By Amanda DK

A current trend in film and television music, and one that I’m continuously excited to watch develop, is artists scoring, or collaborating with established composers on, projects.  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Hans Zimmer teaming up with Rodrigo y Gabriela on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Daft Punk scoring TRON: Legacy.

What does this have to do with the much-lauded TBD recording artists, Other Lives?  If there was ever a remake of the film version of The Grapes of Wrath, I would love to see that band score it.  At the very least contribute a few songs.

To be fair, it’s been quite some time since I’ve read the book.  As I remember it though, one might be able to use the same descriptive words for both novel and artist.  Tamer Animals, Other Lives’ debut album sounds like a modern folktale, haunting, dynamic, rich and layered.  Echoing vocals swirl through the air, met at times by horns, tambourines, strings, thunderous drums, piano, and most often, mournful harmonizing.

It’s difficult to choose just one track from this opus, an album that appeared on many best of lists at the end of 2011, including Muzzle of Bees, Hear Ya, and several industry folks cited by Rollo & Grady’s (not just me I promise).  “Dust Bowl III” likely won out due to the moment at around 2:06, when elegant plucking on an acoustic guitar erupts into earthy, aggressive percussion, and again at 3:39 when the intensity builds even stronger.  No matter what I am doing or where my focus is, this song will grab hold me and toss my insides around like waves in the ocean.  The driving energy is visceral and compelling, with a wizened, ancient quality. Not too shabby for an Oklahoma quintet birthed in 2004.

You know, I can think of another group of people who famously migrated out of Oklahoma. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Joad family?

Other Lives “Dust Bowl III”

Purchase Other Lives Tamer Animals here.