Radiohead drummer Philip Selway's new album is a departure from his two preceding albums (Familial and Weatherhouse). It's the soundtrack to the film drama Let Me Go, a story about mothers and daughters; about loss and mistrust; about the ramifications of a World War II crime; about secrets, trauma and lingering ghosts. Mirroring the film's haunted and intimate nature, Selway's score is grounded in strings and piano, plus guitar, electronics, musical saw, glockenspiel and bowed vibraphone, and the occasional use of bass and drums, creating a paradoxical sense of beauty and unease.
In 2014, Selway had written a score for the Rambert Dance Company, so he had form. "I'd also held the ambition to write a full film score too," he says. Selway already knew the film's director/co-producer/writer Polly Steel and co-producer Lizzie Pickering when they sent him the screenplay in 2015. "I read it, and then Helga's memoir, and I was completely hooked," he recalls. "The script had so much depth, and tackled very powerful subjects. Polly and Lizzy wanted their film to stay true to Helga's past, and to allow me the creative freedom to realise the emotional complexity of her story."
The soundtrack was recorded with Nick Moorbath at his Oxford studio Evolution, with string arrangements by Laura Moody. Alongside eleven instrumentals are three ballads, with words by Selway. "Walk" features the fabulous Lou Rhodes (Lamb), who also appears in the film's nightclub scene, singing over an acoustic rendition of the track. Selway sings "Wide Open" and "Let Me Go" himself, with an air of quiet desperation.