Johnny Jewel – “The Witch”

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Johnny Jewel – “The Witch”


Former Chromatics leader Johnny Jewel did the soundtrack for Holly, the new movie from Belgian director Fien Troch. Ahead of the soundtrack’s release on Jewel’s Italians Do It Better label next month, he’s sharing the lead single today, an instrumental called “The Witch.”

Jewel shared this statement on his music for Holly:

I used music to usher in the unseen elements of Holly’s story. Underscoring the supernatural overtones of the film, I studied the wind in her hair, counted the plumes of smoke billowing from the burning high school, & stared into the howling forest swaying in the distance. The looming musical foreshadowing mirrors her gifts. As Holly’s character slowly unravels, the score begins to warp as it’s stretched to an ominously slow crawl.

Throughout the film, vague hues overlap seamlessly like clouds constantly morphing. As the audience, we project meanings to the shapes that emerge from the chaos in what appear to be patterns. It’s abstract enough to be unrecognisable, yet it’s somehow familiar. Inspired by the masters of mood like Goblin’s blood curdling chimes for Dario Argento, Tangerine Dream’s spiraling synthesis for William Friedkin, & John Carpenter’s hyper-minimalist approach to scoring his own films with Alan Howarth, I explored a genre-based language to trigger the audience’s subconscious. Metallic synthesizers, celeste bells, mellotron flutes & detuned music boxes haunt the recurring musical motif. Like an inevitable storm rolling in, the soundtrack is eerily elusive & at times, almost formless. At other times, the music is crystal clear & so sharply in focus you could reach out & touch it.

Hear “The Witch” and the Holly trailer below.

Holly Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is out 10/13 on Italians Do It Better.

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