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Rye Lane OST Ian Opolot , November 9th, 2023 09:01

Artist, producer and composer Kwes presents the release of the original score for the romantic comedy film Rye Lane that released in cinemas in January 2023

Kwes composes an eclectic offering that wills the viewer into partaking in the action of Rye Lane as opposed to being just a passive observer. Within the 23-track release lies a plethora of sounds, ranging from the eerily dark with a grime influence – an ode to Black British London – to a delicate use of string instruments that dance with the visuals as two sprightly young teens fall for one another.

The nature of the score is high-spirited, akin to the tempo and tone of the film itself, designed to evoke feeling in the viewer matching that of the characters. It’s a difficult task to design sound in accordance with a character’s emotion, though here Kwes does so astutely. The anguish of lead character Dom (David Jonsson) as he recalls his ex-girlfriend’s brazen public display of having moved on as ‘Nathan Armstrong/Dom buys a photo’ exemplifies the use of drum synths to illustrate Dom’s expressions of emotional torment as he navigates the perilous corridors of heartbreak, ensuring the score serves the action.

‘Dom’s Flashback/Split Popcorn’ foreboding piano chords and up-tempo, grime-influenced reverb is wonderfully diegetic, forming a soundscape that is of the world of Rye Lane, emphasising the geo-cultural setting of South London. ‘Chemistry/Happy Dom’ brings forth fanatically sanguine vocals, drawing romance to the centre of the narrative. Kwes’ inventive incorporation of Dom’s exhaled expression of happiness into the score captures his euphoric state of mind, fused with the sonorous beckoning of grime beats likened to crowd chants at a rave.

Kwes displays incredible artistic competence to create a sense of communication between character and audience, ensuring the viewer feels part of the action. ‘Wave At Boats’ is emotive, chimerical in its use of percussive instruments and electronic synths that climaxes at a crescendo depicting the romance of being swept off your feet. It implores the audience to partake in the intimate embrace of Dom and Yas (Vivian Oparah), and to believe they too can experience something similar. Sampha and Tirzah feature on two songs, falsetto vocals and scintillatingly passionate electronic guitar ever-present and warm, bringing hope to the fore, raising a glass to youthful and carefree romance.

Kwes’ composition for Rye Lane compliments both the emotional and somatic weight of the film, whether it’s Dom’s woe or Yas’ quirky vivaciousness, the score is the perfect compliment to the motion picture.