more music like this, please
July 15, 2012 8:47 AM   Subscribe

How would you describe music like this, and can you recommend more like it? Kind of dreamy vocals and swelling strings, old-fashioned mid-20th-century feeling. Example 1: The children's chorus from the opening to Night of the Hunter, starting about 32 seconds into this video. Example 2: Walt Kelly's "Willow the Wasp", 30 second sample on amazon.
posted by moonmilk to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
How about the finale from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream?
posted by hydrophonic at 9:28 AM on July 15, 2012

Claude Debussy: Sirenes
posted by canoehead at 10:00 AM on July 15, 2012

Those are definitely in the right direction, but I'm looking for this style filtered through the 1950s. I'm guessing that movie soundtracks are my best bet.
posted by moonmilk at 3:54 PM on July 15, 2012

I think you may be leaning toward an emotive style of lullaby or (typically more orchestrated) nocturne here. The singing style (especially in the second example) is also very stagey, so opening yourself up to Broadway (and movie) musicals might also be an angle to consider. I'm not so sure as you that these two you've given us really fall into the same definable genre, though I see the similarities. This sort of approach lends itself as easily to folk and Tin Pan Alley pop, but did sort of die out quickly as rock and roll took over. I would count singers like Björk and Fiona Apple as practitioners today who are handling similar vocal effects.
posted by dhartung at 5:59 PM on July 15, 2012

You're right, I wouldn't say those two belong to a genre, just that they resemble each other. I imagine that Willow the Wasp, coming from an album of mostly silly nonsense based on popular songs, was intended as a parody or homage to stuff like the Night of the Hunter bit, so I'm guessing that there was a lot more of it around that time.

posted by moonmilk at 7:09 PM on July 15, 2012


(Björk and Fiona Apple are two of my favorites, and I think I can hear the connection there)
posted by moonmilk at 7:10 PM on July 15, 2012

I did a little googling because I think it's an interesting question... the soundtrack to Night of the Hunter appears to be pretty unique, though I think you're most likely to find similar sounds in other movie soundtracks, as you presumed.

I have no idea what the particular genre of music is called (most likely movie score?) but I think you might like something like Pink Martini. Que Sera Sera and Brazil, for example (though they have a little brass thrown in and aren't string-heavy).

Other than that, some one-offs I think you might like:
Portions of the soundtrack to Les Miserables
Rosemary's Baby theme
Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla
I know these aren't really bang-on, but it's what I came up with.
posted by erstwhile at 11:54 PM on July 15, 2012

Those are pretty good, thanks! Though I keep thinking that the Sigur Ros song is called "hoppitamoppita".
posted by moonmilk at 9:20 PM on July 16, 2012

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