How To Destroy Angels

How To Destroy Angels

When guest poster Gormie wrote his wonderful review of the music from the movie Flight, I don’t think he knew how close to home one part in particular would hit me.

Here’s an excerpt from the paragraph in question:

In the end, what makes it all work maybe is that in between the “highs” of these iconic rock songs, Alan Silvestri’s haunting original score is a brilliant contrast… It sounds so much like another great score from The Social Network that I looked it up to see if he wrote that one too.

That last bit offered a funny coincidence, because I’ve spent the last week or so listening to the Social Network soundtrack multiple times a day. My mini-obsession started, appropriately, with “Hand Covers Bruise,” the score’s first track and signature piece. It may have taken 3 years — my deep-seated antipathy toward Facebook factors into this delay somehow — but the beauty and evocative power of that simple theme and the rest of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Oscar-winning composition have finally started sinking in. It’s an especially timely coincidence, given that Reznor and Ross’ newest collaboration just hit the interweb a few days ago, courtesy of Pitchfork’s answer to NPR’s First Listen — Pitchfork Advance.

That said, when I followed this link, posted to Twitter yesterday by a trusted recommender, I wasn’t thinking about Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, “Hand Covers Bruise,” The Social Network… none of that stuff. I thought I was going out on a limb. Trying out a group I’d never heard and had only heard the name of — How To Destroy Angels — in passing. The fact that I was simply moving to a different limb on the same tree I’d been climbing for a week is crazy, especially when you consider that I went through the exact same steps that Gormie listed, only with a different result… I started listening to Welcome Oblivion, resolved that it sounded just like the music from The Social Network and decided to see if Reznor and Ross were involved.

As much as I love finding the hidden meaning in things, part of me knows that the serendipitous intersections described above belong in the realm of coincidence. Shit happens at the same time all the time. But when the centerpiece of this whole web of social media-borne weirdness is the soundtrack to a movie about the world’s largest social network, called The Social fucking Network, that’s just too much to shrug off. I’m not sure what it all means, though. Maybe it means that connectedness will eventually reach a tipping point, resulting in a collective hive mind, like how John Hodgman sometimes likes to refer to his Tumblr audience. Maybe it means that, for the people who put their thoughts online each day, the idea of coincidence just isn’t the same anymore. Maybe it means that, if I can figure out what it means, I can get as rich as Mark Zuckerberg! I clearly need to chew on this.

In the meantime, I feel a new mini-obsession forming in How To Destroy Angels’ debut full-length. Preview the instantly lovable 5th track off Welcome Oblivion below (OK, so it’s an earlier version of “Ice Age” that appeared on the group’s An omen EP_), and pre-order the album here. And just for fun, give “Hand Covers Bruise” a listen as well.

How To Destroy Angels — “Ice Age” [Spotify/iTunes]

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross — “Hand Covers Bruise” [Spotify/iTunes]

3 thoughts on “How To Destroy Angels

    • Not at all! The issue of the Social Network soundtrack (and how much I’ve been enjoying it) is especially interesting to me, because I was never a Nine Inch Nails fan growing up, even though many of my peers were. It’s almost like I’m finally getting on a bandwagon, albeit a vastly different version of it. It’s a weird sensation.
      That’s one reason I was so intent on writing a separate post about it. And your tweet about the How To Destroy Angels album could not have been more serendipitous, so thank you!

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