The sounds of Sigur Rós feature prominently in The Boys Are Back, a new family drama from Shine director Scott Hicks that stars Clive Owen.
The soundtrack features seven Sigur Rós songs, primarily from their 2008 album Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, as well as Indian Summer from Jónsi & Alex’s Riceboy Sleeps project.
The extensive use of the Icelandic post-rock band’s music effectively provides a substitute for a conventional score.
As Hicks explains, “Initially, I used their songs as a temporary score, but it was working so perfectly that I decided to approach the band directly to see if we could licence the music. I was forewarned that they were extremely picky about what they would allow their music to be used for, but I went to Iceland to screen for them and they simply loved the film. Georg, the bass player, said, ‘There is an Icelandic word which I can’t translate which perfectly describes the experience of seeing this film.’ I said, ‘Well have a try’ and he said, ‘The word means you feel better for being alive having seen this film’ which I found was a profoundly moving thing to say.”
The Sigur Rós songs featured in the film are Illgresi, Festival, Fljótavík, Straumnes, Ára bátur, Inní mér syngur vitleysingur and Samskeyti.
The Boys Are Back is based on Simon Carr’s memoir of the same name and features Clive Owen as Joe Warr, a sports reporter who struggles to raise his son Artie following the death of his wife. With a parental style low on rules and high on anarchic fun, Artie enjoys an unconventional upbringing that’s accentuated with the arrival of Joe’s estranged son Harry. Joe’s loose approach to parenting, however, brings its own dangers.