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Music In Film: Palo Alto

Have you seen the movie Palo Alto yet? Scored by Robert Schwartzman and Dev Hynes, Palo Alto features a digitally laden soundscape of tracks that borrow influences from trip hop, downtempo, house, lounge, and indie rock.

Palo Alto Music In Film

Words by After The Show’s Music In Film Editor Ara Hartoonian:

Gia Coppola’s debut feature perfectly pairs its coming-of-age insights with a score that is indicative of a generation growing up in tech-dependent fast times. In fact, the film features main characters consuming entertainment through video games, movies, and smartphones at key points throughout the story’s variegated telling. One of the film’s most touching moments is the delivery of a favorable text message from April, played by Emma Roberts, to Teddy, played by Jack Kilmer in his first feature film starring performance. Neither can quite put together the words to describe their affection for one another, but a simple tap of the ‘Send’ button becomes as revealing as a first kiss.

The film features a digitally laden soundscape; it at times reminds one of being inside an arcade. The music often ramps up as we stick close to the questionable decisions being made. Dev Hynes, aka Blood Orange, employs a near video game-like pulsing progression with each synth-laden track that rides alongside the unpredictable mindsets of the growing Generation Y onscreen crowd. The tracks borrow influences from trip hop, downtempo, house, lounge, and indie rock. The film’s quieter reflective moments feature ambient influences and remind one of Brian Eno or Moby’s early work.

This is not to say, however, that every event experienced alongside these late teens is passive. Rather, the music serves to inform the audience of the emotions running through these characters. These kids are participating in questionable acts, but it is because their innocence is clashing with inexperience. They exhibit facades while harboring fears, doubts, and superstitions. We’re simultaneously repulsed and rooting for them along with these plush electronic compositions.

Check out the Palo Alto soundtrack.

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