In mid-2011, film critics and movie enthusiasts alike had the movie-goers equivalent of a “wet dream” when Ryan Gosling played the role of a mysterious stuntman who takes to the streets at night as getaway driver in the aptly-titled, Drive. The movie, which has seen critical acclaim far and wide since then, has already been hailed as a “cult classic” and helped make Gosling the cultural icon he is today. While the masterful directing of Nicolas Winding Refn played a large part in the movies success, one of the most important aspects that should not be forgotten is the music.
Kavinsky, who made the film’s official theme song, has been widely recognized as the driving force behind the soundtrack. But, as anyone who has skimmed the tracklisting before will know, this is simply not the case. Cliff Martinez, a small-scale American film composer is accredited for the majority of the album’s tracks, and whether you knew it or not, he, along with Gosling have gone on to bigger and better things since its release. So this got me wondering — who, if anyone, should have scored this unforgettable art house film?
There are several names that came to mind, but these are the names I settled on:
5. Twin Shadow
Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive to put Twin Shadow on this list. Not because I don’t enjoy his music, but because the man, George Lewis Jr., has reached a level of notoriety well above any of the other acts listed. It certainly doesn’t help my case either that he has been active since 2000. Nevertheless, Lewis has put together many sonically impressive works over the last 13 years, in addition to some very out-of-character ballads, as well. His most recent album, Confess, has shown us some of his best work yet, however, the announcement of a new tour and release of some very modern artwork has us holding our breathe in hopes of a new LP. Let’s just hope it falls in line with the announcement of a Drive sequel.
4. Tesla Boy
For a band that makes retro 80s dance music, Tesla Boy are a bunch of pretty suave looking fellows. Good looks aside, this Russian trio make the kind of music that would make Nikola Tesla himself proud. Nothing is too heavy or overly outlandish, so it’s easy to immersive yourself in hours of their music. So, it then seems reasonable to assume that this group doesn’t go “hard into the paint,” right? Wrong. Where the band ease up on synthesizers, they make up for in charisma. Of their almost 50 videos on YouTube, nearly half of them feature the boys playing adrenaline-filled shows or wearing oddly formed suits, which I can’t imagine were easy to find. It’s these kind of characteristics and laughable attitudes that make Tesla Boy worthy contenders.
Ever bit of Lazerhawk‘s music oozes with retro 80s stylings. Propulsive, razor-thin electronics inundate each of his songs with a sharp, metallic feel that could only be accompanied by a dark walk through a forest; even songs like “Cool Breeze” give off an eerie vibe. Despite this, Lazerhawk has been trucking along, whilst giving very few details about himself along the way. Whether this adds to the mystery of his music or not, it might help explain why he creates such haunting creations. But let’s not forget, it’s because of this dark, chilling style that make Lazerhawk such perfect fit for the role.
2. Com Truise
Com Truise, one of the more reserved selections on this list, has been faced with entering this weird, underground retro scene the past couple of years. Thanks to a number of well-received releases on Ghostly International, Seth Haley has been able to make name for himself with his more approachable style and cleaner productions. At one point it seemed as though Haley would veer into a heavier, more abrasive strain, but as his new releases suggest, he appears to have kept his independent lineage intact. While he may still be busy straddling the lines of retro-dance and “synthwave pop,” we think he would benefit from a little film scoring.
On numerous occasions, Futurecop! have blessed us with their infectious electronic tunes. In fact, of all the acts listed, they have done the most to commercialize the retro genre for the better. Unlike those listed before them, though, Futurecop! encompass a much wider set of sounds. From dance, disco and even house at times, the duo have covered all grounds. Whether you’re a fan of theirs or not, there’s no denying the duo’s catchy electro-pop formulae. Hell, even Whitney Moore and Jon Lajoie are on board! If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.