Before I Fall Soundtrack: The Music Behind Before I Fall
What Is Before I Fall?
Before I Fall is a film drama based on the book of the same name by Lauren Oliver. The book's plot features a 17-year-old girl who lives the same day of her death—over and over again. The story focuses on the relationship between friends and family, but how people treat each other. The only way for Samantha to get out of her purgatory is for her to set things right. Samantha's journey can be compared to the 5 stages of grief and therefore the soundtrack has a variety of songs with a number of moods. Either way, it is a great listen.
"(Si las sombras van a ti...)
Todo es tan calipso en el mar el mar el mar caribe
Luminosidad eterna en arrecife en arreci
Niños índigo cristal y arco arco y arcoiris
Bajan desde el cielo a nadar nadar con los delfi."
The Spanish track "Astro" by Caribbean is the only foreign song featured in the soundtrack, however its synth pop sounds and jumpy bass go well with the movie's partying scenes. Samantha and her friends rule the party scene. And to them every party is the same as the one before. They are conquerors, alphas in their high school world. Even though some may not understand what the singer is saying, there is no denying the amount of spunk. Also, the singers soft, melodic words speed up adding to the already high tempo of the song. The song is perfect for partying and going "all out."
"Nobody’s listening when we’re alone
Nobody’s listening, there’s nobody listening
No one can hear us when we’re alone
No one can hear us, no, no one can hear us."
From the song's opening guitar rifts and intertwining drums, the indie rock song "Dangerous" by Big Data (feat. Joywave) represents the every day life of teenagers. Being a teenager (in most cases) means being irresponsible and living life freely. Samantha and her friends do both to the fullest. More specifically, the lyrics are about how we normally fool ourselves behind the anonymity of the internet. Of course, we are not truly anonymous but the Internet gives us that security. Such as with Samantha and her delusion that she's untouchable—until the accident.
"Old head told me, youngin' you better open up your eyes
Chasing after girls, you should be chasing about that prize
Told me what's the prize if people feeding off the lies
This is my anxiety I'm always asking why
Why, why, why refused to be a victim of that good ole' suit and tie
If I end up in a cubicle just how watch how fast I die
Put a bullet to my brain and pull it, pull it. Saying ha! "
One of the few rap/hip-hop songs on the soundtrack is "Dark Liquor" by Tunji Ige. Hip Hop inspires freedom best through its lyricism and the flow of the artist. Tunge's lyrics aren't deep or particularly meaningful, but he says whatever is on his mind. And at the same time he describes his life. In regards to the film, Samantha and her friends embody the freedom of being young. There's no question that the teenagers would play the music in the car not knowing anything about what's being said. After all, music is about the feeling it gives us. Plus, the lyrics are quite rebellious which every teenager loves.
"Water, water is for washing
Vino Tinto is for drinking
I hate when you get too high sometimes
And forget about existing
All the simple silhouettes in here
Make me nervous in my insides
Take my outsides for a ride
Any shape that you can twist them into tonight."
"Water Water" by Empress Of is played during the desperate times of Samantha Kingston. The song in its dream pop tones and psychedelic atmosphere immerges the listener immediately. Through many textures and effects the song's atmosphere is hallucinogenic. The lyrics can be said to talk about two lovers and the death of their relationship due to drugs and alcohol. In relevance to Samantha and her situation, the music plays when the day is close to resetting—leading to the next. When this song plays, time is running out.
"Baby, believe me
And you had every chance
You destroy everything that you know
If you don't need me
Just let me go."
"Flesh without Blood" by Grimes is dance-pop at its finest with its upbeat tone, eccentric synths and melodies. The song is extremely light for a film that features dark topics such as teen suicide and bullying.When I listen to this song (and I can imagine anyone else), it can't but help communicate a feeling of happiness. It's a happy song and even though the lyrics are sad, the freedom of letting go is what makes this song feels so good. The song can also represent Samantha's time before her death, when she was a carefree teenager.
"My heart, I never be, I never see, I never know
Oh, heart, and then it falls, and then I fall, and then I know
My heart, I never be, I never see, I never know
Oh, heart, and then it falls, and then I fall, and then I know
My heart, I never be, I never see, I never know."
Back to back on the list, is the water-nymph sounding Grimes and her song "Genesis." The energetic bass, synth flutes, and beautiful, resonant voice echoes throughout putting you in the ultimate mood of relaxation. The aquatic bass and hard beats along with its synths and piano puts you in a relaxing, but upbeat mood. The lyrics tell a story of paranoia and a girl falling in love. The song feels like an awakening to something. Samantha in her own right awakens throughout her situation. Towards the end, she doesn't do what's easy but what's right. She understands the memories of her friends and family will always be with her. Which makes the bittersweet ending, a little sweeter.
