Soundtracks are essential for any great movie, and they can range from epic symphonies in ‘Lord of the Rings’, to a collection of indie songs written specifically for the movie, like ‘Submarine’, one of my absolute favourites. This list is not the best soundtracks of all time or anything like that, it’s just a summary of soundtracks which I love to listen to, and that I would highly recommend to anyone and everyone. It helps that the movies and television shows are excellent as well.
5. My Mad Fat Diary
‘You can spend the rest of your life being afraid of people rejecting you. You have to start by not rejecting yourself. You don’t deserve it’
Set in the 90’s, ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ follows the true story of Rae Earl, a girl with a lot of problems and a huge heart. Rae is utterly obsessed with music, especially Oasis, so naturally the show follows along with her taste, and it is superb. The soundtrack bursts with Brit-pop and awesome 90’s classics. I think this show and the music really connected with me because the songs didn’t just accompany the drama of each episode, instead they were very much part of Rae’s story and have a lot of bearing within the plot. You can listen to a compilation playlist from Season 1 here.
‘It’s hard to tell someone so young that things don’t always end up the way you thought they’d be.’
‘Girls’ is without a doubt one of my favourite TV shows ever. It’s funny, heart warming and moving. It depicts a misfit group of girls living in New York who have far from perfect lives, which is actually quite comforting. The soundtrack (in particular that of Season 2) includes some of my favourite artists, including Jenny Lewis, Jake Bugg and Vampire Weekend. The tracks are light-hearted, innocent and ultimately quite sweet. Most are indie pop songs that will lift your mood instantly and warm the cockles of your heart. Buy it here.
3. Slumdog Millionaire
‘Money and women. The reasons for make most mistakes in life. Looks like you’ve mixed up both.’
To be honest, what are you doing with your life if you haven’t seen this film. It is such a classic, plus I love Danny Boyle and he pulls this off so well. The songs in this film are so upbeat and fun. I’ve loved ‘Paper Planes’ for so long (I even have a dance routine to go along with it) and ‘Jai Ho’ is probably one of the best songs to play at a party ever. As a whole soundtrack though, the tracks fit perfectly with the film and are very important elements in the story and cinematic experience. Without music the film wouldn’t have nearly the same amount of charm, especially the ending scene. Buy the soundtrack here.
2. (500) Days of Summer
‘Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate.’
This one of the most misunderstood romance films of our time. ‘(500) Days of Summer’ follows Tom, who believes in love at first sight and that he will eventually find the one, and Summer who is completely the opposite and doesn’t believe in true love. Tom and Summer connect over the Smiths in an elevator, and they fall in love (kind of). Tom is more in love with the idea of the perfect girl than Summer herself. The music is so wonderful in this film. The soundtrack is unique and bubbly, and a couple of the songs are covered by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel themselves. It includes a classic from Hall and Oates which was part of a fantastically over the top musical number, a lot of the Smiths and even a french song. Buy it here.
‘Jordana hates any place that could be termed romantic. With this in mind, I took her to one of my favourite industrial estates, for some quality one-on-one time.’
‘Submarine’, directed by Richard Ayoade, is an indie film about young love and the pressures of being a teenager. The film itself is obviously great, but the soundtrack, composed and performed by Alex Turner, is breathtakingly beautiful. ‘Stuck on a Puzzle’ is such a quotable song, every word drips with love and romance and ‘Glass in the Park’, much like the other tracks, has a fairly simple melody and composition, but totally enchanting lyrics. All of the songs are sung straight from the heart so naturally they are very mushy and adorable, very different from the Alex Turner we know now! A mellow, almost melancholy mood and sickly sweet romance fills the soundtrack and the film.