A Field of Birds by The Tallest Man On Earth.
IMF: Think I heard this one first from Said The Gramophone. Its a great little song written and performed by Sweden’s The Tallest Man On Earth for The Yellow Bird Project (we wrote about it here). Its currently the theme song for the charity. Dave, what do you think?
DH: Gotta love the Swedes. This is a great song to open our discussions with because this track would be stunning as a film-opener. I love that you found this through Yellow Bird. My favorite album last year was actually a charity comp for the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto called, Friends in Bellwoods. Check it out for sure.
A Field of Birds by The Tallest Man On Earth reminds me of some of the tunes I was hearing up in the Yukon this summer (http://www.dcmf.com/) and some of the new stuff bubbling to the surface here in Canada (The Acorn, Brian Borcherdt, Chad Vangaalen). I love the intimate, singular and almost empty-sounding production. This DIY sound works for me on so many levels when dealing with music placement. I really tend to gravitate towards intimate and honest songs like these for single-character-films which we seem to get a lot of. Some people in the ad industry love to call this sound “Organic” but to me that just sounds like it’ll go bad in a week. These tracks sounds classic to me and would hold up against so many different character-types.
The track would work in many sync-situations but with the perpetual roll of the guitar, it is definitely built for a montage. A film set-up song for sure. I can see a lone man wandering train tracks to walk right into the cliche but I also think it would work great as a song for the every-man as we enter into his world either through a city-street-walking montage or maybe a good-morning montage. The juxtaposition of the simple song and the complex big-city would collide quite beautifully.
Alternatively this could be an Act-3 song as it would also work nicely on a downfall, through a fight montage and the aftermath or a confrontation with a son or father or even a lover. What hits me right away though is the whimsy. The first line “A Little Bird came up to me” sets up a whimsical introspective mood and the continued roll of the guitar keeps the vibe optimistic but delicately balanced with the interesting vocals which, although constantly trembly and vulnerable like Daniel Johnston, never falls over into desperate or whiney like, well, Chris Martin of Coldplay.
I don’t love the end of the track as it meanders through the obligatory breakdown and re-build, but chances are in a synch situation you would take the song from the head of the track and run it with the scene until the finger-picking crescendo kicks in. At that point the song would likely fade out to start the act. The protagonist would have “arrived” and then the song would taper out beautifully.
I would have loved this song for a film we just supervised called COLE. The song would have fit in nicely with the texture of the other tunes in the film. Stay tuned at vapormusic.com for soundtrack details.
Until next time. Ho Ho Ho…. Happy Hanukkah!
Coming from a film background, David Hayman started music supervising for a Canadian tv series called The Eleventh Hour. Now at Vapor Music, David has his hand in supervision for films (Everything’s Gone Green, Young People Fucking), short films (NFB, Canadian Film Centre), and advertising campaigns (Virgin Mobile, Toyota, GMC, Coors, MTV). David is also a unicorn-slayer and volunteer fire-fighter by night.*
*taken word for word from his bio