After thinking about this week’s post, I was a little weary of selecting another movie along the lines of The Royal Tenenbaums. Therefore, while I could easily write about the unique role that music plays within indie films such as The Kids Are Alright and Garden State, I wanted to switch it up and look at a more recent cinematic interpretation; Pitch Perfect. While the movie itself reflects upon American pop culture and the debate between individualism vs. conformity, I can’t help but applaud its ability to perfectly mesh a wide variety of musical genres. As a result, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the underrated artists who have finally achieved the national recognition they deserve.
Wild Belle, a brother/sister duo hailing from Chi-Town, are a relatively new fixture on the indie scene, as their first album will be hitting shelves in early March. Featuring a psychedelic reggae vibe, their single “Keep You” endorses an island beat that makes it difficult not to jam along. Although the song speaks mostly to the cyclical, yet toxic relationships endorsed by a number of immature youth, it also emphasizes a sense of struggle and distress. This relates directly to the film, as Beca (like most young aspiring musicians) faces a significant amount of backlash from those who discourage musical non-conformity. Plus, it features a sick saxophone solo, so who would want to miss out on that!
At first glance, “Open Season” by the High Highs may seen like your typical easy-listening tune. Yet while the song itself features a set of simple lyrics, it’s ability to capitalize upon both it’s lead vocalist and a wide array of musical instruments set’s it apart from the rest of it’s class. Therefore, no matter how your day is going, I can guarantee that this song will pick up your mood in no time, and place you in a state of complete liberation.
The Naked and Famous
If you hold an appreciation for oxymoron’s and contradictions, then you will no doubt fall in love with The Naked and Famous’ hit, “Punching in a Dream”. Similar to other songs within its genre, the eclectic mix of synthesizers, basses, and guitars provides a tune that is eerily reminiscent to a clone of MGMT, Mat and Kim, and Passion Pit. At this point in the movie, Beca is arriving at college, despite her dream to move to LA and become a music producer. While it might seem as though she’s punching in her dream, and “breathing into her nightmare” (her disinterest in college life), she eventually realizes that one can find beauty among the in-between. As a result, we should make an effort to avoid judgment and learn to take something meaningful from every moment in our lives.
Usually people look for songs that help them work out, help them pregame for a party, or even assist in the completion of their homework. While I usually have songs that can be relegated to each one of these tasks individually, The Fratelli’s “Chelsea Dagger” truly takes on the meaning of being ‘multi-purpose’. That’s quite the accomplishment; especially considering the band achieved moderate success before their split in the late 2000’s. Therefore, if you can learn to appreciate anything in the music world, it’s the difficulty for a song to withstand the tests of time.
While I understand this post is much different from my first, I thought it was important to show that even mainstream films can hold positive implications for the indie music scene. Although Pitch Perfect is merely a quirky, comedic entity, it holds the power to reach a number of audiences across the world, thus allowing various types of music to be recognized and appreciated. Therefore, while you may or may not agree with the movie, you cannot argue with the chance it presents to the smaller members of the musical community.