One of FX's new fall comedies, Atlanta is a love letter to the city that creator, writer, and star Donald Glover calls home. A successful comedian and rapper in his own right, Glover using his new FX series to explore the city as well as the music that bursts from its streets. Atlanta is known for its expansive and influential rap scene, which has given birth to all-time greats like Outkast, up-and-coming boundary-pushers like Young Thug, and Glover, who raps as Childish Gambino. To help capture the sound of the city, Glover, who is also the series' Executive Music Producer, turned to film composer and frequent collaborator Ludwig Göransson to compose the music for Atlanta .
Glover's relationship with Göransson goes back to his days on cult-sitcom Community, for which Göransson composed the original score. Göransson then helped Glover produce Childish Gambino's debut mixtape Culdesac, and has worked on every Gambino project since then including the albums Camp and Because The Internet. When not working with Glover, Göransson is an accomplished film composer, creating the scores for everything from television sitcoms (Angie Tribeca) to critically-acclaimed films like Fruitvale Station and Creed. Here are a few of Göransson's best musical accomplishments to get you hyped for the premiere of Atlanta.
Childish Gambino, "3005"
This song from Childish Gambino's 2013 album Because The Internet was co-produced by Göransson and is a shining example of what makes his musical contributions so unique. "3005" is distinctly hip-hop but it doesn't sound quite like anything else, taking influence from electronic and dance music while combining ghostly whispers with sirens to create a truly unique soundscape within the space of a 4-minute song.
While it would be surprising to hear anything resembling the bouncy, upbeat score of Community in Atlanta, Göransson's experience with different styles shows that he is akin to a chameleon composer able to adapt to any genre necessary. This skill-set likely came in handy on Community, which would play around with varying genres from week-to-week.
Göransson helped all-sister band HAIM form their unique sound. He told music blog Pigeons and Planes of working with the band, "I was very keen on working with them. They had these like garageband demos. The demos were really amazing. I just saw what I could add to it. We recorded all the songs from scratch." This kind of ingenuity is sure to be present in the score for Atlanta as well.
"You're A Creed"
While his sitcom scores are often plunky and bright, his score for Creed is hard-hitting, as powerful as the punches thrown by Donnie in the boxing ring. Göransson's ability to compose music that feels epic in its scale and scope bodes well for Atlanta, as the score will be able to easily communicate the huge stakes that the characters find themselves living with.
While Atlanta will certainly feature tracks by actual Atlanta hip hop artists, as well as some prime soundtrack choices (the dreamy, psychedelic track "New Person, Same Old Mistakes" by Australian indie band Tame Impala has been scoring many of its promo videos) many of the tracks heard during the show will come from the supervision of Göransson. Considering his impressive resume and the fact that he and Glover seem to regularly make magic together, expect Atlanta to have one of the best scores of television series this year.
Image: Matthias Clamer/FX