Continuing our pre-SXSW coverage, we’ve asked some of our favorite sync-ready performers for their perspectives on music supervision. That said, we’ve spoken to Florida up-and-comers, The Icarus Account, and are happy to share them with you days before their show so you can head out if you’re in Austin!
The Icarus Account are an acoustic songwriting duo comprised of twin brothers Ty and Trey Turner who, although having struggled through music lessons as children, have been putting out albums consecutively since 2007. The Turner’s most recent album, Carry Me Home, was released August 28, 2012, and they’ve been busy touring and promoting it ever since.
In an interesting album teaser video, the brothers discussed some of the upcoming album’s themes and inspirations, and their website describes the album as “Bringing the listener on a deeply personal journey through painful breakups and falling in love to coping with the divorce of their parents after over 25 years of marriage.”
Although, Carry Me Home is ultimately a testament to the brothers’s strong faith that taught them to “believe in love again, [and to] celebrate marriage.” These themes always work well with picture because, as the band recognizes, audiences can relate.
Trey notes that, “One of the most beautiful things about writing songs is that it proves how connected all of us really are. We get messages all the time where people tell us that our songs ‘say everything they are feeling but didn’t know hot to express.’” He adds that, “To me it’s really humbling because I’ve never met that person before and yet they are feeling the same feelings that we had when we wrote the song.”
We are not alone in thinking their love themes work well for music supervision; Hillary Tyrell of Lady Antebellum licensed their track “Favorite Girl” for her video wedding announcement! Trey says he thought that “the song fit well because it was an announcement for something really happy, and the song has a very happy and catchy mood to it. He added that The Icarus Account “writes a lot of love songs so our best fit for synchs typically comes from wedding videos or love scenes.”
We also asked him, more broadly, about music licensing, bands as composers, the sociocultural aspects of music supervision, and found out his favorite music placement. You can read his responses below and be sure to check out their showcase on Wednesday, March 12 at the Creekside at Hilton Garden Inn on 500 N IH 35 at 8:00 PM! If you can’t make the show, or won’t be attending SXSW, you can still keep up with the band on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr.
How do you feel about the business of music licensing?
Music licensing is a great way to promote your music, make money off of your music, and attach your music to another art form such as a film or a game. As for the business side of it, it can honestly be kind of frustrating. It’s such a subjective and unquantifiable science so you never really know exactly what a music supervisor is looking for. You just submit your music and hope for the best.
It’s really a game of luck in a lot of ways, which can be good and bad. Ultimately, the better your music is and the more points of contact you have with the industry and music supervisors, the better chance you have of getting some songs placed!
How do you feel about bands as composers?
I am always really impressed when an artist can write a song specifically for a movie that turns out to be a perfect fit and an awesome song. Songwriting is very emotional and mood-based so it can be hard to just sit down and say ‘I’m going to write a song about this right now,’ and with writing a song or a score for a movie, that’s essentially what you are doing.
But the neat thing is that the song will be such a perfect fit once it’s all finished up (assuming it’s a good song haha), because it was written with a specific scene or feel in mind.
How do you feel about the whole “Music-for-media” movement?
I think that there’s been a turning point or ‘movement’ as of late where more artists (and major labels for that matter) are making licensing a priority in their marketing and business strategies. I think ultimately it comes down to money because the major labels started trying to find new streams of revenue once record sales began to plummet with the digital download age of music.
I think the shift is also based on technology. Humans are visual creatures and technology has enabled us to capture realistic scenes and stories on film in a very believable way, and as the film industry grows it will bring the music industry along with it.
I think it’s great both for music and for film. It’s hard to make a living as a musician these days, and if licensing opportunities are expanded it opens up another stream of revenue and a promotional tool for an artist. So for musicians it’s kind of a perfect situation. Make money and promote your music!
What’s your favorite music supervision moment?
Man that is so tough! There have been some incredible moments in film with great music supervision. Some movie scores that really stick out to me are Friday Night Lights (can we all just take a moment and admit how incredible all the music from Explosions in the Sky was for that movie?), The Dark Knight (the music from the joker scenes was so incredible and creative).
One of my favorite specific moments and songs is probably from the movie A Walk To Remember. Almost the entire soundtrack was done by Switchfoot, who was one of my favorite bands at the time. I just remember watching that movie and right at the climax of heartbreak for the characters the song “Dare You To Move” came on and I just remember getting goosebumps as the opening line “welcome to the planet” started signing. It was just such a perfect moment of realizing how painful life can be, and the song captured that pain perfectly, but without specifically saying it, and I think that’s pretty magical.