Our Favourite Soundtracks from the 2020 Awards Season

From the innovative, horrifying and industrial soundscapes of Chernobyl to the psychadelic synthesiser flutters of Uncut Gems, there are some cracking scores in the line-ups for this year’s awards.

While films come and go from the cinema throughout the year (unless you’re Netflix), their soundtracks are always a slice of the experience always remain easily accessible online. So to gear you up for the upcoming Academy Awards, we’ve rounded up our favourite recordings from the latest films of this year and last.

Chernobyl (Hildur Guðnadóttir)

Hildur Guðnadóttir has already picked up a Grammy Award for ‘Best Soundtrack’ for this record, and we can hear why. Not only this is a chilling work of art, but the way it’s been created is truly fascinating. No instruments were used to record this sonic backdrop of this terrible disaster, just Guðnadóttir’s voice and the sounds of a disused nuclear power plant in Lithuania, which she recorded and manipulated to bring the sounds to life. This is musical innovation at its finest and most exciting. We can’t wait to see what she does next.

The Lighthouse (Mark Korven)

Shot in black and white, and set in an old lighthouse at the beginning of the 20th century, this tremendous film’s soundtrack fits perfectly with its visual aesthetic. The score is dark, dreary and atmospheric, with the orchestra often relying on heavy brass drones to emulate the fog horns heard at sea. Best enjoyed in the cinema, obviously.

Uncut Gems (Daniel Lopatin)

How do you write a decent soundtrack for a story of a man with a crippling sports gambling addiction? Enter Daniel Lopatin, the man behind Oneohtrix Point Never, his experimental electronic music project. Here he’s crafted a kitsch-sounding score featuring 80s synth textures combined with flutters of psychedelic colour that often shift in timbre. It’s quirky, but eminently listenable, but most importantly, works.

Ad Astra (Max Richter)

His 36th film soundtrack, we feel that Max Richter is on his way to becoming a bit of a living legend. What he does so well in this epic score is effortlessly switch between rich, organic orchestral moments and industrial electronic soundscapes.

Midsommar (Bobby Krlic)

When performing in venues, Bobby Krlic goes under the name of The Haxan Cloak, and just like Daniel Lopatin has incorporated his sonic signature into this score. For the music of The Haxan Cloak is dark, atmospheric and industrial, and there are definitely elements of this in Midsommar, but with an unnerving folk twist.

--

--

A fortnightly newsletter devoted to sourcing the best cultural content in a world of white noise.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
The Noiseletter

A fortnightly newsletter devoted to sourcing the best cultural content in a world of white noise.