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Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Daniel Hart

Writer/director David Lowery’s acclaimed breakthrough feature is a dreamlike tone-poem that follows an escaped convict (Casey Affleck) as he makes his way across Texas to reunite with his wife (Mara Rooney) and the daughter he has never met.

Like fragments of a folk symphony held together with the discordant strains of fading memories, composer Daniel Hart’s soulful score for
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints sits somewhere between bluegrass and Appalachian mountain music, a decidedly American folk instrumentation – heavily accented with violin, banjo and clapping – that nonetheless never feels perfectly harmonious. Like the film’s fractured family, it’s the hoped-for harmony, the feeling that everything will eventually converge, that resonates most strongly. Building on his previous collaboration with Lowery on the 2009 short film “St. Nick,” Hart makes his first feature-length score sizzle where it counts most, offering memorably unconventional underscore to some of the film’s most powerful emotional moments with tracks like “Inside the Farmhouse” and “Skerritt Reads the Letter.” More traditional arrangements include “Fixer Upper” and “Appalachian Abduction” while a decided Blues influence permeates “Been Waiting” and “Ain’t Long Enough.” Several vocal performances also recall classics of American folk and country: “The Lights” evoking balladeers like Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce and Harry Chapin; “Here We Are” channeling Loretta Lynn; and “Siren Call” a worthy tribute to the great Marty Robbins.
Ain't Them Bodies Saints

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