Dancing hands and tunes to type to
Critics have rightly fawned over the musicality of the set pieces in Baby Driver, Edgar Wright’s summer heist movie.
Aficionados of the writer/director/producer recognise his trademark footprints from his stellar back catalogue; Spaced, the so called ‘Cornetto trilogy’ and cult-classic Scott Pilgrim vs The World. In each case there is an appreciation of the central role of music, and a sense of fun to the soundtrack – Shaun of the Dead’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ scene being a well-cited case in point.
Without the deft-hand of Wright, Baby Driver could have become little more than a patchwork of souped-up music videos; the T-Rex backed foot-tapping laundrette scene, the Tequila shoot-out, that tracking scene for the morning coffee run. But his care, attention to detail, and the backstory of the titular Baby make the soundtrack an essential character that contributes to the narrative and, indeed, drives it forward.
A well-crafted film becomes many things to many people. I choose to view it as a love-letter to the headphone brigade – those who live (partially) in the tunes that accompany us throughout the day.
On leaving the cinema I immediately sent a text to a friend, “This is so us!”
Music is deeply personal. Though taste vary, and opinions differ, it’s nigh impossible to find someone who ‘doesn’t like music’. For many it is intrinsically linked with who they are and who they want the world to see them as. It’s why Spotify’s recent billboard campaign was so spectacular (more on that in my next blog).
I’ve often found that the right song can change not just my mood, but my movements and actions. They can have me Gene-Kellying my way down a suburban street or chopping veg on the downbeat. Crucially for my job, music helps me to create and write - I find my fingers lilting over the keyboard in time to the music.
Of course, using music to assist the writing process is nothing new. I’ve seen lists of songs that help inspire, often with a predilection for the dramatic cinematic scores.
But I’m most interested in knowing which songs you use to spark a tempo to your typing, a spring in your step. If indeed, you even do that. I know those who have used it to simply drown out a clunky, ill-functioning air conditioning system.
I’ve used every type of music imaginable; from disco to classical to electro-swing to hip-hop. Here are a few of my current favourites, I’d love to hear yours.