Much of the best cinema music is so evocative of its era, it’s hard to hear it and not feel transported back in time. Though the music as always been around, it’s only in the past few years that filmic homages and new retro composers have triggered a revival of sorts of synthwave from the ‘70s and ‘80s, as seen with the mainstream embrace of Survive’s music for Stranger Things. And now, Waxwork Records—home of vinyl rereleases for a lot of the best movie soundtracks of earlier decades, like Taxi Driver, The Warriors, C.H.U.D., and more—are moving into the realm of original music. Leading the charge is PilotPriest, a.k.a. Canadian director and visual effects artist Anthony Scott Burns, who has crafted an album that would sound right at home alongside many of those great soundtracks of yesteryear, and which is streaming in full right here.
Drawing inspiration from iconic soundtracks like those for Body Double, Manhunter, and Legend, PilotPriest’s album Original Motion Picture Soundtrack manages to feel like a greatest hits compilation of old-school cult cinema, while still all being of a piece. “I’ve always written music as a way to honestly connect with people,” Burns says of the project, which he began 11 years ago. “With OMPS, I set out to try and compose music that had the emotional and sonic DNA of our collective childhood. Not an emulation, but a celebration of the movies and scores that shaped our generation.” Judging by the way each song is perfectly tailored to the movie that shaped it (without once sounding like a blatant ripoff or pointless pastiche), Burns has achieved his goal—his inspired work on “Less Than Zero” is currently our favorite.
The album comes out Friday, April 28, at which point you can order it from the Waxwork website. It’s a gorgeous package, too: A triple LP release with a cool-looking layout, featuring all 22 tracks as performed on analog synthesizers. If PilotPriest decides to tour sometime soon, we can’t wait to see what visuals the stage show would entail.