Jonny Greenwood has shared two new songs from his soundtrack to Jane Campion’s forthcoming western drama The Power of the Dog.
‘West’ and ’25 Years’ are lifted from the Radiohead guitarist’s original score for the film, which is set to premiere with a limited theatre release on November 17 before coming to Netflix on December 1.
Based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name, the film is set in 1925 and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, a rancher in Montana. According to a synopsis, Burbank reacts with cruelty when his brother (Jesse Plemons) brings home his new wife and son – played by Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee respectively – “until long-hidden secrets come to light”.
Listen to ‘West’ and ’25 Years’ below:
“The main thought I kept returning to was that this film is set in the modern era,” commented Greenwood in a statement. “It’s too easy to assume any cowboy story takes place in the 19th century. There is so much culture in Phil’s character. He’s well read and it isn’t hard to imagine his taste in music being — alongside his proficiency on the banjo — very sophisticated.
“The pleasure in a character this complex and emotionally pent-up, is that it allows for complexity in some of the music, as well as simpler, sweeter things for his contrasting brother. Bouncing between these two characters, musically, generated a lot of ideas.”
The Power of the Dog marks Greenwood’s second film score for the year, having also composed the soundtrack Pablo Larraín’s forthcoming Princess Diana biopic, Spencer. He shared a new song from it, ‘Crucifix’, earlier this month.
Since 2003, Greenwood has composed the music for several other films, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, Inherent Vice and Phantom Thread.
“Lots of it is just about finished”, Greenwood revealed. “We’re sitting in front of a pile of music, working out what will make the record. We’re thinking of how much to include, whether it’s really finished or if there are a few guitars that need fixing. I’d hope it’ll come out soon, but I’m the wrong person to ask.
“I’m the most impatient of everybody in Radiohead. I’ve always said I’d much rather the records were 90 per cent as good, but come out twice as often, or whatever the maths works out on that. I’ve always felt that, the closer to the finish, the smaller the changes are that anyone would notice. I’d have said The Smile could have come out a few months ago, but it wouldn’t be quite as good. I’m always impatient to get on and do more.”