Some artists are just made for the movies; the fusion of song and image has elevated many works of cinema into art. Directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino know the importance of contemporary music to both ground their movies in the here and now-but also to give them a more magical feeling: Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction are basically a collection of music videos with a thorough plot. The Danish dream-pop group Blue Foundation knows how to be cinematic, to compose songs with that particular narrative quality that apes cinema. When you hear its songs, you’re not just listening to a piece of music, you’re being invited into a fully formed world in which its songs are the film and your mind is the projector.
Formed in 2000, Blue Foundation is predominantly the brain-child of multi-instrumentalist Tobias Wilner. Even before forming the band, Wilner was actively composing music for arthouse films, something that clearly informed his fledgling group. In the fifteen years and five albums (2000’s self-titled debut, 2004’s Sweep of Days, the 2006 remix album Solid Origami, 2007’s Life of a Ghost, and 2013’s In My Mind I Am Free) since the band formed, Wilner has worked with numerous musicians under the Blue Foundation name. His most frequent collaborator, in the sense that he’s stayed around long enough to be considered a permanent member, is Bo Rande, who shares song writing and producing duties.
The band is most well known for its appearances on a variety of film and television soundtracks. Its first film appearance was in the feature Manslaughter with “This is Goodbye.” This appearance showed both its music’s versatility with visual media, and the band's own song writing versatility; “This is Goodbye” is a re-appropriation of an earlier instrumental- “Revolve In The Sun/My Footfalls Are Superfluous.”
From there, the band’s music began appearing in more high profile films such as Miami Vice with “Sweep” and, most famously, Twilight with the breakout single “Eyes on Fire,” a song that was also used in Season 4 of The Vampire Diaries. On the small screen, Blue Foundation's dream-pop styling appeared on episodes of hit shows The OC and CSI: Miami, representing the sun kissed tone of each show’s setting, as well promoting a darker tone that each show would sporadically dwell in. It seems like both a gift and a curse to only be known to the music supervisor of a movie or TV show- on one hand the band is getting its music out there to a huge audience (CSI: Miami was the most watched show on the planet when its song was used), but on the other hand, the group seems to be trapped within this other platform, a song that you like in the context of what you’re watching but don’t bother to look up after. Wilner. Rande, and their cavalcade of collaborators deserve more than that.
Blue Foundation's most recent album, 2013’s In My Mind I Am Free, is the duo’s finest effort to date. Blending genres like dream-pop, industrial, and electronica, with a side of shoegaze, bringing to mind spiritual fore-fathers My Bloody Valentine, Faust, and Can, In My Mind I Am Free is an eclectic and engaging listen. Hollywood has already taken notice of Blue Foundation, now it’s your turn.