TV bingers and soundtrack lovers unite! Today we’ve got a two-for-one special on a pair of incredible soundtracks for shows that are both wrapping up their respective first seasons this month.
First up, the Disney+ sensation, The Mandalorian, featuring Overdone Meme of the Year, Baby Yoda. While coverage of this green bundle of midi-chlorians is inescapable, what’s gone massively under the radar is the seamless job Ludwig Goransson has done with scoring the Star Wars project.
A frequent collaborator of Childish Gambino, and winner of a GRAMMY for his work on Black Panther, the Swedish composer brilliantly employs a bass recorder as the signature sound identifying the show’s bounty hunter protagonist. He combines this with electronic sound effects and the string sections we hear in our favorite films to create a score that is new and fresh while staying true to the spirit of John Williams’ original masterpieces.
With each new chapter of The Mandalorian, Goransson has a corresponding 20-minute EP available on music streaming services, a business move that seems unprecedented in the world of small-screen soundtrack releases.
Not to be outdone, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have taken their talents to “premium television” via the new HBO adaptation of Watchmen. If you’re a fan of Nine Inch Nails or the duo’s acclaimed scores for films like The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Mid90s, then you’ll feel right at home.
While most songs draw from the style of their aforementioned works, one historical flashback episode leads to a few jazz numbers that slow down the otherwise tense pace of the music. Tracks for Watchmen’s show within a show, American Hero Story, are also part of the track list, and feature more traditional, swelling orchestral sounds.
With two of three volumes already streaming, Reznor and Ross are set to release the final installment of the Watchmen soundtrack on December 20. Not unlike The Mandalorian, these multi-volume releases appear to be a calculated move adapting to society’s ever-dwindling attention spans. You gotta hear it though!