In This Month in Trailer Music, the team at Canada-based research project Trailaurality takes a look at the musical highlights of the past month’s film and TV trailer drops. Be sure to also check out the detailed breakdowns on their website!
Perhaps ironically, first up is Bartlett – a trailer that is remarkably subtle about its use of music for a purportedly musical series. Hosted by Vimeo, it promises equal measure of musical and comedy, the trailer, albeit a full two and a half minutes long, stands mostly bereft of music, aside from some interstitial hip-hop moments at about the half way mark and some very ambient guitar and bass throughout. The trailer might stand as a case of underselling to overdeliver; with a cast comprised of, among others, Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame), the Silicon Valley sendup might yet have all the trappings of a sleeper hit.
Elsewhere in internet programming, among the new trailers Netflix has released this past month, none stands apart more viscerally than Seven Seconds. The original song (Erin McCarley’s “Everywhere Ghosts Hide”, perhaps made for the trailer) and deft, contrapuntal editing between sounds, music, and visuals build over the course of its two minutes from a single, plaintive piano key (a favourite trope in trailer music editing) to an almost overwhelming wash of plaintive strings and menacing bass. In the context of racial tension running high in many corners of the United States at this time, Seven Seconds is nothing if not timely, and its trailer soundtrack fits the mood well.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the trailer industry without Hollywood, and in this respect the Ocean’s 8 trailer released late last year handles its pedigree assiduously. Beginning with the 1966 version of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin” by Nancy Sinatra, a modern, trailerized cover version builds upon the original in the latter half in a way that’s nothing if not tasteful. Watch for the way the casting card syncs up with the descending, walking bass line. It simply exudes the kind of class you’d expect from the Ocean’s franchise.
These are just a few of what we felt were the most interesting and / or attention-grabbing trailers released in the past month or so, especially in terms of their music and sound. Have a suggestion on what we should look at next time? Follow us @trailaurality and visit our weekly blog at trailaurality.com for even more analysis and discussion. See you next month!