Skip to main content

Music that Makes the Movies

March 31, 2020

6 great movie soundtracks and scores now streaming on Hoopla.

Music is integral to world-building in films. Here are some soundtracks and scores that do this particularly well.

1. The Neon Demon

Citing influences like Goblin, Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, and Tangerine Dream, composer Cliff Martinez creates a cold kind of posh outer-space disco lullaby for this high fashion horror film about an aspiring model that gets swept into the dark underbelly of Los Angeles. Neon Demon is Martinez’s third collaboration with filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn - the others being Drive and Only God Forgives. You might also recognize a couple pop songs from Sia and Sweet Tempest.

2. Skate Kitchen

A dramatized film about and starring the New York group of girls who inspired it, Skate Kitchen explores what it’s like to be a woman in the world of skateboarding. Featuring artists like Khali Uchis, Clairo, Aska Matsumiya, Future Brown, Princess Nokia, Jaden Smith, and Khalid, the soundtrack provides a dreamy summer day accompaniment to Crystal Moselle’s movie.

3. Climax

Gaspar Noé‘s Climax is one big nightmare of a dance party, but almost like a fun nightmare until all of a sudden everyone realizes that someone dumped LSD in the punch and chaos ensues. The electronic dance music in the film is key to keeping the audience in a confused and paranoid trance for almost its entire runtime, which may only be 97 minutes, but definitely feels like you just experienced the entire night firsthand. The soundtrack features tunes from Aphex Twins, Daft Punk, Soft Cell, Kiddy Smile, and more. 

4. William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

The soundtrack for 1996’s Romeo + Juliet is a kind of funky alternative fairytale mixtape featuring folks like Garbage, Everclear, The Cardigans, Kym Mazelle, Radiohead, Butthole Surfers, and Des’ree. This contemporary “MTV-style” take on Shakespeare’s tragedy is a signature of filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, whose work also includes Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby

5. Sorcerer

Electronic band Tangerine Dream provides the score for this 1977 William Friedkin thriller about a group of men transporting unstable dynamite 200 miles up a dangerous South American mountain road. Also responsible for scoring films like Legend, The Keep, Near Dark, and Fire Starter, Tangerine Dream is spectacular at establishing mood, and especially in creating the tension needed for Sorcerer. You might compare their musical vibe to that of the Stranger Things soundtrack.

6. Birds of Prey

Filmmaker Cathy Yan wanted to form “a sort of musical girl gang” for the Birds of Prey soundtrack. The movie follows Harley Quinn after her breakup with Joker and features a kick-butt cast of heroines. Artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Normani, Doja Cat, Halsey, Charlotte Lawrence, and Maisie Peters supply the energy needed for this super fun action-packed Suicide Squad follow-up. 

You might also like...

Megan photo with stuffed dinosaur avatar


Megan works at the Main Library Teen Center. She enjoys crafting, board games, and horror and sci-fi films. Reach out to her if you're looking for something new to watch.

Age Groups