Aside from Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, say Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola, there are few movie directors as synonymous with modern music and the way it interacts with a movie like filmmaker Edgar Wright. An avid music listener and record collector with a wealth of knowledge, Wright, director of “Shaun Of The Dead,” and “Hot Fuzz,” always had a strong relationship with music from the jump—before directing feature-length films he also directed several music videos—but in the last few years the fusion of his music and film taste has become symbiotic.
His adaptation of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”— about a slacker rock musician who must battle the seven evil exes of his newest girlfriend—was steeped in music and featured Beck writing the music for the title character’s garage punk rock band Sex Bob-omb. Broken Social Scene wrote music for the movie as well as Dan the Automator, Kid Koala, and David Campbell). Wright’s follow-up “The World’s End,” was a tour through the Britpop of the director’s youth (Pulp, Stone Roses, Blur, Primal Scream) and “Baby Driver,” was practically a musical; an action heist movie set to the coolest iPod mix.
Now, Wright has delivered his Best of 2018 music list, something of a recent annual tradition these days, and it’s a tasteful walk through some of the highlights of tunes released this year. Bands highlighted in the list include Courtney Barnett, Childish Gambino, Robyn, The Go Team!, David Byrne, and perhaps no surprise given his taste for Brit-Pop rock, Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand at #1.
Speaking of Franz Ferdinand, to continue this thread, the dance-punk rockers, collaborated with the absurdist L.A. art rock group Sparks in 2015 with the combined supergroup FFS (releasing an eponymous album that year). Of course, Wright is currently in the midst of making a documentary on Sparks. Something of an acquired taste—think a more wry, tart, pungent, new-wave-y version of Queen, another one of Wright’s favorite bands—Sparks has always been a cult group beloved by more famous bands, but perhaps that’ll change when the untitled doc is finished and released. In the meantime, check out Wright’s top 50 picks for the best songs of 2018 and clear your listening schedule for this weekend.