Oliver from Saltburn surrounded by album covers of songs featured on the soundtrack

How Sync Placements Breathe New Life into Old Songs

A film’s soundtrack can be absolutely vital, it sets the tone and immerses audiences in the story. Sync placements have become a transformative force, they have the power to make a new song successful as well as reintroducing old songs to a new audience.

Emerald Fennel’s Saltburn has been trending on social media since its release last month, not only due to it’s bizarre plot but also the brilliant nostalgia driven soundtrack featuring classics from the early 2000s. Perhaps the most prominent feature is Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Murder on the Dancefloor. Following its unforgettable feature in Saltburn, the track experienced a remarkable surge in streams and even reclaimed a spot on the charts. Ellis-Bextor has really leaned into the newfound success, actively pushing it on social media. She has also renamed the official video on YouTube to Murder On The Dancefloor (as featured in Saltburn)

Sophie Ellis-Bextor's Murder On The Dancefloor music video now reads (as featured in Saltburn)

[Image Creds: YouTube]

Similarly, Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten found a new lease on life through its inclusion in the film Anyone but You. The track has been all over TikTok and Bedingfield has also used the connection to her advantage, changing the song’s Spotify canvas to feature clips from the film.

The Spotify canvas for Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten featuring clips from the film Anyone But You

[Image Creds: Spotify]

One of the most prominent examples in recent years is the Netflix series Stranger Things’ inclusion of iconic tracks like Should I Stay or Should I Go and Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) in pivotal moments of the show catapulted these songs back into the cultural consciousness, with the latter even reaching #1 on charts, 37 years after it was released. This not only underscores the show’s ability to curate a nostalgic atmosphere but also demonstrates the profound impact sync placements can have on a song’s commercial success.

The scene from the Netflix series Stranger Things where Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill is prominent

[Image Creds: Netflix]

The cultural and nostalgic appeal of soundtracks like Saltburn’s lies in the audience’s genuine enjoyment of revisiting classic tunes. The positive reception on social media highlights the broad appeal of incorporating older songs into contemporary media.

A tweet from X user @inoelshikari reading: Now that Saltburn is out, I'm confidently saying that Murder On The Dancefloor by Sophie Ellis-Bextor is my favourite use of music in a movie ever.

[Image Creds: @inoelshikari on X]

In summary, the recent success stories highlight the significant impact of sync placements in revitalizing old songs. The deliberate pairing of classic tunes with modern releases serves to engage audiences across different age groups, creating a nostalgic connection. As we observe this trend, it becomes evident that the integration of soundtracks into cinematic experiences holds considerable potential for both the music industry and filmmakers alike.

[Featured Image Creds: The Tab]
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