Recommendations on music like the Firefly soundtrack?
April 23, 2012 7:13 PM   Subscribe

MusicFilter: Can anyone recommend music similar to the Firefly soundtrack? That sort of twangy, calm western-y instrumental sound. More examples inside.

Please note that I'm not looking for country music with lyrics, but instrumentals. Other similar tracks:

"Big Bar Fight" from Firefly

"Katniss Afoot" and "Searching for Peeta" from The Hunger Games

"A Proper Story" and "Slinger's Song" from the Bastion soundtrack
posted by gchucky to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
How about some Ry Cooter? Maybe from Paris, TX
posted by OrangeDrink at 7:24 PM on April 23, 2012

posted by miyabo at 7:27 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

the Dead Man soundtrack should do nicely for you.
posted by radiosilents at 7:34 PM on April 23, 2012

The first song, Bill, from Tin Hat Trio's The Rodeo Eroded.
posted by rtha at 7:38 PM on April 23, 2012

Here's what you do. You go to Grooveshark and search "instrumental Appalachian". While your ears are being stuffed full of fiddle and banjo, read the Appalachian Music wikipedia article and find out more about your new favorite music genre. Have fun!
posted by ourobouros at 7:47 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ashokan Farewell

Gustavo Santaolalla - Iguazu (from the Deadwood soundtrack)

More Deadwood instrumentals here and here.
posted by belau at 8:09 PM on April 23, 2012

This doesn't have the 'old west' quality, but you might like Peter Gabriel's soundtrack Passion.
posted by belau at 8:19 PM on April 23, 2012

Any of the Moriccone stuff from the 60's?
posted by sourwookie at 8:56 PM on April 23, 2012

Related to Calexico is Friends of Dean Martinez. They did the soundtrack to the video game "Red Dead Redemption," which is entirely appropriate.
posted by kindall at 9:52 PM on April 23, 2012

If you want to focus on the spare desolation, A Small Good Thing has two whole albums about this, Slim Westerns Vols 1 & 2. E.g., A Mighty Stillness, Someplace South of Here, El Maricahi Loco.

Matmos's album The West (e.g.) also is about this theme of big sky and empty spaces, but they mix it up into ... well it's hard to describe exactly, so let's just say they take their typical experimental approach.
posted by aubilenon at 1:48 AM on April 24, 2012

It's a little more minimalist, but I recommend Bruce Langhorne's soundtrack to "The Hired Hand," a 1971 Peter Fonda western. One of my favorite albums. (Cool movie too.)
posted by neroli at 7:36 AM on April 24, 2012

Daniel Lanois

Robin Guthrie

And another vote for the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack
posted by jbickers at 7:47 AM on April 24, 2012

Some of the tracks from the Borderlands Soundtrack could work.
posted by ashirys at 8:04 AM on April 24, 2012

Oh man, you need to know about Japancakes! Their best two albums, in my opinion, are The Sleepy Strange, from which "Soft n Ez" is my favorite, and If I Could See Dallas, the entirety of which is on YouTube.
posted by jocelmeow at 8:09 AM on April 24, 2012

I have two bands to recommend here that you should definitely check out Calexico and Triple Burner.

Calexico sometimes has vocals and sometimes strays into pop or mariachi territory, but they're always pretty westerny and always pretty delightful.

Triple Burner is a little harder to track down (my quick googling only turned up the one track above that was easy to link to) but their sparse guitar jams are what I imagine would be playing in the background if I ever found my self planning a horseback train heist.

Also, I'm going to mention the band Tristeza here too. It's not as obvious of a match but some of their tracks maybe have that feel to them, however most of their music is more of a psychedelic post-rock. In fact, since you have some tracks from Bastion listed maybe compare intros to The Sole Regret from that soundtrack to Bromas by Tristeza.
posted by cirrostratus at 9:01 AM on April 24, 2012

OrangeDrink: "How about some Ry Cooter? Maybe from Paris, TX"

Music By Ry Cooder is a wonderful compilation of his film soundtrack work.
posted by octothorpe at 9:09 AM on April 24, 2012

Bill Frisell's album Disfarmer often puts me in mind of Firefly.
posted by BrashTech at 9:35 AM on April 24, 2012

At first I didn't think they qualified as calm western-y, but after listening to your Bastion examples, Rodrigo y Gabriela have a similar vibe that you might enjoy.

Some examples:
posted by CancerMan at 10:25 AM on April 24, 2012

The Eagles - Journey of the Sorcerer. Better known as the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy theme.
posted by d11 at 2:56 PM on April 24, 2012

A very similar question was asked in January. There are a lot of good recommendations there.
posted by seasparrow at 9:27 PM on April 24, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the recommendations, everyone. I've got a bunch of Rodrigo y Gabriela and Yoshida Brothers, and it's in a similar vein. As I parse through I'll mark best answers.
posted by gchucky at 8:36 PM on April 26, 2012

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