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March 21, 2012 / jhsaeger

Hunger Games Soundtrack Has Indie-Heavy Lineup

  Of the sixteen different artists to appear on the soundtrack for the first installment of the Hunger Games film trilogy, Universal picked a wide mixture of musicians who delivered an even broader collection of music. Relying primarily on indie acts like Arcade Fire, The Secret Sisters, The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, and Glen Hansard to provide the bulk of the soundtrack, a handful of more mainstream artists like Miranda Lambert, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, and Kid Cudi helped to round out the album.
In most instances, the songs penned for The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond stuck to their traditional styles. This isn’t surprising, as artists are sometimes reluctant to lend their best material to a film soundtrack. The songs which stood out most, however, were from the musicians who used the record to go into a different creative sphere.
   The most surprising, and arguably best, song on the soundtrack came from Irishman Glen Hansard (The Frames), who wrote the stunning song “Take The Heartland.” After several years of leaning towards quieter music with Swell Season collaborator Marketa Irglova, Hansard, explodes on “Heartland,” taking both tempo and the passionate vocals to another level that he has not ventured into in quite some time. If this is a direction Hansard, who according to a report on The Frames’ site last fall was recording material for a solo record, is taking the next the phase of his career, it could lead to some very exciting music.
    The other artist who went in a different, but nonetheless intriguing direction was indie band Arcade Fire, authors of the lead track “Abraham’s Daughter.” The track veered from the group’s normal format, instead delving into a darker, fiercer version of Arcade Fire than we have become accustomed to. The choice of mood swing fits in well with the Hunger Games, a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel.
    Other key tracks for The Hunger Games include The Decemberists’ “One Engine,” The Civil Wars’ “Kingdom Come,” and The Secret Sisters’ “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder.”
    The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond is available as a digital download
and compact disc. The film itself, as you may have noticed after a barrage of television advertisement, likely makes its debut in a theater near you on March 23.

Other Cool Stuff That Hits This Week: Esperanza Spalding: Radio Music Society, The Shins: Port of Morrow, B.B. King: Live At Royal Albert Hall, Diana Ross: All The Great Hits

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