Sofia Coppola's 8-title oeuvre is as musically exploratory as it is visual. Soundtracks featuring AIR, Frank Ocean, and hubby Thomas Mars of Phoenix fame give her films the leisurely backing to tie together the narrative. As The Bling Ring hits theatres, we take a look at an archive of aural choices and kindly recommend her some new gems that she should totally commission for her next feature.
Sofia likes AIR, but she would love AIR FRANCE.
AIR: French electronic duo AIR scored Coppola's The Virgin Suicides (1999), the languid montage about mysterious sisters who made a suicide pact, based on Jeffrey Eugenides' novel of the same name. The album was nominated for Best Soundtrack at the 2001 BRIT Awards.
AIR FRANCE: This Swedish electronic duo mirrors that languid, downtempo soundtrack but with a ventilated soprano that makes for very easy listening.
Sofia likes Squarepusher, but she would love ARCA.
Squarepusher: In one of the most chilling scenes in all of Sofia's bracket, Squarepusher's "Tommib" establishes Charlotte's crippling loneliness in Tokyo's megalopolis as she contemplates the skyline in Lost in Translation.
ARCA: The sparse, pull'n'peel funk of Arca is contemporary art on its own. Arca's bedroom-baroque is dripping in lethargy, perfect for a long drive, and holds that tinge of sorrow perfect for a 67th floor contemplation.
Sofia likes Gwen Stefani, but she would love Skip & Die.
GWEN STEFANI: The Harajuku darling ripped a strip off the clichés of pop with her ska influenced sounds of early No Doubt. Somewhere (2010) spotlights her glossy track "Cool" – one of Coppola's more sloth creations that follows the reuniting of failed Hollywood actor Johnny Marco with his 11-year-old daughter.
SKIP & DIE: Cata Pirata, the candy floss-haired frontwoman of Skip & Die, channels an early Gwenny-Gwen-Gwen with her long hair, don't care attitude and punchbag beats to match. South African inspired sounds make for a real funky backlash that would be right at home in Coppola's latest.
Sofia likes Sleigh Bells, but she would love Team Rockit.
SLEIGH BELLS: This Brooklyn noise pop duo came up in 2009 after several buzz tracks from their debut EP boosted their profile. "Crown on the Ground" from their album Treats (2010) was featured in the trailer for The Bling Ring as well as the film itself.
TEAM ROCKIT: Is it rap? Is it electro? Believe it or not, it's Swedish. These Northern pundits hit hard with a brash sound that is perhaps most akin to Die Antwoord. Rather than shock, however, their hair-raising music pitch bends the status quo into something new altogether. Team Rockit blasts off at the speed of light!
Sofia likes Aphex Twin, but she would love Lee Gamble.
APHEX TWIN: Kirsten Dunst rode horseback and combed tall grasses to the ivory tinkles of "Avril 14th" as Marie Antoinette, the film about France's iconic, doomed queen and her marriage to Louis XVI.
LEE GAMBLE: Gamble's mind-bending, cinematic inversions of electronica are an experiment in the experimental. Lee Gamble played his own set at London's infamous Boiler Room and is on a one way ticket out of the rave scene riding jungle and house waves straight to the bank.
Sofia likes ELO, but she would love Sean Nicholas Savage.
ELO: The Virgin Suicides played out to the sounds of Electronic Light Orchestra, the Birmingham rock group whose hippy dippy tunes soundtracked many a skirt twirl and spliff sparking.
Sean Nicholas Savage: A bit of a modern day sock-hop, Savage croons over top of happy-go-lucky beats that would be a treat on vinyl. He fits right in to any summer playlist and snuggles up just as perfectly with the balmy sequences that Coppola entertains.
Sofia likes Phoenix, but she would love Vondelpark.
Phoenix: Frontman Thomas Mars married Sofia Coppola in 2011 and his band, Phoenix, has been featured in all but one of her films. Their song "Love Like A Sunset Part I" opened 2010's Somewhere, and a Sofia Coppola film without their pop-rock sway can hardly be called a Sofia signature.
Vondelpark: Formed in 2010, this dream pop trio named after green space in Amsterdam really chugged their way into the charts with three EPs and a debut album released in three short years. Their bedtime ballads hold just enough inertia to capture your attention and – had Phoenix been unavailable – would've held it in a film like Somewhere.
Sofia likes Foo Fighters, but she would love Merchandise.
Foo Fighters: "My Hero" had its moment in Somewhere, as it accompanies one of the most infamous Sofia Coppola cinematic junctures as the only other audible thing apart from the squeak of a stripper pole in Somewhere's pole dance scene.
Merchandise: Hailed by a sandstorm of commentors decrying, "Sounds like _______", Merchandise is actually quite comfortable living outside the barren fortress of grunge. Their ragged, desperate rock has a very DIY quality to it, and, one can imagine, would make an acceptable alternative track to any dance routine.
Sofia likes OneohtrixPointNever, but she would love Megafortress.
OneohtrixPointNever: The Bling Ring takes a trip into the homes of the stars with OneohtrixPointNever, which is the recording name for NY-based Daniel Lopatin. His rising profile as a producer gave Coppola good reason to ask him to produce the soundtrack for her crime caper. OneohtrixPointNever's subtle sounds are a lesson in leisure.
Megafortress: Ambient synth drifts recall a long walk, or, Enya. Megafortress is NY musician Bill Gillim, and his spookish sound has thus far only been made available on one EP release.
Sofia likes Land of the Loops, but she would love Hype Williams.
Land of the Loops: Lick the Star, Sofia's 1998 short film, hosted Land of the Loops' "Heidi Cakes". The xylophone funk is an apt choice as the film follows a clique of high school girls who devise a secret plan entitled "Lick the Star".
Hype Williams: Hype Williams' soundscapes are like a trip, in the metaphorical sense. The music, on the other hand, might be the right partner in crime if the idea of high school schemes were to crop up in Coppola's film treatment drawer any time soon.
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