The sonic reflection of a love story that explores the chaotic, conflict-driven world of GenY, the soundtrack to Australian indie feature film Submerge (directed by Sophie O'Connor and produced by Kat Holmes) emerged on iTunes on February 17, 2014. Grounded in protagonist Jordan (Lily Hall), an honours student with a flair for history, elite swimmer and Olympic hopeful, navigating the precarious journey of striking a careful balance between study, the expectations of her parents, and maintaining a social life. The film provides an unflinching exploration of ambition, the desire for instant gratification in a consumerist world, and the dizzying, at times perilous waters of love and sexuality, when Jordan finds herself falling for her tutor Angie (Christina Hallett). The soundtrack is naturally as diverse and evocative in tone and emotion as the film, with each track handpicked by director Sophie O'Connor and music supervisor Andrew Penhallow. The soundtrack boasts a spectrum of some of Australia's best and brightest independent artists from past to present.
Firmly intertwined with its GenY focus, songs of partying and forgotten last night's litter the soundtrack, with tracks such as Lights Off (Tokyo Denmark Sweden) and Liar (illuminati inc) capturing the spirit of the night and bright lights with its hypnotic pulse and smooth vocals. Alt rock heavyweights Falling Joys loan their talents to keeping the party vibe going, the raw and completely inescapable Universal Mind underscoring the chaos and the longing.
Pop gems from the likes of Kristine and Asian Envy take the edge off, while Make Amends (Pty Ltd) and the Latin inspired I'm Warning You (Garrido) bring the funk. The soundtrack also captures the mellow moments with the smooth style of Best Thing (Jazzlord ft. Linda Janssen), while Ariela Jacobs' False Alarms strips out the intoxicating haze of party lights and leaves you in a lonely moment of clarity and solitude, driven by haunting vocals, jingling acoustic guitar, and raw emotion. The Submerge soundtrack captures the rush of sex, drugs and youth, dizzying emotion, and the unique sun-drenched character of Australian life, distilling it all into an aural landscape that is almost a character in itself.
The soundtrack to Submerge is released two weeks before the global release of the film and is available on iTunes from February 17th, 2014.
1 The Beautiful Girls & Boys – Asian Envy ft. Kendrew
2 Best Thing – Jazzlord Ft. Linda Janssen
3 No Big Deal – Asian Envy
4 I'm Warning You – Garrido
5 This Wont Take Too Long – Pty Ltd
6 Modern Love - Kristine
7 Make Amends (Crazy P. Remix Edit) – Pty Ltd
8 Paper Sails – Tokyo Denmark Sweden
9 Kahana to Hana – Mark Walton Fretless
10 If Something Gives – Falling Joys
11 Universal Mind – Falling Joys
12 Control - Nantes
13 Lights Off - Tokyo Denmark Sweden
14 Eschatol (Edit) – Domeyko Gonzalez
15 Liar (Edit) – Illuminati Inc
16 Unsatisfy – Nantes
17 Lost - Nantes
18 Sun (The Finger Prince Remix) – Tunnel Signs
19 Blue Run Red (Edit) - Illuminati Inc
20 I'll Just Have To Find Another Giant - Falling Joys
21 Nevermine – Melanie George
22 Shadow March – Domeyko Gonzalez
23 Memory Center – Domeyko Gonzalez
24 False Alarms – Ariela Kacons
25 Charlie - Nantes
Question: What inspired your selection for the Submerge soundtrack?
Sophie O'Connor: Gen Y. I wanted to compile a contemporary soundtrack to support the central narrative of the film.
Question: How did you relate these songs to the Submerge film?
Sophie O'Connor: I listened to a lot of music and selected the tracks that I felt supported and enhanced the scenes.
Question: How important, to you, was it that the artist were Australian?
Sophie O'Connor: Right from the word go, I decided that I wanted to showcase the talent we have in Australia. We have some of the best musicians in the world here so why wouldn't you use the talent that's on your doorstep? Also, having been a musician, I know how hard it is to gain exposure. For me it was a "win-win" situation. I get a fantastic soundtrack as well helping local musicians gain some exposure to a diverse audience.
Question: How did you ensure the track would work with the diverse and evocative in tone of the film?
Sophie O'Connor: I had a pretty good idea about the style of music that I wanted for the film, but it really comes down to trial and error... Andrew Penhallow (music supervisor) and I would Skype for hours, methodically going through the film scene by scene, selecting tracks and playing them with the vision until we were happy we'd selected the right tracks.
Question: What do you enjoy most about the Submerge soundtrack?
Sophie O'Connor: All of it! Absolute killer tracks.
Question: Many of the artists featured have more than one song on the soundtrack; why is this?
Sophie O'Connor: For me, there are certain artists that you immediately identify and connect with and more often than not, I'd find that there were more than one track on an album that I'd like and that suited the film.
Question: Can you talk us through your favourite scene to film of Submerge?
Sophie O'Connor: It's hard to pick one, it was all really interesting, but the scene in the park with the two girls is one of my favourites. It was the last scene we shot, it was right on sunset on a hot Melbourne day, we were outside in a park, it was a lovely way to end the shoot.
Question: What was the biggest challenge you came across when filming Submerge?
Sophie O'Connor: Time and the heat. We shot Submerge in a short amount of time without much rest and in hot, blistering heat. Above 35 degrees most days and over 40 on others and under lights and in cramped spaces it got pretty sticky.
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the movie industry?
Sophie O'Connor: Firstly, cinema for me is the great escape. What inspired me to make films, apart from fact that I like to tell a good story, is that it's an art form that relies on the collaboration of many people and artists across many platforms.
Question: Are you currently working on another project?
Sophie O'Connor: I've just completed a short film "Hangry" which is due out very soon and in development of another feature.
Interview by Brooke Hunter