TV made the soundtrack star

You may not even realise it, but a TV soundtrack has the ability to make or break a series. A good one can be the icing on the cake, but if the series is already average at best, a TV soundtrack that fails to compliment the various moods and storylines within, can turn it into the worst show ever. Even the Emmys recently started to recognise the importance of a good TV soundtrack, handing out its first trophy for Outstanding Music Supervision in 2017.

It goes without saying that music is often the backdrop to many moments in our own personal lives, being part of what makes them memorable. A good TV soundtrack has the ability to cleverly create musical memories for us on screen. Now, some TV soundtracks are actually more like movie scores. Often used in series centred around already more ‘serious’ themes, such as crime, fantasy and horror, in which the music has been crafted and composed specifically to go alongside every twist and turn you see within the show. We’ll take a recent example where this was particularly well-executed: Killing Eve. Completed raved about due to being incredibly well-written and captivating (as well as having two amazing female leads), it also has a thrilling score underneath, which made it feel almost cinematic.

Then you have the soundtrack generally seen in sitcoms, slightly intense dramas and reality TV. The soundtrack is comprised of songs that already exist, and are used and moulded in, to fit the mood of the scene. One soundtrack I always go back to is the Ashes to Ashes soundtrack (seriously, watch it if you haven’t already). Full of fiery 80s hits and featuring music from the likes of Queen, David Bowie, The Human League and Blondie, they all added to the effortlessly cool and thrilling feel of the series, making it even more punchy and powerful. Then, think of all your favourite Indie songs from recent years, where did they end up? All your favourite TV sitcoms. To me, shows like The Inbetweeners, Gavin and Stacey, Fresh Meat, to name a few, end up providing an element of much needed nostalgia and warmth through their soundtracks. An ideal TV soundtrack has this incredible ability to completely alter your feelings from one moment to the next. It exaggerates emotions and helps to create a connection with characters through their most pivotal moments on scene, always made even better with a great song in the background.

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November 2021
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