There are few soundtracks that really go the extra mile, give us goosebumps and make our hearts beat a little faster as they perfectly match the feeling of the fleeting imagery crossing the screen before our eyes. Submarine (adapted from the 2008 novel by Joe Dunthorne) is a coming-of-age British film set in Swansea, Wales. It follows our protagonist, Oliver Tate, who struggles with his concern about the relationship between his parents, and falling in love himself for the first time. The feelings addressed in the film are accompanied by a brilliant, original acoustic score that reminds you of long winters, discovery and the general bewilderment of being a kid. The soundtrack was released on 18th March 2011 and proved to be so popular that it ranked 35th in the UK Album Chart. The six original songs were written and performed entirely by Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner. Fans may expect the usual indie-rock style that comes to mind when you hear ‘Alex Turner’ and ‘Arctic Monkeys’ but may be pleasantly surprised when they listen to the soothing acoustic tones resonate from such songs as Piledriver Waltz:
“You look like you’ve been for breakfast
At the heartbreak hotel
And sat in the back booth
By the pamphlets and the literature
On how to lose
Your waitress was miserable
And so was your food
If you’re gonna try and walk on water
Make sure you wear your comfortable shoes”
I guess what impresses me so much with a soundtrack like this is it’s ability to transport you back to a time and place when you felt the same way. When you hear a song accompanied to a moving image that’s like a memory, it’s immensely powerful and tugs at your heartstrings, like looking at an old photograph.
The entire album is available to listen to online.
I’d recommend making a ‘Nostalgic November’ playlist for this one. Alex Turner has made a gem of an EP here.