The ultimate journey to StudioFest begins now. As we make the trek from Portland, Oregon to the Catskill Mountains of Phoenicia, the upcoming weekend will be filled with non-stop music to the multifaceted sides to filmmaking (need to catch up on what StudioFest is, check it out here).
Our Creative Licensing Team assembled the ultimate playlist to get you amped up. Follow the link below to get listening and stay tuned for more information about the winning filmmakers & screenwriters!
The trailer to a film can be the fingerprint to an entire project — it’s what tells your viewers just enough engaging information without giving away the best parts (c’mon, no one likes spoilers). It’s an art-form to master and can influence just how many viewers will be hooked enough to seek out the rest of the story.
Similar to commercials, the film’s sneak peek can be cut down and edited around the right music to tug on the heartstrings of the audience — from the lighthearted pop rock that lulls behind dialogue of a comedic romance to the rhythmic percussions guiding an action sequence. But what’s the right kind of music for your trailer and how does one even begin searching for the best fit?
We have three tips to help nail down the best music for any trailer or short video.
Considering Song Length
This is it, the first impression. And you have to do it typically in under two minutes. While the visuals and dialogue will help create a compelling exposition for the film, music is a surefire method evoking emotional investment from the audience.
This is why it’s not uncommon to see a range (one to two, or even three songs) with the first song defining the vibrancy and tone, the last song as the catalyst.
In the “Sorry For Your Loss” movie trailer, two songs were licensed for the project: “Possible Deaths” by Typhoon and “Golden October" by Ryan Stively.
The songs, while emotively different, still compliment each other through their reflective qualities. While it’s clear neither song plays from start to finish in the video, there’s an intentional shift and purpose for the music’s placement. When “Golden October” trails off, “Possible Deaths” illustrates a heavier mood, hitting home a somewhat mysterious quality to the film (remember the mentioning of hooking your audience, this is that moment).
When a project needs succinct music to perfectly fit within a timeline the Length setting aids editors in finding music to appease such time constraints. Get searching and check it out here.
It’s All About the Mood
We hinted at this above but the emotional qualities of a trailer can be what intensifies or lessens the trailer’s message. If the film is a dark drama set in the 1800s, the music should similarly help complete this palette. Will there be swelling moments of inspiration? Or is the audience meant to feel alienated? These are the kind of factors to consider when placing music to picture.
On the Marmoset browse page, there are two key settings to filter a song’s search. Toggle the Mood and Energy settings to find music that compliments the overall atmospheric tone.
A Certain Kind of Subtext
In deciding between lyrics and instrumental versions of a song, the lyrical version can offer subtext to a trailer — all without the audience even realizing it’s happening. Call it subconscious persuasion but it can help hit all the right points quickly and effectively.
In the “Sorry For Your Loss” trailer, “Golden October” alludes to the idea of missing someone or wishing to be reunited with them. This aligns with the trailer’s unfolding narrative as this also centers around the main character struggling with the death of her spouse.
To utilize a song’s lyrics to their fullest music searchers can check out the song’s lyrics from the Marmoset music search page. Simply play a song and if the artist submitted lyrics to Marmoset, an “open book” icon will appear on the bottom of the window. Click this icon and a pop-up window will appear with lyrics.
Check back next time as we continue offering more tips on how to find the music for every project.
Residing in the Pacific Northwest, Oatmello’s mellow instrumental beats mirror the city’s lowkey demeanor and climate — laid back, relaxed, with a sort of cozy, chill atmosphere. With roots in Portland, Oregon, Oatmello mixes instrumental beats in layers that sometimes feel texturally unexpected but always engaging.
The moniker Oatmello came to be when the artist and his wife were strolling across Mississippi Avenue in Portland one morning. With no particular context and almost out of the blue, his wife encouraged him to call his new music project to be “Oatmello.” Being an impactful supporter to his musical career, he still looks to her for offering constructive criticism on the work he produces.
“She has a great sense of humor and gives me all sorts of great ideas for things; I always consult her on new songs,” says Oatmello. “She’s brutally honest and dislikes 90% of what I make, but when she likes something, it's a really good sign.”
Of the moniker coined that day, the artist notes how the name resonates with his creative endeavors and his work, capturing the vibes and mood of his music — there's a sense of irreverence and something that feels hearty while remaining classic.
Even before the name “Oatmello” was realized, the artist knew he’d pursue music at a very young age, recalling his first albums being Magical Mystery Tour and Raffi’s singable songs. As a child he became enamored with the small Fisher-Price portable record player that his parents gifted him, hauling the gadget around from place to place. Growing up, he became a fan of hip-hop in the ‘90s, listening to the likes of Wu Tang and G Funk — he would later draw inspiration from such pioneering artists using their work as a benchmark for the hip-hop infused beats he would create as Oatmello.
