Soundtrack to Gosling vehicle burns rubber with local duo Electric Youth
Pick out a Toronto connection in Nicolas Refn’s fantastic new film Drive. There’s several to choose from.
The first and obvious one is its star, Toronto-area guy Ryan Gosling.
Then there’s the Toronto Raptors taking on the Clippers at L.A’s Staples Centre, a game which Gosling’s character keeps tabs on while he pulls off a heist job that kicks the plot into gear.
But the most notable local angle is the one that sticks in your brain long after the end credits.
Local 80s music fetish duo Electric Youth combine with like-minded French blogger/producer College on an infectious track called A Real Hero, the standout tune from what’s turned out to be one of the best soundtracks of the year.
For those familiar with the film, A Real Hero, with College’s idling, propulsive keyboards and Electric Youth singer Bronwyn Griffin’s ethereal voice, first appears during the viaduct scene when Gosling burns rubber to show off for a kid down the hall and his babe mom (Carey Mulligan).
We caught up with Electric Youth, which also includes producer Austin Garrick, on their way back from France where they were rendvousing with College’s Valerie label on all matters future and retro.
How did you get involved in the soundtrack?
College is a good friend of ours and had sent us an instrumental that we put the song together on (Austin wrote it / Bronwyn sang it). It was originally put out on his EP of the same title (A Real Hero in 2009), on a small belgian label, and somehow found it’s way into the hands of Nicolas Winding Refn, we believe, via the film’s editor Mat Newman, though we’re not sure.
What do you think of the scene with your song in it?
Something we don’t see that often in films these days, that we do see in a lot of our favourite films of past decades, is the use of meaningful music montage segments. One of the many things in Drive that we love is that it’s brought that back. Our song is used twice in the film in this way, as a theme song, each time playing nearly the whole song, so we’re really happy with that.
It was also almost eerie to find the number of coincidences that also had occurred between the original inspirations of the song, and the film (even down to an early A Real Hero video concept, that revolved around the same area of the L.A. River as seen in the first montage with our song in Drive).
The emotions, feelings and aesthetics found in Drive, are not unlike the ones we aim for with what we do, so in a lot of ways it’s the film embodiment of what we try to capture in our music. Needless to say, there really isn’t a film we would of rather had our first film song in.
Has there been a bump in interest in EY since the film came out?
Definitely. The film has really changed things for us in a number of ways and has rapidly built a genuine interest, understanding and demand for Electric Youth’s music since it’s recent release, which is exciting. The soundtrack has reached the top-5 albums on iTunes and our song is the best selling single download from the soundtrack having reached the top-10 on the iTunes Dance Charts in the U.S. and a number of other countries so far, which is a first for us.
One thing we’re proud of is that with this, we feel like we’ve proved you can still reach that top-10 without resorting to following the tired conventional dance music trends of today. Amongst all these “club bangers” on the chart is A Real Hero, this 112 bpm, heartfelt song, that we can only imagine people are connecting with from it’s having stemmed from genuinely inspired, true emotions, a real alternative to the typical, over-formulaic modern day dance hit.
What is the group up to these days?
We haven’t put out a release of our own yet so that’s a priority for us at the moment. The first Electric Youth single, “Right Back to You”, should be out within the next couple of weeks and a preview of it can be heard now on our official Facebook page we just started. We’ve also been working on our first album which should be finished and ready for release early 2012. There will be a couple more singles, and possibly an EP released before the album as well.