As summer draws nearer, Iceland prepares for a warm summer of seemingly never-ending days, as sunlight remains in the sky for a larger and larger stretch of each day, but you would never guess that from Icelandic composer Barði Jóhannsson’s score for the film “Agony,” which is haunting enough to send a chill down anyone’s spine.
The psychological thriller, starring Italian actress Asia Argento, was released more than a year ago, but the film’s 15-track soundtrack, entirely composed by Jóhannsson, will be released this week. This isn’t Jóhannsson’s first foray into film and television, having previously provided music for The O.C. and The X Files, among many other projects. Jóhannsson has also worked with major recording artists like SIA, M83’s Anthony Gonzales, and others. That’s not all, either! He has also performed in the one-man pop band Bang Gang, where he collaborated with Ladytron, Icelandic-French indie outfit Starwalker, and the whimsical folk-pop group Lady & Bird.
Jóhannsson’s dramatic and eerie score is effective in creating an unsettling sense of apprehension, especially evident in tracks like “Sorrow Surrounding,” which is jammed with spooky string instruments and an anxiety-inducing synth. Jóhannsson’s work on “Agony”adds him to an already extensive (and impressive) list of musicians who have successfully created their own scores to movies (RE: Arcade Fire, Trent Reznor, Daft Punk, to name a few), and we’re curious to see if his work in this movie will skyrocket him to other composing opportunities (we can make an educated guess that his work in this score is entirely different than what he has made in the studio with Sia).
The score to “Agony” is out now.