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Last week Taylor Swift surprised fans with her collaboration with the Civil Wars on “ Safe and Sound,” from the soundtrack to “The Hunger Games.” It turns out she’ll be joined by Arcade Fire, the Decemberists on what’s being called a “companion album” to the movie, which opens March 23.
As you’ll recall from past usages of the term, a companion album usually means that many of the songs were “inspired by” the film, but don’t necessarily appear in it. In this case, Grammy winning producer T Bone Burnett is overseeing the companion album: he co-wrote “Safe and Sound” with Swift and the Civil Wars, which already hit No. 1 on iTunes. The Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Regine Chassagne wrote “Horn of Plenty” with Burnett, while the Decemberists penned a track called “One Engine.”
No word on the actual release date of the album other than that it will come out on Universal Republic Records in March before the Lionsgate film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, hits theaters.
Just as Atlantic (through music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas) created its own series of albums connected to “Twilight,” it looks like Universal Republic and Burnett could be building up to the same thing here. Burnett and Universal Republic have an informal working relationship already: he released the Secret Sisters’ debut through the label in 2010.
Burnett deals more with music from the past like the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack, so it will be very interesting to see what music he sees coming out of a post-apocalyptic Panem. When I interviewed Burnett earlier this year, he told me that “He hardly listens to anything made after 1968,” although it was very clear from our conversation that “listen” may have deeper meaning for him than the rest of us as he was totally aware of current artists and producers. He also talked about how much he loved the Roots, so it will be interesting to see if he finds a way to work with them on here.
What do you think of the musical line-up so far?