You don't need to see to appreciate Reznor and Ross' stunning score for Netflix's Bird Box.
As a longtime massive fan of Trent Reznor and his work with Atticus Ross, I was pleasantly surprised to hear their signature discordant piano melodies emerging as I settled down to watch Netflix's much talked about Bird Box (2018). I was unaware that Reznor and Ross were working on a project, let alone Netflix's latest big film.
Bird Box follows Malorie (played by Sandra Bullock) in a world invaded by an unknown presence which leads most to suicide when seen. Blindfolded, Malorie must flee with her two children in order to find refuge. This post-apocalyptic world is underscored by Reznor and Ross who have been working together in film since The Social Network in 2010, and are also now the sole members of American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.
The score is typical of Reznor and Ross, consisting of chromatic piano melodies and walls of distortion. The textures gradually thicken creating an ever-increasingly intense atmosphere which could be taken straight out of a NIN album.
The pair is known for their twisting, often clashing arrangements, but the Bird Box soundtrack is sprinkled with a fair amount of melodic pieces too. It's these simple, almost minimalist melodic lines that draw the listener in further, offering a sonic relief, allowing them to make a connection. It's these tracks that showcase Reznor and Ross' ingenious ability to create beautiful soundscapes with a warped backdrop; blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary.
The Bird Box soundtrack is a brilliant addition to the Reznor-Ross catalogue. May they continue to fill our sonic worlds with distorted beauty.