While classically trained in piano, it was an activity Oatmello secretly hated practicing. It was a telltale sign to continue searching for his niche in music, to find and secure the creative channel that resonated with his creative mission.
“I wanted to jam and make my own music, not just learn how to recite others works perfectly. It really frustrated me. When I was a teenager I discovered beat making and became captured by it. I remember the moment in that first year of making beats where I thought to myself, ‘this is something I could be happy doing for the rest of my life’.”
Oatmello’s listeners will identify the genre as instrumental hip-hop, a genre he’s proud to categorize his music and influences under. “A lot of producers conceptualize their music as something new which doesn't conform to any genre,” says Oatmello. “Personally, I take a lot of comfort and inspiration seeing my music as part of a lineage of music and recognizing the giants whose shoulders I’m standing on.”
Like many can expect to face in the music industry, there’s a resounding pressure to invent the newest latest hit. It’s something Oatmello side steps gracefully, wanting to explore within the sound in novel and interesting ways. With his song “Push Up,” he opts to use unconventional sound samples to construct the layers, using the sounds of writing on a chalkboard for the high hat pattern.
When it comes to composing, Oatmello mulls over the beat in his head, visualizing or hearing the sound even before sitting down to work on the song. Once conceptualized, he experiments in his studio to begin constructing the preimagined piece; the key to his creative process is avoiding overly edited by polishing every song he creates, but instead focusing on the initial creation and experimenting with the moving variables.
“I watched a documentary on Sumi-e once, which is a form of Japanese brush painting. The idea is that the brush stroke is quick to make but it takes hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tries to get the right stroke. That somehow stuck with me, and I have a similar attitude about making music.”
While the creative process prior leading up to that experimental stage can take time to unfold, it’s Oatmello’s approach and techniques that contribute to his music feeling fresh and forward thinking. While the artist believes in making music for the right reasons, striving beyond external validation from society, he hopes his work strikes a positive impact on those who listen.
“I would just hope that when listening [to my music], it gives people a feeling of peace, introspection, comfort, and perhaps freedom.”
With close to half a million monthly listeners on Spotify, Oatmello’s lofi hip-hop songs are available for license at Marmoset and available for streaming on Apple Music, Bandcamp, and SoundCloud. Want to read more artist spotlights? Check our our list below.
Warm weather might be slipping away but this won't stop more new music from pouring into Marmoset. Last month our Artist and Repertoire Team welcomed a handful of new talent to our roster — from the likes of Los Angeles trio band, Coastal Kites (like well-polished jam sessions on an instrumental voyage) to the electronic Latin expressions of PAUZA. Other notable new music we know you'll want to hear:
Upbeat, bouncy and plucky strings — listen to Wayfarer
Energetic modern funk, playful RnB — listen to The Commotions
Gritty anthems to stir up energy — listen to Dakota Arms
Minimalist punk rock, pensive with a build-up — listen to Shadowlands
Punchy synth, attention-grabbing instrumentals — listen to A. Zebra
Imaginative folk pop, lively and hopeful — listen to Danielle Cormier
Electronic hip-hop with beat drops, intense pop synth — listen to Galoski
Reflective indie rock, ooh's and ahh's — listen to Kilcid Band
Somber beats, mysterious, with breaks and buildup — listen to Denim Dreams
American blues, stomps and claps, gritty — listen to Razor Roulette
We've done all the hard work for you, jump right in and start listening to August's New Music Mixtape below.
The Another Listen series features music that while wasn't released this year, due to its unforgettable qualities, is music we believe should be revisited. And what better time than now? In this edition, we'll be looking back at 2017 released album, HAJK by HAJK.
The self-titled record is like a nesting doll — on the surface, it’s happy and smiling, but the deeper you dig the more layers you’ll find. A strong, attention-grabbing debut from the five-piece Oslo-based band HAJK immediately wraps you up in warm, intertwining male/female vocals, bright guitar riffs and positive piano melodies — but the indie pop packs a surprising, underlying punch, touching on themes of heartbreak, nostalgia, and the reluctance of letting go of broken relationships.
The newcomers, helmed by Sigrid Aase and Preben Andersen have cited influences ranging from Dirty Projectors, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Father John Misty since they caught abuzz after landing their first show at Norway’s biggest music festival Øyafestivalen in 2016. They’ve charmed audiences across the globe with their intimate vocals and dynamic textures ever since, landing attention from Vice’s “Noisey” and actress Chloe Grace Moretz and others.
