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!


Hamilton

Of course, we’d be completely remiss not to focus on Hamilton, the most remarkable and critically-lauded musical of the past decade, and the added importance and symbolism it brings as it arrives on Disney+ in the midst of the pandemic, not to mention in the current polarizing political climate in the United States. Here the opening track “Alexander Hamilton” is mashed up with fan-favourite track “Satisfied”, offering a sense of freshness to the proceedings for fans of the 2015 cast album. The key change up a half step coincides with the title card inviting you to “experience” the live spectacle, which offers an immersive and singular confluence of sound and image.

Tenet

Christopher Nolan’s latest, Tenet, offers the narrative experiment of selected action following time in reverse, as we perceive it in forward motion (it’s fairly difficult to explain and is best seen). Notice at 1:50 how some of the sound in the music is itself played in reverse, reinforcing the unusual action on screen. It happens again at 2:05, and again at 2:24—subtle so not as to be gimmicky, but perceptively present.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Will Ferrell’s latest sees him teaming up with Rachel McAdams as a songwriting duo from Iceland in a thorough lampooning of the Eurovision contest. What’s notable here musically is the combination of earnestness and ridiculousness; lyrics in fan-favourite Husavik, such as “where the mountains sing to the screams of seagulls”, are performed by Molly Sandén (dubbing for McAdams’ character in the performance scenes) without a hint of self-awareness.


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.

We offer these observations in the hope that our readers can find some distraction in this turbulent time through music and movies. Perhaps the music of the trailers we have reviewed will lead you on a virtual journey of discovery into its sources, which could open further worlds of sound to you. See you next month!

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