Alexander Biggs Has Made The Perfect Indie Movie Soundtrack
To mark the release of his second EP Whatever Helps You Sleep, Melbourne singer Alexander Biggs has put together a playlist that “fits the mould of most indie films”, with one stipulation: the protagonists need to be despondent and soul-searching.
“The perfect indie movie doesn’t exist,” he says, “but if it did it would probably star Bill Murray, Zooey Deschanel, or Michael Cera. It would probably be about a despondent millennial finding their place in the world, or about a cactus that comes to life. And it would probably be directed by Greta Gerwig (it’s definitely directed by Greta Gerwig, but each to their own).”
Coming in at two minutes and seven seconds, The Zombies’ This Will Be Our Year projects a moderate stroll perfect for any of the sunny moments with bright colours. An obvious influence on The Shins, ‘This Will Be Our Year’ sits perfectly next to…
The Shins’ earlier songs have made their way onto many a quality soundtrack, and I think with their latest efforts it’s safe to say they’ve still got it. According to James Mercer, ‘Name For You’ was written for his daughters. He wanted them to feel powerful and confident. I can definitely see this song accompanying a bad ass lady sticking it to some baddies.
This song would be an ideal opener to our protagonist meeting their love interest at a relatively empty bar where they only sell Pabst Blue Ribbon and everyone looks sad. Lots of glittery curtains on stage. Bonus points if Merpire and the gang cameo as the band on stage.
For those melancholy moments, ‘Coco Pops Box’ by Mickey Cooper will deliver. It’s despondent and pensive, but hopeful. The song carries a lot of pain, and speaks of trying to grow, move on, and makeup. It’s guaranteed to move you.
Karen O’s music practically lives in the cinema, but ‘Ooo’ has always stood out to me with its candid imagery. It evokes a retrospective montage of a date, or a tender scene of intimacy after finding refuge from the rain in a hip apartment full of flowers and posters of underground bands.
I’ve been a big fan of Jess Locke for a while because I think a lot of her songs sound like they should be in movies (listen to ‘Words That Seem To Slip Away’). ‘Universe’ is a progression from her noticeably more lo-fi offerings, but stays true with its sonic palette and great songwriting.
This song would be great in a scene with a parade, particularly if there’s a Duracell bunny float in there (it’s big, inflatable and pink – peak indie). Elliott Smith made his movie soundtrack debut with his song ‘Miss Misery’ in Good Will Hunting and he would have turned 49 this year. Happy birthday Elliott!
If you haven’t noted already, lo-fi is key to any good indie movie soundtrack. All RAT!Hammock songs have really colourful subject matter, and that lends itself well to all the zany ideas that Greta Gerwig or Zach Braff could think up. I see this song near the end of the film, when the protagonist stops taking the antagonist’s shit and stands up for themselves.
Combined with RAT!Hammock, ‘The Bus Song’ is the kind of idiosyncrasy we need but don’t deserve. File this one under “Scenes for riding the bus”, either for an actual movie, or for when you just want to put headphones in on the bus and pretend you’re in an indie movie (we’ve all done it).
What indie film wouldn’t be complete without the heartwarming, goofy crooning of Bob Dylan in this wordless masterpiece. Who’d have thought a Bob Dylan song without words would be one of his best. ‘Wigwam’ – while also taking the title for best song name ever – fills my heart and soul with joy every time I hear it.
So there you go. You’re ready to sync your film. Music publishers, please hire me.