LONDON — Grammy-winning film composer Lorne Balfe says he was encouraged to step out of his comfort zone for the new spy movie “Argylle”, and the result is a disco-inspired score that includes an initially top-secret Beatles track.
The soundtrack for the film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, was released on Friday and features two songs from actor and singer Ariana DeBose.
“Matthew was in post and he called me up and was like, okay, we’ve made the movie, you just won an Oscar, let’s do something else, and he pitched the idea of the song ‘Electric Energy’,” said DeBose, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 film “West Side Story”.
“I had so much fun experimenting with the disco genre. And I love that you get to hear the melody throughout the film. It’s sort of like this underlying energy for our story.”
Similarly, Vaughn approached Balfe to collaborate on “Argylle”. In a first for the musician, whose career spans over a hundred films as well as TV shows and video games, he wrote the music together with the filmmaker.
“It was a full, proper 50-50 collaboration over FaceTime writing melodies,” said Balfe.
Vaughn had another surprise up his sleeve. Around a year before the film was finished, Giles Martin, the son of Beatles producer George Martin, offered to help him find a tune for the lead character, Elly Conway.
“Matthew had always been looking for a song for Elly and Giles said ‘I think I’ve got something’,” said Balfe.
That something was “Now And Then”, billed as the last Beatles song and developed using artificial intelligence.
“I don’t think I even knew who it was when I first listened to it,” said Balfe. “It was a blank file and not labelled.”
“And then you get to hear the Beatles music that nobody’s heard being performed by an orchestra and none of the musicians knew either. We had to use fake names for it,” he said.
The song was eventually released in November 2023 and now features prominently in ‘Argylle’.
— Reporting by Hanna Rantala; Editing by David Gregorio