Director Amanda Kramer’s prompts for composer Ben Babbitt’s soundtrack to her enigmatic film Paris Window read like magnetic fridge poetry – “warped ambient bumper muzak tension” – but the results skew closer to some hypnagogic contemporary noir: lulling, low-lit, and laced with lingering dread. Electronics, strings, and percussion swoon and seethe in heady mirages of dreams and delirium, romance and menace. The narrative it accompanies is equally opaque and out of time: two eccentric siblings psychologically unravel through divergent fixations, one obsessed with the hypnotic infomercials of a mysterious self-help institute while the other falls in love with an ambiguous doppelganger.
Babbitt’s background scoring experiential video games (Kentucky Route Zero) and collaborating with exploratory songwriters (Angel Olsen, Weyes Blood, Eartheater) is evident in his versatility and finesse, flowing fluidly between starkly minimal and densely layered modes. Like all the most dynamic film music, the pieces weave a story of their own. Serene synthetic swells decay into murmuring television static and eerie vocal fragments; close-mic’d drones turn acidic then claustrophobic, mirroring sleep paralysis transformed into panic. Babbitt builds a window into a surreal world, seen through shadows and smeared, street-lit glass.
released August 30, 2019
Written and produced by Ben Babbitt.
Mixed by Theo Karon and Ben Babbitt at Hotel Earth, Los Angeles.
Mastered by Theo Karon.
Violin and viola on “Waiting and Watching” performed by Dina Maccabee.
Art direction and design by Some All None.
All images taken from the film.
Thanks to Amanda, Noel David Taylor, Britt Brown, Theo, Dina, Jeremiah, Ben Shearn, and Alex Tyson.
supported by 19 fans who also own “Paris Window Original Score”
If dip in the pool, Kate Bush, Aragon and Robert Fripp's work with David Sylvian mean anything to you, this will be your Album Of The Year too. Forget Kentucky Route Zero, which featured three of the songs here and is one of the best video games of 2020; Junebug's debut stands on its own as a high-water mark of art pop. labratbot
supported by 12 fans who also own “Paris Window Original Score”
Very pleasant music that draws me in. I hear a kind of charm in many of Les' compositions (here and in his "Invisible Cities" album) -- along with quiet mysteries that don't need to be solved -- just enjoyed. Brian