artists that work best within the scene rather than what name is most impressive on a track listing. It will be interesting to see (and hear) which scenes these selections play in and how, in turn, exposure in such a large franchise may affect these artists’ careers.
All the tracks featured in Breaking Dawn are new with the exception of the Noisettes’ “Sister Rosetta” and Iron & Wine’s “Flightless Bird, American Mouth,” however the versions on the soundtrack will be slightly different than the tracks previously released. “Sister Rosetta” is noted as being the “2011 Version” and Iron & Wine will be bringing back their song (originally featured on the first soundtrack) with the “Wedding Version.” In Twilight, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” was the song Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella danced to at prom and now it seems it will be the song they dance to at their wedding – working as a nice callback to the first film and the beginning of the couple’s (albeit abnormal) courtship. Also returning is composer Carter Burwell, who composed the score for Twilight and closes out the soundtrack with “Love Death Birth” – a title that pretty much sums up where we are at this point in the story.
Although mainly new, there are a few throwbacks within Breaking Dawn’s soundtrack, which should help it stay fresh without completely reinventing the wheel (or in this case – the throttle on a honeymoon speedboat). We will have to wait until November 8th to hear the full soundtrack and November 18th to hear these songs in the film, but in the meantime, check out the artists listed below. If you were a fan of the music from the past three soundtracks, you may find some new favorites here.
This soundtrack will be available through Chop Shop/Atlantic Records.
- “Endtapes” – The Joy Formidable
- “Love Will Take You” – Angus & Julia Stone
- “It Will Rain” – Bruno Mars
- “Turning Page” – Sleeping At Last
- “From Now On” – The Features
- “A Thousand Years” – Christina Perri
- “Neighbors” – Theophilus London
- “I Didn’t Mean It” – The Belle Brigade
- “Sister Rosetta (2011 Version)” – Noisettes
- “Northern Lights” – Cider Sky
- “Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Wedding Version)” – Iron & Wine
- “Requiem On Water” – Imperial Mammoth
- “Cold” – Aqualung & Lucy Schwartz
- “Llovera” – Mia Maestro
- “Love Death Birth” – Carter Burwell
Did the artists on this track listing surprise you? Which tracks are you most excited to hear?