posted May 3rd, 2023

In addition to his day job transforming pop music with music, as well as his collaborations with others over the past few decades, did you know that Jim O’Rourke has been contracted for several dozen film scores over the years?

Sure he has! It makes sense too – his abilities as an improviser, composer and producer allow him to interpret cinematic moments with a unique understanding for the construction of moments, and how they work. What doesn’t make sense is how Hands That Bind is the first film soundtrack of Jim’s to ever receive a worldwide release! He’s worked with filmmakers of international repute, like Olivier Assayas, Alison Anders, Werner Herzog and Kôji Wakamatsu! He’s played in ensembles of award-winning documentaries and films alike! Throw the guy a ubiquitousally-promoted soundtrack LP every now'n then, why doncha?

Made for an indie film that’s been seen by festival audiences and definitely not enough others (now go and demand it at your local picture show!), the original soundtrack for Hands That Bind is a moody, atmospheric delight. Jim’s roots in composition via tape-editing have evolved into a highly musical assembly of found-and-processed sounds that approach orchestral resonance as they hang in the very air of the drama that unfolds in Kyle Armstrong’s Hands That Bind.

Described as a “slow-burn prairie gothic drama” set in the farmland of Canada’s Alberta province, and starring Paul Sparks, Susan Kent, Landon Liboiron, Nicholas Campbell, Will Oldham and Bruce DernHands That Bind is a spellbinding trip to the existential bone of of the North American rural working class. O’Rourke’s vaporous, serpentine musical backdrops and atmospheres reflect the obsessions and distractions of the film’s principles; moods of all sorts seen or otherwise implied.

Drifting somewhere between minimal jazz and ambient/new age, this first edit from the Hands That Bind OST vacillates similarly between soulful warmth and universal calm. Men are driven by what they want, need and love, but they’re driven to distraction and delusion by the same; O’Rourke’s bass, piano and cymbals revolve like distant stars reflected in acoustic pools, highlighting the existential isolation of the mise-en-scène.

Watch the video, directed by Kyle Armstrong himself, for "A Man's Mind Will Play Tricks On Him (Edit)", in which the music intersects the striking widescreen images of the big sky country with unnerving flair.

Hands That Bind (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) will be available on vinyl July 7th!

Artists in this story: Jim O'Rourke