From the first hazy opening notes of “Magazine,” the song wraps listeners in the musical equivalent of a bear hug, complete with a steady, shuffling beat, reflective and relaxed female vocals and gentle waves of electric guitar.
The lyrics hold the band’s signature melancholy underside, exploring feelings of frustration and distrust in a relationship, saying “I’m stuck in a bad dream, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to believe.”
Yet, the group doesn’t leave you to linger in darkness for long, instead allowing the bouncy instrumentation and intimate vocals of the song let the sun shine through, leaving listeners in calm reflection.
While the group is fully capable of laying the sunny, cozy vibes on thick, the lyrical narrative throughout the album is not always a walk in the park. Kicking off with the breezy riffs and the shuffling beat of album single “Magazine," listeners are transported into the inner monologue of someone struggling with their frustrating relationship. While Aase croons, “You’re the one I want / But you’re not what I need," the sentiment carries over to other songs like “Common Sense” and “Nothing Left to Say.” Wrapped up in wobbly synth lines, funky bass and driving rhythms that are as bouncy and positive as the meaning behind it are vulnerable and pained.
Though it would seem easy with all the uncertainty and disconnect to feel down and frustrated, the band deftly steers away from letting listeners sink into despair, instead steeping their instrumentation deeper in infectiously bright indie dream pop. As Line of Best Fit noted: “Andersen has compared “Magazine” to ‘a simple painting that becomes something else when you are standing really close to it — and this is true for the rest of the record.
None of the tracks require much input to enjoy, but when honed in on, a mesh of pleasing textures and dynamics arise.” Whether you’re hoping to connect your own feelings to the relationships described in the album, or looking for some beachy indie pop to bob your head to, Hajk has you covered.
When listening to HAJK, lyrics, sounds, rhythms could all be ebbing and flowing to the font focus of one's mind. This arrival in such awareness means tapping into one's sense of hearing. So why not include the other four senses for a full sensory experience? In our mission to celebrate great music, we've curated a menu that tunes into every functional characteristic of human beings.
So grab a friend, make it a night of music and savor the experience through and through.
Nodding to Hajk’s home country of Norway, this locally made by House SpiritsDistillery in Portland features strong avors of caraway and star anise, beautifully balanced and steeped in a rich tradition. Considered the national drink of Norway, “aquavit” comes from the Latin term aqua vitae meaning “water of life,” and in the 1500s was believed to be a cure for almost anything. While we can’t recommend this spirit as a replacement to water we do suggest pouring yourself a glass of the obscure liquor on the rocks, settling into a cozy spot and allowing Hajk to lull you into gentle reaction. www.housespirits.com
Whether struggling coming to terms with the end of a relationship — as exemplified in the heartbroken lyrics of “Medicine” — or just in need of some skin hydration, this lotion by Barnwell Co. will help soothe your woes. Crafted in Portland in small batches, the lotion features a blend of essentials oils selected to spark imagination and encourage tranquility. This vetiver and lemongrass concoction also includes hydrating aloe vera, rejuvenating camellia oil and green tea extract to give your skin a boost of vitamins and antioxidants. Lather some on, turn the music up, and let the healing effects work their magic. www.madeherepdx.com
Gathered from beehives after being collected and packed by worker bees for their queen, the full wealth of health benefits from bee pollen is still largely unknown, but may include helping with allergies, asthma and weight loss — plus it’s rich in vitamins and nutrients that promote overall well-being. This little vial of sunshine from Bee Local is full of pollen found the northern Willamette Valley, providing a literal taste of the Northwest. Sprinkle these little nuggets of springtime on your next smoothie, turn up the volume to “Flowerdust,” kick your feet up and revel in its satisfying glow. www.beelocal.com
It’s universally known there are few combinations better than potatoes, butter and cream, but Hajk’s album might come close. Constructed of simple guitar melodies and straightforward beats with groovy bass lines, energetic claps and fuzzy synth are sprinkled throughout the album all while maintaining minimal instrumentation with imaginative layers. Similarly lefses — the humble Norwegian bread —might be simple in few ingredients, but the traditional dish is easy to build on with sugar, butter, eggs and more. Use this mix to create a simple lefse dish for a celebration meal or to accompany a thoughtful Sunday morning breakfast. www.ingebretsens.com
Polaroid Instant Digital Camera
Reminiscent of the classic instant cameras popularized in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Polaroid's newest offering is a dual lm and digital camera with a built in, on-the-spot printer. Plus, it’s small enough to fit in a pocket so you can bring it anywhere. Snap a couple of pictures of you and your best friends the next time you’re at show or maybe just a selfie. A blend of nostalgia and reality — not unlike most of lyrics found in Hajk — this camera will help preserve life’s moments even after the sentiment has long faded. www.polaroid.com