Jonny Greenwood has worked with Paul Thomas Anderson three times before, including “There Will Be Blood,” “The Master,” and “Inherent Vice,” but he may have just saved the best for the fourth time. “Phantom Thread,” Anderson’s latest about the romance between a famous London fashion designer (Daniel-Day Lewis) and a country waitress (Vicky Krieps), finds Greenwood working with his biggest orchestra yet (a 60-string ensemble) and crafting his most lush melodies to date.
“We talked a lot about ‘50s music, what was popularly heard then as well as what was being written and recorded,” Greenwood recently told Variety about the score. “Nelson Riddle and Glenn Gould’s Bach recordings were the main references. I was interested in the kind of jazz records that toyed with incorporating big string sections, Ben Webster made some good ones, and focus on what the strings were doing rather than the jazz musicians themselves.”
Part of what makes Greenwood’s “Phantom Thread” score so incredible is how it serves as a Greek chorus of sorts to what is taking place on screen. The musician slowly perverts the film’s central melody as the central relationship takes subtle twists and turns you don’t see coming.
Greenwood has never been nominated for an Oscar, but his “Phantom Thread” score should change that if the Academy is listening correctly. His work on “Phantom Thread” is currently nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score.
Stream the first-released track from the score below.