As film adaptations of YA novels prove to be more and more popular amongst mainstream audiences, the musical artists for the soundtracks that such films attract are getting cooler/hotter. Case in point: the Paper Towns soundtrack scored LA it-girl sister trio Haim and indie fave Twin Shadow who has been characterized as this generation’s Prince. But beyond that, there’s no arguing with the notion that the songs that provide the soundtracks to our favorite stories tend to sound track our own lives, marrying the music with the memory in our minds, taking us away to different moments in time, and thus so giving us the capacity to occasionally feel “infinite.” With that in mind, YE did some digging to take a look back at the 10 best YA adaptation soundtracks, and of course that moment with Charlie, Sam, and Patrick tops our list.
Perks of Being a Wallflower
Adapted from Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 classic, the film is set in the Gulf War-era early 90’s, so the soundtrack features some definite throwbacks, but trust us when we say that tunes like “Temptation” from New Order and “Teenage Riot” from Sonic Youth were/are hugely influential to pretty much any artist on your current playlists.
Standout Track: David Bowie’s “Heroes,” the song which inspires Charlie, Sam, and Patrick to “feel infinite.”
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II
The soundtrack to the final Twilight installment features some standout jams from many ladies of indie pop including “The Antidote” from St. Vincent (aka Cara Delivigne’s GF) and “Fire in the Water” from Feist.
Standout Track: “Where I Come From” from indie electro pop gods Passion Pit
For John Greene’s latest adaptation, in addition to the artists named above, experimental pop goddess Santigold contributes “Radio” to the album and dad rockers du jour The War on Drugs contribute “Burning.”
Standout Track: “Swingin Party” from Kindness, the prodigy of indie heavyweight Blood Orange, aka Dev Hynes.
Fault in Our Stars
I feel like Hazel Grace would really love this soundtrack. I can picture her jamming out to Lykke Li, Grouplove, and especially M83. I feel like she’d embrace the simultaneous absurdity yet undeniable bubblegum happiness of Brit provocative pop tart Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap.”
Standout Track: “When I’m Alive” from ethereal indie electro king STRFKR
Super talented Brit Ellie Goulding dominates this soundtrack, but don’t miss other awesome artists like Australian psych rockers Tame Impala and their breakthrough track “Backwards” as well as “Lost and Found” from EDM act Pretty Lights as remixed by Odesza.
Standout Track: “Waiting Game” from mysterious LA chanteuse Banks. This girl has a crazy voice and crafts emotionally charged lyrics that will make just about anybody a fan.
Chart toppers Imagine Dragons contribute to this Divergent sequel, but don’t miss “Blood Hands” from lesser known artist Royal Blood, an act with a sound that’s a bit more substantive.
Standout Track: “Carry Me Home” from ephemeral indie dude SOHN, who also just so happens to be the producer behind many of Banks’ atmospheric jams.
Pitch Perfect 2
Hear your favorite Barden Bellas belting out some of your favorite pop hits. And….the sequel soundtrack still features everyone’s favorite moment from the original film, Anna Kendrick performing the cute little a cappella jam “Cups.”
Standout Track: The Barden Bellas “original” tune “Flashlight,” as performed by Jessie J
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Jeez, this soundtrack reads like a who’s who of pop, it’s got everybody: Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, Of Monsters and Men, the indomitable Patti Smith, The Weekend, The Lumineers, The National, and electro sampler gods Phantogram.
Standout Track: Lorde’s haunting cover of the Tears For Fears classic “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” ties with Sia’s breakout hit “Elastic Heart” as remixed by The Weekend.
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I
This soundtrack is Lorde-heavy, but don’t get distracted, because it’s still full of tons of other great tunes including “All My Love” from quirky producer Major Lazer featuring vocals from Ariana Grande and jams from many great ladies of indie pop including more Charli XCX (featuring Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran), Bat For Lashes, and Tove Lo of “Habits” fame.
Standout Track: “Dead Air” from Scottish electro pop trio CHVRCHES.