When it came to writing the music for the dramatic final scene of Criminal, the new Kevin Costner action thriller that opens April 15, Brian Tyler knew that his instrumental song needed something more.
“I just kept writing parts and playing drums, then guitar, then keyboards over it, but at a certain point I started singing non-word vocalizations in it, which changed the course of the song,” Tyler tells Billboard. “The film’s director, Ariel Vromen, was of a like mind. We could hear that vocals could really bring the song to life, so we decided to change it from instrumental to full-blown song with vocals.”
The melancholy electronic tune, “Drift and Fall Again,” whose official Aris Stoulil-directed music video premieres below, features haunting vocals by Yael Cohen of Israeli indie duo Lola Marsh. “We were thinking about vocalists for the song, and we really liked their last record, as did the film’s music supervisor Selena Arizanovic,” Tyler says. “We thought, ‘It sure would be cool to get someone that sounds like Yael Cohen from Lola Marsh… Wait, why don’t we just reach out to Yael from Lola Marsh?'”
The song is billed as Madsonik featuring Lola Marsh. Madsonik is the moniker Tyler uses for his electronic/alternative music alter ego. He previously released RIAA gold-certified single “Shell Shock,” featuring Wiz Khalifa and Kill the Noise, from 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, under the pseudonym. “It is a different mode for me than composing and conducting orchestras as Brian Tyler and is a great artistic outlet to keep making contemporary music and interact with the modern music scene as I score films,” he says.
Tyler, who composed the score for Criminal with Keith Power, has scored more than 70 films, including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, The Expendables and Rambo.
In Criminal, which also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, Costner plays a death row inmate implanted with a dead CIA agent’s memories in order to fulfill a mission.
“‘Drift and Fall Again’ and the Criminal score come from a similar palette of music sounds— mainly analog electronic music, analog synthesizers and drum machines from the 80s and 90s against dreamy reverberated guitars,” Tyler says. “The song ties emotionally into the memory thematic motifs that drive the emotional aspect of the score: The idea that we are our memories, that our memories are fleeting, and that they drift and fall again.”
The soundtrack for Criminal comes out digitally via Lakeshore Records on April 15.
Up next for Tyler, who makes his London concert debut at Royal Festival Hall May 7, is scoring Now You See Me 2, which opens June 10.