While Arcade Fire‘s still (frustratingly) unreleased, Oscar nominated score is key ingredient to the melancholy romance of “Her,” from the outset, Spike Jonze had a different idea about what he wanted for the music in his film. “I was initially thinking I would get a bunch of different artists to write music,” the director told Digital Spy. “I could get people like James Murphy, MIA, Karen O, Arcade Fire, get all these bands that I love to write three or four pieces of music that’s like music from the future, and what music is gonna sound like in 20 years. There’d be heartbreak songs, love songs, all these different songs, melancholy songs and I’d give them themes to write about. But then once I’d written the script I was like ‘Actually this isn’t that kind of movie, it’s not a movie where you can just drop songs in. ‘ ”
And good thing, because his next call was to Win Butler and pretty soon he had Arcade Fire doing the music for the entire film. And you might be surprised by some of the influences that came to bear on the score. “I had this Breeders song that we used called ‘Off You’ that we use towards the beginning that’s a real template for the movie. There’s another song, ‘Skeletons’, by Yeah Yeah Yeahs that Karen wrote for the record It’s Blitz!, and I had an Aphex Twin song ‘Avril 14th,’ ” Jonze said, but Butler opened up the director other textures. “When Win started talking about it, he was giving me ideas and saying listen to Arvo Pärt or Erik Satie or Wolf Parade.”
Whatever alchemical magic happened, it has resulted in an Oscar nomination and one of the most memorable film scores of 2013. Below, you can watch a little featurette highlight the band at work recording and scoring the movie via Pitchfork.