Longtime indie duo Beach House – who released the sprawling 18-song double album, “Once Twice Melody”, just a few weeks ago – make their theatrical debut with Netflix’s “Along for the Ride”, which is described in the ad as “a sweet summer movie based on the popular YA book by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen.” The film arrives on Netflix on Friday.
Written and directed by Sofia Alvarez (who wrote the screenplay for “To All the Boys I’ve Love Before” and its sequel), “Along for the Ride” tells the story of Auden (Emma Pasarow), who decided to spend it last summer before college in scenic Colby Beach, according to the synopsis. While other teenagers party in the sun, lonely Auden spends her time wandering the streets after everyone else is asleep. Everything changes when she meets Eli (Belmont Cameli), a charming and mysterious insomniac. During their nightly adventures, Eli challenges Auden on a quest to fulfill all of her childhood dreams. Their connection makes them wonder why they are content to live in the shadows as they begin to show each other how to live life to the fullest. The film also stars Kate Bosworth, Dermot Mulroney and Andie MacDowell.
Beach House, made up of singer/instrumentalists Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, formed in Baltimore in 2004. Their music has always been atmospheric and cinematic, so it’s not a stretch to imagine them making theatrical scores. Writer/director Sofia Alvarez explains why she chose the duo to mark the film (which is her directorial debut) and the creative process between her and the band.
“At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to have a score, because there are so many needle drops in the film,” she says. “But whenever I’ve discussed it with our music supervisors, Jessica Berndt and Jane Abernethy, I’ve always included the caveat – ‘But if there’s a score, it should be done by Beach House. Then Netflix sent us their thoughts on who the right composer might be, and completely independent of our discussions – they wanted Beach House too!. Our music supervisors contacted Beach House manager Jason Foster, whom I’ve known for a long time, and he sent us instrumental versions of three Beach House albums to use as a temporary score while we worked on editing. Once we added their music, it matched the aesthetic of the film perfectly and enhanced the emotions of the scenes beautifully.
She continues: “I had some initial conversations with Alex [Scally, Beach House guitarist] and Victoria [Legrand, vocalist / keyboardist] and immediately felt a kinship with them. We share many mutual friends and are all from Baltimore. We also found out while talking about this town that their best friend lives across the street from the house I grew up in. My husband, Adam Squires, also designed their website. So, although we never met, it didn’t feel like a collaboration that started from scratch.
“I know they will have a long career as film composers and I couldn’t be more honored that Along for the Ride was their first step on that journey. Personally I hope to work with them again, maybe on a thriller or a horror with less or no needle drops – I’d be so excited to hear what they would compose to footage with totally pristine audio as a point departure.
“And because we’re all from Balt – Go O’s!”