Orphan Black Soundtrack and Score Review
In association with Varese Sarabande Records, BBC has put together a soundtrack and score that are really perfect!
Starting with composer Trevor Yuile‘s score, the album requires no overture. Each track bleeds into the other. As he put it:”I started with Sarah in the early episodes, every thing was derived from her original palette…if you listen closely, not only do the clones have their own themes and palettes, but i often borro from one and bring it to another (depending on the scnes) but they are all related, there a little Sarah in Helena, a little Helena in Alison, and so on.”
The score is primarily electronica with more organic instruments flushing out the moods ranging from urgent, to inquisitive. While there’s a lot of different palettes, there’s still an underlying tone that unites the score into one beautiful feast for the ears. My favorite tracks are: “We Meet Helena,” “Kira & Intervention,” and “Maggie Chen Re-Enactment” as I feel these three best reflect the similar undertones, and, themed layers the composer was looking to reflect.
The soundtrack could be described in one word: groovy! That’s right: GROOVY!
With the Exception of Tears for Fears, Meredith Brooks, and The Troggs, most of the artists have been around since the 2000’s. While the soundtrack is primarily comprised of newer artists, it has a punky-shindig feeling, you’ll want to shimmy and shake to. It feels equal parts nostalgic, and, refreshingly undiscovered with its modern synth vibes!
For the soundtrack I thought it would fun to highlight the specific tracks that remind me of the main characters:
Sarah– “It Ain’t You” by The Ettes; a rougher edged track, with a clear riot grrrl influence! Since Sarah is supposed to come from a punk background (thanks in part to Mrs. S’ influence) I’m sure she was also into the Riot Grrls of the late 80’s and early 90’s! The more modern The Ettes would definitely be in Sarah’s record collection!
Cosima– “Earthforms” by Matthew Dear; dark, dank dance club-s0und with haunting vocals, yet, fast enough to groove with (/on) somebody? I like this as a Cosima clubbing track, and, as a Cosima’s “Science in Action” track!
Allison– “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks; while I feel like everyone else has “hip” and “trendy” taste in music, Allison seems like the 90’s nostalgic listener. This is not a diss on her though, as the 90’s gave us many new genres (and sub genres) in music, and should be lauded for those contributions. “Bitch” in particular was a 90’s song that took the radio by storm, and its no wonder that we’ve seen Allison jamming to this song in the show! Lyrically, this song also describes Allison, not because I think she’s a b-word, but because the song describes a woman who is more than one thing. Allison starts off feeling like “just a Soccer Mom” but, she (like all the characters) have so many other layers to them. This was a perfect song (lyrically) for the soundtrack in my opinion.
Felix– “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears; Felix is the character the soundtrack closely resembles as far as their music collection goes. Influenced by both the old, and the new, and the yet to be, Felix is the glue that holds the clones together (you know, besides them being clones). But Tears for Fears‘ 1985 ballad could only be his song. If this were Sarah I feel it would be a “guilty pleasure” song. Felix would have no shame in his love for this classic; an unabashedly ’80’s jam!
Helena & Mrs. S– “Love is All Around” by The Troggs; Mrs. S seems like she was typical child of the 60’s who, along the way got involved with something either menacingly anarchistic, or, dark and cultish. She’s out of the ranks for whatever that group was, but she still has contacts. Helena, seems to share more in common with her, than any other character. Both are fierce mama-lions in attitude. But, they are also loyal to their pride–even if they have to heavy-hand someone. Lyrically, The Troggs’ classic is sugary, and lovey-dovey…which is fine as these two love their family, and it shows in their actions (regardless of how messed up they may be). But the slower tempo, and eerie strings beneath the lyrics remind me of the underlying menace of these two ladies.
While these songs stand out to me for individual characters, I also want to point out the flow of this soundtrack. As a fan of the mix-tape/cd/playlist, track order is extremely important to me. It has to flow. When it comes to soundtracks, if it’s not in movie order, it MUST be in a good “mix-tape” order for me.
The Orphan Black soundtrack does this extremely well. While Brooks’ “Bitch” might feel the most out of place in musical theme, it’s a nice surprise track, and it, as well as all the other songs, flow wonderfully.
The soundtracks are currently available in digital and CD, and will be available this summer on vinyl. Season three of Orphan Black is now airing on BBC America on Saturday’s at 9/8c
[Source: Varese Sarabonde Records]