The "Paper Towns" movie isn't getting an ordinary music treatment. But then again, "Paper Towns" isn't an ordinary love story.
Ryan Lott, the electronic mastermind behind Son Lux, is scoring the John Green film adaptation starring Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff. And sure, there will be cinematic strings and synths, but expect the sounds of paint buckets, wine glasses and baking sheets as well.
Lott, who auditioned for the gig by scoring the scenes of Delevingne's mysterious, cool-girl character Margo Roth Spiegelman, told MTV News that creating the music for the entire film will certainly be daunting, but he already created Margo's recurring theme to work around.
At the beginning of the story, Margo appears at the window of her classmate and neighbor Quentin (known to friends as Q), asking for help when she finds out her boyfriend has cheated on her. That night, Q helps her get her revenge, driving her around as they pull prank after prank. The next day, Margo goes missing.
So, what exactly does Margo sound like?
"There's a certain whimsy to it, a touch of melancholy but a touch of whimsy and adventure," Lott said when describing her theme. "When we first encounter her character, there's a naïvety -- the lens through which we see her is a naïve one. And so her theme has that sort of light-hearted and subtle melancholy 'cause you can tell she's got some things going on inside of her, stewing a little bit. She's not a totally free bird."
As for our protagonist Quentin, Lott is just beginning his work on his motif, using a rough cut of the movie to weave in his musical thread. He hasn't read Green's book -- he said he wanted to come into the project with a fresh perspective, letting the movie have its own, independent strengths apart from the book. But he has some ideas for Quentin.
"There's a continual feeling of searching in the film, of mystery, of pursuing the unknown and looking for a solution, so the theme that I'm developing for Quentin and his friends has that character," he said.
Under the band name Son Lux, Lott has always created his own sound palettes, recording everyday noises and sampling them on a keyboard. It's a technique he's taken with him as he works on movies. For 2012's "Looper," he recorded slamming a car door in an echo-y parking garage, using the creepy reverb for a suspenseful scene. The "Paper Towns" score will feature similar acoustic sounds.
"So far I'm using everything from a regular piano to paint buckets and cookie sheets," he said. "A cookie sheet is another cool percussion instrument."
In the trailer, we've heard songs from Mikky Ekko and Twin Shadow. Lott will slither his composition around the soundtrack songs during the film, enhancing the scenes while giving the existing songs their own light. And, if we're lucky, we might even get a Son Lux tune on the soundtrack -- after all, Son Lux has expanded to a trio and just announced a single and new album, Bones, out June 23.
Until then, we're drumming up our anticipation… on paint buckets.
Hear Son Lux's new song, "Change Is Everything," here: