Hi, my name is Jennie and I’m a Twi-hard. I realize that as a grown adult, publicly confessing that I am addicted to all things “Twilight” could be potentially damaging to my reputation, but I hear the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. It also helps to know I am not alone in this. Case in point: the demand for the release of the soundtrack to the newest “Twilight” installment “New Moon” was so high, that the soundtrack was released four days earlier than scheduled due to early leaks online.
But beyond the “Twilight” hype, there was even more reason for me to look forward to the album’s release, and that was the line-up of artists contributing original songs exclusively to the album. While the first Twilight soundtrack was heavy in modern alt-rock, this edition is more indie folk-rock from lesser known bands and artists. The album is made up of artists who have more of a mainstream following (Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, The Killers, Death Cab for Cutie) as well as the up and coming indie darlings of college radio (Sea Wolf, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear).
The overall mood of the album is much more melancholy than its predecessor, which would make sense to anyone who has read the book or knows the background of “New Moon”. The opening track, and first single released off the album, is “Meet Me on the Equinox” by Death Cab for Cutie. They’re not a band to shy away from darker themes (see previous works “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” or “I Will Possess Your Heart”), and this song is no exception. The lyrics speak of love, while reminding us over and over “that everything ends”. It’s pretty standard Death Cab material.
One standout on the album is Swedish songstress Lykke Li’s “Possibility”. The song is a departure from the pop I’m used to hearing from her, and the stripped-down sounds of the song makes it all the more affecting. Her airy voice and the sparse piano accompaniment are mesmerizing. Singer songwriter Anya Marina contributes her breathy “Satellite Heart”, another sad but pretty lover’s lament. The tracks by Bon Iver & St. Vincent and Grizzly Bear are eerie, hazy numbers that continue along with the solemn nature of the album. While this sound is typically for these artists and the songs fit well here, it may prove to be a little inaccessible for those expecting more Paramore as in the first soundtrack.
It is no surprise to see Muse included on this soundtrack, as Twilight author Stephenie Meyer has named the band has her inspiration (or her muse, if you will) while writing the series. The song “I Belong To You” is also on Muse’s latest album Resistance, but is remixed here for “New Moon” (the difference from the original is slight). The other moment of rock comes early on the album comes from Band of Skulls with their song “Friends”.
Though the overall tone of the album is somber and muted, there are a couple up-tempo songs included as well. “Monsters” by Hurricane Bells and “Violet Hour“ by Sea Wolf are both jaunty alt-rock songs that add a welcome pep among an album full of mostly downers. Even vampires have to have a little fun, right?
Other tracks of note are the surprising “Shoot the Moon” by Ok Go and “No Sound But the Wind” by Editors. The former song by Ok Go, a band probably best known for their YouTube-promoted music video choreographed on moving treadmills, starts off with a timpani drum line that adds an interesting contrast to the otherwise light sounding song. They experiment with synthesizers and various woodwinds before erupting into an all-out guitar jam towards the end. Editors’ piano ballad a haunting but none the less beautiful final track, thanks to the vocals by lead singer Tom Smith.
As a whole, the soundtrack is an intriguing mix of sullen indie-rock that will provide an appropriate backdrop for the movie. If nothing else, it will provide great exposure for these bands to reach mass audiences. But will being on this mega-marketed movie soundtrack launch any of these largely unknown bands into superstardom? It’s too early to tell, but as in the realm of vampires and werewolves, anything is possible.