When noir shifted its narrative/psychic goalposts from the eschatology of fate to a meta-cynical rapprochement with perverse randomness, it fell into the void of the various “neo-“ manifestations that we’e all be struggling to enjoy (or, at least, be reconciled with). The recent films classic noir aficionados tend to like the most are the ones that sneak in references or usages from the classic character formulations.
Often, however, the music employed to augment our emotional engagement with the story is forced to use material more congruent with the current musical tastes or “fads” of the time, which can create its own form of incongruity. Sub-genre collisions (giallo, horror, pyschoexotic extremes of character, superheroes) all tend to cleave toward a kind of music that is its own odd mashup of “goth rock,” atonal blues, industrial, and latter-day punk rock.
The folks at Picture Ann do a little of all of that, and cite film noir as an inspiration. Unfortunately, in this rehashed track, “Film Widow,” they don’t seem so much inspired by film noir as embalmed by it. What we have here is what what states in the subject line: the wrong kind of gothic for noir, which needs greater contrast and movement musically to prevent us from sensing the shallowness of the mood they’ve invoked.
Question: what latter-day “noir” soundtracks/compositions seem to be the most successful to your ears? Having written about some of this for NC many years ago, I will recuse myself until some others chime in...