I was at a film festival for work this past weekend, and got to catch a screening of one of the best films I have seen all year, the documentary More Shoes. (Not gonna lie, you guys, I cried. More than once.) As a budding music supervisor, what really struck me was the soundtrack. I recognized that many of the songs were by the same person and were the perfect compliment to the story of a young man making a journey across Europe on foot. Hollow and fuzzy, they were lo-fi perfected, reminiscent of Steven Look and his projects Moon Fire Funerals or I Know My Name is Steven, or perhaps Daniel Johnston. In an instant I was in love. The film is a stand alone great film, but I feel was truly served by the softly comforting songs, obviously recorded in one take, as evidenced by false starts, nervous laughter, and the clearing of throats in the middle of a song.
Naturally, I sat through the credits and saw nearly the entire soundtrack was compromised of songs written by Pascal Troemel and performed by Birdie Hilltop. The second I got out of the screening, I started texting friends to see if they had heard either of those names before. No one had.
Later that day, I managed to corner the filmmaker, Lee Kazimir, and interrogate him about the soundtrack. He explained that he had discovered Pascal/Birdie (actually the same person) by happenstance and contacted him personally. He said he had recorded a couple records in Brooklyn several years ago, when he was in his early 20s. If I remember correctly (sobriety isn't encouraged at the film festival) Lee also mentioned that he wasn't really making music anymore and that he had declined to have his records sold at the screenings or on the film's website. Upon hearing this, I got that panicky sensation in my chest, the kind that attacks when you realize you have just discovered something truly special and may never hear it again in your life ever. This lasted until I visited his website and realized his entire catalogue is available to download for free! What a wonderful world we live in. If I may, I suggest you start with my current favorite, "eating aeroplanes".