As brilliantly haunting and heartbreaking as the film, The Banshees of Inisherin’s original score by Carter Burwell is one that will stay with listeners for ages. The melancholy tunes are almost impossible to listen to and simultaneously difficult to turn off. The film’s tone is dark and hilarious at times, but like the music, it takes viewers through a path that’s dreadfully sad, slightly hopeful, and poignant.
Comprised of 21 songs that span less than an hour with a thematic note guiding the score to fruition, it’s the kind of original score that not only deserves its Academy Award nomination but the win. And while we don’t yet know where that’ll go, it’s full of tracks that transport the mind to lonely islands that are both simple yet complicated to understand.
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As a composer who worked on various evocative original scores, Carter Burwell’s tracks leave the kind of mark that isn’t always easy to decode. Because no matter the film, you get a sense of what it’s about with the tracks. (Editor’s Note: I had it playing in the background at my mom’s place, who hasn’t seen The Banshees of Inisherin yet, and she asked me what it was because it was making her sad.)
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? The Banshees of Inisherin original score, like the film, is heartbreaking. It leaves you feeling like a part of you is missing, even if that’s not the case. It touches on the details of human beings that perhaps long for pieces that aren’t easy to decipher, or it’ll remind them of dark days that have passed—the feelings of uncertainties, heartbreak, and fear. Yet, the score isn’t horrifying or triggering. It’s almost lulling and enduring to add to various playlists because it can be inspiring and warm despite the sadness it also brings. Evoking sorrow like this isn’t always easy to achieve in scores without context, but that’s certainly something that’s achieved profoundly here.
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Listen to The Banshees of Inisherin’s original score below, and let us know which tracks are your favorites.