Though the vast, wide-open music made by Fall On Your Sword is made to underlie the visual images that flicker across a film screen – to enrich and inform the storytelling and further the emotional depth of the sights before our eyes – the songs of FOYS often seem to have their own expressed narrative. The soundtracks made by Will Bates and Phil Mossman move through moods and traverse a range of emotional environs, and seemingly possess their very own story arcs, conveyed in music’s notes and tones instead of the filmic language of images. “The First Time I Saw Jupiter” and “Rhoda’s Theme,” both extended mixes of songs featured in the film Another Earth, are a good place to start to see the duo’s ability to create a feeling and place through song. Both compositions lead the listener by the ears through expansive soundscapes and textured sonic landscapes.
“The First Time I Saw Jupiter” creates an atmosphere of eerie, icy desolation; sounds emit outward in what feels like the loneliness and desertion of space. The tenseness widens with the slow rise of a foreboding sustained bass tone, and from there, we pass through a range of sounds: electronic squalls, high pitched pulses, synth tones that ring out like warning bells of lurking danger. There are passing moments of airiness, laser firings and times when the swell of sound point toward a cold sonic tundra. “Rhoda’s Theme” feels slightly more hopeful and less lonely. The song begins with a soft, repeating keyboard line, and then opens up onto beatific synths. There are slight shifts of shape across its nine-minute duration, as it moves from moments of driven beats and rhythms to sections of gorgeous, nearly orchestral streams of sound.
Fall On Your Sword are Will Bates and Phil Mossman. Bates has worked with artists including Roy Ayers, Paul McCartney, Marc Almond and Marshall Jefferson. As a solo artist and multi-instrumentalist, he has recorded under the name of his own post-punk outfit The Rinse and collaborated with Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine as The Evil Cowards. Bates has composed scores for films including You Won't Miss Me, Play and Chosin. Phil Mossman is an original member of LCD Soundsystem (though he quit touring with the band in 2006, he rejoined the band for their final shows at New York City's Terminal 5 and Madison Square Garden). In collaboration with DJ and composer David Holmes, Mossman worked on productions for bands including U2, Manic Street Preachers and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and scored the films Out Of Sight and Ocean’s Eleven.
Since forming in 2010, Fall On Your Sword has scored five feature length films, and this year won a prestigious Clio award.