There’s no one doing double award duty in this years list, as much as close as Hanz Zimmer may have got when we were working out our list. Our picks this year include the soundtrack to Wes Anderon’s latest, the sounds of an alien desert planet, and the backing to a western like you’ve never seen before. 

Here are our picks for the Best Original Movie Soundtracks in 2021. 

5.) The French Dispatch (Alexandre Desplat)

The pairing of Wes Anderson with Alexandre Desplat has proven to be a very fruitful pairing since they first worked together on The Fantastic Mr Fox. With his score for The French Dispatch, Desplat captures what you imagine the music would be like while reading the actual magazine in a french cafe, utilising jaunty piano work, beautiful stringed pieces and the occasional tuba. His score also has different sections, to pair with the film’s three major anthology stories, that work separately but all fit together wonderfully.

– Ashley Hobley

4.) The Harder They Fall (Jeymes Samuel)

Music plays a massive role in The Harder They Fall with director Jaymes Samuels, a singer-songwriter and music producer, having music in mind while developing this black-focused western. With a score that sounds like no other western movie and a star-studded soundtrack with artists like Seal, Jay-Z and Kid Cudi lending their talents, it just adds another layer to the coolest movie of 2021.

– Ashley Hobley

3.) The Power of the Dog (Jonny Greenwood)

Music is almost a silent character in the background of every scene in The Power of the Dog. The original score from Radiohead guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, uses a somewhat repetitive but effective guitar and string ensemble to build a tense and mysterious backing track to the strong performances seen in the film. The sound I’ll remember most, though, isn’t the strings that play throughout the majority of the music in The Power of the Dog, and instead, it’s the haunting horns that can be heard on “Best Friends.” They’re signalling something like a lighthouse in the distance, but just like in the film, the credits will be rolling once you realise what.

– Dylan Blight

2.) Dune (Hanz Zimmer)

The Dune score from Hanz Zimmer is, as described by him, spiritual without being religious. And that’s a perfect way to summarise the spectral of audio sounds and emotions that the film and its music makes you feel. Everything sounds otherworldly, thanks to the synthesiser, which is used to mask real-world instruments. The score also has these tense builds in pieces that sound more like a typical Hanz Zimmer price, while something like “Gom Jabber” with the piercing female vocals digs deep into your soul and transports you to the world of Frank Herbert’s Dune in audio alone.

– Dylan Blight

1.) Bo Burnham: Inside (Bo Burnham)

Bo Burnham has long had musical talent, dating back to early days making funny songs for youtube. But with Inside, he has gone to an entirely new level. A musical tour de force that captured the internet’s attention as a piece that captured the feelings we all experienced the last few years. The slow descent from fun songs like ‘Comedy’ and ‘White Woman’s Instagram’ to sadder and more introspective songs like ‘Funny Feeling’ and ‘All Eyes on Me’ is beautiful pulled off. Burnham deserves all the success and acclaim he is getting.

– Ashley Hobley

Inside (The Songs) CD

Dylan Blight and Ashley Hobley compiled this Top 5 list. The movies nominated must have had a theatrical release in a cinema, VOD or on a streaming platform within December 27th 2020 – December 27th 2021.