"Then I woke up one morning
Didn’t recognize the man in the mirror
Then I laughed and I said, “Oh silly me, that’s just me”
Then I proceeded to not comb some stranger’s hair
Never was my style
But I couldn’t tell you what the hell it was supposed to mean
Cause it was a Monday, no, a Tuesday
No, a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Then Saturday came around and I said
“Who’s this stupid clown blocking the bathroom sink?”
But he was sporting all my clothes
I gotta say, pretty Pimpin''
I guess you can say "Pretty Pimpin" by Kurt Vile is the quintessential indie rock song. The lyrics talk about repetition and disassociation.The guitar riffs and how it continues to repeat hammers on the theme of repetition. The song focuses on someone who most likely has a depersonalization disorder and has difficulty recognizing themselves. The tone in the singer's voice is also distant. Similar, to that of someone with the disorder and how they distance themselves from reality. In the film, the meaning is taken literally as it is played when the movie flashes forward (and through some clever editing) shows Samantha falling on her bed multiple times as the days go by. The song itself is also playful as the singer makes fun of himself when he continues to recognize himself, repeatedly.
"Go ahead and say we're through
I don't care, I'll just get another you
I'll get another dude that look like you
I don't need you, and you don't need me
Give me back my house key."
"What you mean, what we do about our friends?
I don't wanna spare 'em
These my boys and I don't wanna f*ckin' share 'em."
"House Key" by electro pop duo LolaWolf with its electronic rap beat and hi-hats the perfect combination of women empowerment and the feeling of "IDGAF". The hard songs lyrics simply talks about a breakup. The singer knows her worth and is so confident that she realizes if the relationship isn't going to work, then too bad. She's choosing her friends, her life, and moving on. Samantha and her friends blasts the song on their way to school radiating confidence and strength. The song's lyrics "this could be easy" plays as the film slows down emphasizing the dominance of the girls and their reign over the school.
"The teenage heart
Is an unguided dart
We're trying hard
To make something of what we are
Dying trapped between
The main blanket and new sheet."
"We'll never amount to anything
Come on, come on.
Be just like me."
"B a nobody" by Soak is pessimistic, beautiful, haunting, and a perfect song for the narrative of this film. The song starts out dark and talks about teenage life. The melody is still melancholic as the singer explains the trial and tribulations that young boys and girls go through. Although the lyrics stick to their pessimistic nature, the music becomes more hopeful towards the end. Although Samantha and her friends are lost in the beginning in their teenage fog, as the story reaches its end point they've all grown a little, especially Samantha.
"Don't try me, I'm not a free sample
Step to me and you will be handled
See, that's my crown on the mantle
And if you try to touch it, yes, there will be scandal."
"On The Regular" by Shamir is a song filled with attitude and confidence. Shamir is letting everyone know this is who he is and not to mess with him. Samantha and her crew (being the alphas they are) will not accept anyone standing up to them. Not at school, parties, anywhere. When they walk, they brim with confidence. And that's them on the regular.
"Spin the sky
Love, don't cry
Love, don't cry
Love, don't cry
"Skeletons" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs is simple and breathtaking. The synths and drums play continuously while the singers hangs in the background. The song is about being engulfed in someone else's love. So much, that only a skeleton is left. Samantha on her very last day realizes how much she loves her family. Now she slows down and takes the time to appreciate them. She does the same for her friends as well. The singing in this song is slow and the singer hangs on the end of each verse. Almost, not wanting to let go, like Samantha.
"We wash our hair when we want to
We run these streets in the right shoes
We kill the game like we can't lose
Stay out as late as we want to
We rock whatever we want to
We drop these beats on the right grooves
We make mistakes if we have to
Don't tell me how to live boy
'Cause I'm mine, not yours
It's our time, not yours!"
"Scooter Island" by #NOTYOURS Ft. JunglePussy is a hip-hop, dance song that exuberates sexuality. The track says it's okay to make mistakes and grow from them. The group of girls in this film are free sexually. They are not concerned of being judged. And they make a lot of mistakes, but they do not harp on them. That's part of growing up and owning who you are.
"Long way down when there's no way out
How I long for the way we were
Days go by in the dying embers
I still remember...
These days are haunted by
Each day that passes by
These days passing by...
Can you save my soul
Can you make me whole
Try to remember..."
It's fitting that "WO/U" by Gems is the last song in this article as it also fits the ending of the film. The song appropriately plays in the final moments as Samantha finally knows what she needs to do in order to move on. She is at her final stage, acceptance.This song conveys the singer's need to move on, but she finds it difficult. Throughout the film, Samantha struggles to find her the purpose of the purgatory she's in. But by the end, she figured it all out. And goes on to a better place.