Movie soundtracks are full of great songs that reflect the themes of a movie, and there are certain songs that just really make a movie. I’m a huge fan of modern movie soundtracks as most of them include songs that are my style. Movie soundtracks are also a great way to discover new songs and artists or to get a new song from your favourite artist and feel proud of them.
Here are 10 of my favourite songs from movie soundtracks.
Movie: La La Land
This musical number is my favourite song and scene in La La Land. Mia and her friends sing it while preparing to go to a party in hopes someone will discover them, and then throughout the lavish party scene. It has a strong bass line and features different instruments such as strings, horns, and a piano, with a strong build-up and a satisfying finale.
Movie: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1
Lorde is a poet wise beyond her years, she not only talks about Katniss’s growth as a protagonist and her struggles, but personal struggles all listeners will be able to relate to. Lorde’s haunting vocals stretch over well-executed drumbeats and a relatively fast-paced chorus. It’s a dark anthem that’ll have you feeling powerful and unbeatable.
Movie: The Fault in Our Stars
This upbeat song jumps right into the powerful euphoric beat which hooked me right away when I heard it in The Fault in Our Stars. It was my most listened-to song in 2014, and I just couldn’t get enough of this feel-good track. Set against an electropop background with a pulsing bassline, it’s about the feeling of being in love, with just a touch of angst.
Movie: The Great Gatsby
This song only got a few seconds in the film, but I had it on repeat long after. It was my most listened-to song on iTunes in 2013. It starts with a traditional saxophone sound, but then turns into a synthetic dance track, still maintaining its 1920s vibe. It’s 1920s music for the modern audience, a song full of energy that just makes you want to dress up in 1920s fashion and dance.
Movie: How To Be Single
I fell in love with the fast-paced beat of this song, the joy it exudes, and the challenge of trying not to trip over the chorus. It’s about how love is like a drug and how falling in love can be both dangerous and fun. With a swirly electronic and guitar backdrop and a rapid-fire chorus, it’ll have you bopping along to the handclaps and trying to sing the correct lyrics in time.
Movie: La La Land
This song was performed by the fictional band The Messengers with John Legend playing the lead singer. It’s another one of my favourite scenes and songs from La La Land. This song is meant to illustrate Sebastian’s frustration about newfound pop-oriented jazz wiping out traditional jazz. But I’m a huge fan of it and wish The Messengers were real and had released a whole album with this sound. The song mixes traditional jazz with electronic instruments creating a catchy song you want to dance along to even though we’re supposed to hate it for Sebastian’s sake.
Movie: If I Stay
Willamette Stone is a fictional alternative rock band from the movie If I Stay, but just like The Messengers, I wish they were real. This song’s live performance was my favourite scene in the movie, because of the stellar performance and Mia and Adam’s chemistry. It’s a catchy upbeat song about being young and in love, with a steady alternative rock instrumental backdrop.
Movie: Love, Simon
The title for my favourite angstiest song is constantly changing, and this song currently holds the title. Amy Shark is an Aussie doing great things in America. It has a stripped back rhythmic beat, so Amy’s lilting vocals and heartbreaking lyrics take centre stage. It’s about infatuation and the fear and confusion of falling in love. Amy successfully delivers yet another beautiful angst-riddled song.
Movie: The Fault in Our Stars
This song is full of emotion and perfectly matched the heartbreaking scene in The Fault in Our Stars. It’s heavy on instrumentals and synths with high-pitched indiscernible vocals. Even without understanding the lyrics, the emotion is present. It’s up to the listener whether it’s about slow-burning angst or the feeling of grief, or both. The explosive drums provide the intense climax.
Movie: Paper Towns
Australian musician Vance Joy is another Aussie doing great things in America. He delivers a mix between acoustic and synth pop, creating a wistful song about summer. The breezy beat creates a sense of nostalgia, which is only emphasised when paired with the bittersweet lyrics. It’s a delightfully addictive song about the themes of love and loss, and the end of a brief relationship.
Which one of these songs is your favourite? What are your favourite songs from movie soundtracks? What is your favourite movie soundtrack?
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Julie is currently studying s Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) at Deakin University in Australia. She's a hardcover book and journal collector, she owns way too many planners, and she keeps telling herself that one day she will go to Paris.