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Olafur Arnalds - Broadchurch: Seasons 1 and 2 Soundtrack

(Vinyl LP) * * *

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Olafur Arnalds Broadchurch on LP + Download

Music From The Original TV Show

A vital element in the success of the critically acclaimed 2013 British drama Broadchurch was the hauntingly beautiful, BAFTA Award-winning score by the young Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds. To coincide with the arrival of the highly anticipated second season of Broadchurch, Mercury Classics is releasing a full soundtrack album of musical highlights from the first season as well as newly composed music for the second season, all appearing on one full length album for the first time. 

The first season of Broadchurch, about a hunt for the killer of a young boy in a small coastal community, was hailed as ”a bona fide national obsession,” by Entertainment Weekly. Produced by Kudos for ITV, it gained an audience of 10 million viewers, making it the highest-rated drama on the UK’s main commercial channel. The show has enjoyed similar international success in 135 countries. The critical response was equally impressive, and particular emphasis was placed on the score. In addition to scooping three BAFTA Awards (including Best Drama Series), it won another BAFTA Craft Award for Arnalds’ emotionally powerful and austere soundscape.

In the Radio Times, Alison Graham wrote, “The terrific music is important in building Broadchurch’s chilly atmosphere and dark mood. Like the best music, it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t tell you what you should be feeling.” In the New York Times, Mike Hale called the score “a tasty icing of gloom and foreboding,” and Televisual commented, “The soundtrack was as big as the Broadchurch landscape…and as melancholic as its tragedy and hidden secrets.”

It is fitting that the score should be praised as highly as Broadchurch as a whole. Author Chris Chibnall was a long-term fan of Ólafur Arnalds' albums – which combine contemporary classical influences, avant-garde electronics, and evocative ambient sounds – and listened to them when writing the script. The mysterious and melancholy atmosphere of the show had Arnalds’ music in its creative DNA from the very beginning.

After getting a green light for his project, Chibnall then approached Arnalds (via his website) to compose the score. The Icelander was just 26 when he was commissioned, but was already a hugely successful composer and performer both in his homeland and internationally. “Ólafur's music just broke my heart. I instinctively felt if we could get him, it would be amazing,” said Chibnall.

In a remarkably short space of time, Arnalds created an atmospheric and hypnotic score that captured both the mood and direction of the plot and the imaginations of millions of viewers. He assigned evocative themes to the most important characters and elements of the story, including the bleak and dominating Broadchurch cliffs. “The music is a narrative all of its own,” commented Chibnall.

Composed for string quartet, piano and synthesizer, the music was recorded in an empty church in Reykjavik. The soundtrack also includes two vocal tracks –  “So Close,” sung by Arnór Dan and featured in Season 1, and a new song recorded for Season 2, “So Far” also featuring vocals by Dan which will play at the closing of each episode.

Olafur Arnalds Broadchurch Track Listing:

1.  Main Theme
2.  Danny
3.  The Journey
4.  So Close
5.  Suspects
6.  What Did They Ask You
7.  She's Your Mother
8.  Excavating The Past
9.  The Meeting
10. Broken
11. I'm Not The Guilty One
12. So Far
13. Beth's Theme

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Related Articles
1. Main Theme
2. Danny
3. The Journey
4. So Close
5. Suspects
6. What Did They Ask You
7. She's Your Mother
8. Excavating The Past
9. The Meeting
10. Broken
11. I'm Not The Guilty One
12. So Far
13. Beth's Theme

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