Musical Score By: Brian McOmber
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults in his full-length feature directorial debut, Krisha actually stars Shults’ aunt Krisha Fairchild in the title role. In the dramatic film, Krisha is a troubled woman in her sixties who suddenly shows up at her sister’s (Robyn Fairchild) home in Texas on Thanksgiving morning. With Krisha’s history of addiction and erratic behavior, not everyone in the family is happy to see her, especially her son, Trey (Trey Edward Shults), who was raised by Krisha’s sister who is rather indifferent to her being there. That indifference in addition to the rest of the family’s behavior around her pushes Krisha to the limit…and once she goes over, all hell is about to break loose.
The musical score of Krisha was created by self-taught drummer and composer Brian McOmber, who has performed over six continents and collaborated with such notable artists Bjork, David Byrne, Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent and more. His scoring career began in 2013 with A Teacher. Since then, he has created musical score for over twenty films, including See You Next Tuesday, Ugly, It Comes at Night and Little Woods.
The Krisha Soundtrack is quiet an interesting mixture of violins, keyboards, electronically manipulated sound and unusual percussion sounds. The score was created to reflect the various emotions experienced by characters in the film. According to McOmber, “Hope, anxiety, fear, nostalgia, anger and desperation are just some of the emotions in the film that we tried to accentuate with the music. We knew we wanted each music cue to have a unique vibe, instrumentation and style, while at the same time avoid anything that didn't feel appropriate to the films sonic palette. It was challenging to come up with music so varied in emotion, style and instrumentation for such a small film. We tried not to get carried away by ambition.”
Opening tracks feature some dialogue from the film, specifically moments in her brother-in-law, Doyle (Bill Wise) converses with her, trying to get a read on what is going on in her head and why she has suddenly re-appeared after years of absence. Tracks like The Woodpecker Part 1 and The Woodpecker Part 2 contain a strange sort of clicking percussion, perhaps equating with the repetitive pecking sound of a woodpecker. One could just imagine Krisha struggling to stay sober while listening to all the chatter bombarding her skull just like a woodpecker. Kitchen Chaos features a cacophony of noises and sounds, like an out of tune piano piece mixed in with weird percussion and strings. Porn is just what it sounds like and I wonder why it would even be included on this soundtrack…not sure if there is one, but with a track like that, there should probably be an Explicit label on this soundtrack. And speaking of weird sounds, there is even the “ding” of a desktop call bell in the track Ends.
Overall, the musical score of Krisha is unsettling with its spurts of music mixed with screeching violins, off-kilter and out of tune music and chaotic sound mixes. To me, this perfectly expresses the range of emotions coursing through Krisha while she is with her family – the hope that the reunion will turn out well, the nervousness that it won’t, the anguish and pain at not being accepted by certain members of the family or, in her mother’s case, not being remembered at all. The Krisha Soundtrack is a rather interesting listen, made even more understandable once you know what the film is about. Not sure if this makes for a great standalone album, but I have no doubt that it works perfectly with the film.