We’ve pulled together a list of essential viewing for any indie music fan. We chose to make this a “Garden State-Free” list to keep it fresh and this selection of cinematic gems, in addition to having good music, are all good films.
Tell us who we missed in the comments below.
Director Nicolas Winding Refn and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s drummer Cliff Martinez worked together to create a retro-‘80s synth-infused soundscape backed by sugar sweet vocals.
Standout track: College & Electric Youth’s “A Real Hero”
500 DAYS OF SUMMER
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in this 2009 quirky music-themed romcom. The soundtrack is full of indie heartbreakers like Regina Spektor, Temper Trap, Feist, The Smiths, and of course She & Him – made up of Deschanel and M. Ward.
She & Him cover The Smiths “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” in the film:
Wes Anderson teamed up with Mark Mothersbaugh (Rushmore) for the soundtrack to for Royal Tenenbaums which has a big musical range from the devastating Elliott Smith to the high energy of the Ramones. Other legends making noise in this cult classic are The Clash, Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, and more.
THE GREAT GATSBY
The soundtrack for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel features indie stars like Lana Del Rey, The xx, Jack White and Gotye. Bet you wouldn’t guess that JayZ produced the soundtrack!
Lana Del Rey wrote “Young & Beautiful” for the original soundtrack.
The ultimate Canadian indie soundtrack goes to One Week. This is the ultimate roadtrip playlist with anthems like Sam Roberts’ “Hard Road”, “Weigthy Ghost” by Wintersleep and “A Million Dollars” by Joel Plaskett.
With an all-star collection of British pop, techno, and veteran rockers like Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and Blur, Trainspotting’s soundtrack creates the perfect atmosphere for these drug-addicted Scottish friends.
Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” really captures the feeling of the flim.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Spike Jonze film adaptation of childrens’ book Where The Wild Things Are is jam-packed with indie talent. Karen O and the Kids are responsible for the entire soundtrack. Karen O is the frontwoman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and her small army of collaborators includes her band members, Deerhunter / Altas Sound mastermind Bradford Cox, Dean Fertita from Dead Weather / Raconteurs, and Jack Lawrence.
“All is Love” was nominated for a Grammy in 2009 for Best Song Written For A Soundtrack.
Before you roll your eyes, give this star-studded soundtrack a chance! Thom Yorke, Death Cab For Cutie, Lykke Li, The Killers, Muse, Bon Iver, Ok Go, Grizzly Bear – just to name a few.
Thom Yorke’s previously unreleased “Hearing Damage” appears on the tracklist:
Music plays a big role in this indie comedy’s plot. The soundtrack includes sounds from The Kinks, Belle & Sebastian, Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground amongst others.
Belle & Sebastian contribute a couple songs to the film. Give “Piazza, New York Catcher” a spin:
TAKE THIS WALTZ
The bittersweet comedy-drama starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogan is set to a lovely little indie soundtrack featuring Canadians like Feist, Jason Collett, and Leonard Cohen.