A soundtrack works best when it manages to immerse viewers into the story and helps bring the filmmaker’s vision to life. As far as 2014 goes, it was a pretty good year for movie scores. From haunting tunes to wonderful ambient music, here are ten soundtracks you should add to your playlist immediately. Dim the lights, pour yourself a glass of red wine, and enjoy.
This soundtrack works as a perfect backdrop to a movie about adolescent angst and uncertainty. Palo Alto is based on a series of short stories written by James Franco, who also stars in the Gia Coppola directed flick alongside Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff and Margaret Qualley. The film’s soundtrack was released on June 3 through Domino Recording Company. It features Dev Hynes, Robert Schwartzman, Nat & Alex Wolff.
The Fault in Our Stars
People who went to see this popular tearjerker fell not only for Augustus and Hazel, but for the catchy music that shadows their epic love story as well. The soundtrack features Ed Sheeran, Kodaline, Charli XCX, M83, Lykke Li, and Birdy, to only name a few. It was released on April 13 and arranged by Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes. I don’t know about you, but I still listen to it obsessively.
Mockingjay – Part 1
The soundtrack for one of the most anticipated movies of the year was released prior to the worldwide premiere, on November 17, and sold like crazy. It was curated by Lorde, who recruited Grace Jones, Simon Le Bon, Diplo, Miguel, The Chemical Brothers, Charli XCX, Stromae, Major Lazer and Ariana Grande to contribute to the official tracklist. Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde remains one of my favorite tunes of 2014. The soundtrack doesn’t include Jennifer Lawrence’s eerie rendition of The Hanging Tree, which officially turned the talented actress into a pop sensation.
Begin Again is a wonderful movie, with memorable performances and an amazing soundtrack. It’s basically this year’s Once, a modern-day musical which reminds us that music should makes us feel feelings, not only throw our hands in the air and wave them like we just don’t care. Most of the film’s music was composed by Gregg Alexander with Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley, Rick Nowels, and Nick Southwood. On the same note, most tunes were performed by Keira Knightley and Adam Levine. The soundtrack was released on June 30.
Very Good Girls
Regardless of your opinion of the movie, which received mainly negative reviews from critics, the soundtrack is definitely worth your while. Indie icon Jenny Lewis is responsible for the movie’s music – and Rilo Kiley’s song Go Ahead is also featured prominently in the film, due to the fact that Lewis wrote it a while back.
Obvious Child premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and tells the story of a twenty-something comedienne who gets pregnant and then has to confront the realities of independent womanhood for the first time. Kind of reminds you of Juno, but takes a more cynical approach to life, love, and music. The soundtrack features Paul Simon’s Obvious Child as the title track, along with contributions by The London Souls, Small Black, Rarechild, and Scout Niblett.
The Divergent: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album was released on March 11 and sold 10,000 copies in its first week on the shelves. Ellie Goulding has four songs featured on the soundtrack, including Dead in the Water. Randall Poster served as music supervisor and included tunes from Snow Patrol, Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala, M83, and ASAP Rocky.
Wish I Was Here
Remember Garden State and its mesmerizing soundtrack? Well, Wish I Was Here doesn’t fall short either. The movie was written and directed by Zach Braff, and tells the story of Aidan Bloom, a 35-year-old man who finds himself at major crossroads and proceeds to examine his life, career, and family. The soundtrack features 15 songs, including tunes from The Shins, Gary Jules, and Bon Iver. The title track is a collaboration between Coldplay and Cat Power. This album is a pure treat for any music lover out there.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Since an essential part of Wes Anderson’s style is remarkable music, The Grand Budapest Hotel ends up being an auditory treat as well as a visual one. The soundtrack was composed by Alexandre Desplat, who combines orchestral elements and keyboard instruments with skills and grace. The soundtrack was released on March 4. It totals 32 tracks, including a few collaborations with European and Russian folk composers.
Interstellar’s soundtrack was composed by the immensely talented Hans Zimmer. It was released in three forms: Star Wheel Constellation Chart Digipak (16 tracks), Digital Deluxe Album (24 tracks) and The Illuminated Star Projection Edition in special illuminated star projection packaging consisting two CDs (28 tracks). The soundtrack was well received by critics, who noted that Zimmer’s music makes the movie “seem even more colossal”. I have to admit, it’s a pretty fitting description.
What are some of your favorite movie soundtracks of all time? Let us know in the comments!