Beach House Unveils First Film Score With Netflix’s ‘Along for the Ride’

Beach House 2021
David Belisle

Long-running indie duo Beach House — who released the sprawling 18-song double album, ‘Once Twice Melody,’ just a few weeks ago — is making its film-scoring debut with Netflix’s “Along for the Ride,” which is described in the announcement as “a sweet summer film based on the popular YA book by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen.” The film arrives on Netflix on Friday.

Written and directed by Sofia Alvarez (who wrote the screenplay for both “To All the Boys I’ve Love Before” and its sequel), “Along for the Ride” tells the story of Auden (Emma Pasarow), who’s decided to spend her last summer before college in picturesque Colby Beach, according to the synopsis. While other teens party in the sun, loner Auden spends her time roaming the streets after everyone else is asleep. Everything changes when she meets Eli (Belmont Cameli), a charming and mysterious fellow insomniac. On their nightly adventures, Eli challenges Auden to a quest to live out all her childhood dreams. Their connection pushes them to confront why they’ve been content living life in the shadows as they begin to show each other how to live life to the fullest. The film also stars Kate Bosworth, Dermot Mulroney and Andie MacDowell.

Beach House, consisting of singers/instrumentalists Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, formed in Baltimore in 2004. Their music always has been atmospheric and cinematic, so it is not a stretch to imagine them doing theatrical scores.  Writer / director Sofia Alvarez talked about why she picked the duo to score the film (which is her directorial debut) and the creative process between her and the band.

“Originally, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have a score, as there are so many needle drops in the movie,” she says. “But whenever I discussed this with our music supervisors, Jessica Berndt and Jane Abernethy, I always included the caveat – ‘But if there is a score, it would have to be done by Beach House.’ Then Netflix sent us their ideas about whom the right composer might be, and completely independently of our discussions – they wanted Beach House too!. Our music supervisors reached out to Beach House’s manager, Jason Foster, whom I’ve known for a long time, and he sent us instrumental versions of three Beach House albums to use as temp score while we were working on the edit. Once we dropped their music in, it fit the aesthetic of the movie perfectly and beautifully heightened the emotions of the scenes.”

She continues, “I had a couple of initial conversations with Alex [Scally, Beach House guitarist] and Victoria [Legrand, vocalist / keyboardist] and immediately felt a kinship with them. We share many mutual friends and are all from Baltimore. We also discovered through talking about that city, that their best friend lives across the street from the house I grew up in. My husband, Adam Squires, also designed their website. So though we’d never met, it didn’t feel like a collaboration that was starting at zero.

“I know they will have a long career as film composers and I couldn’t be more honored that Along for the Ride was their first stop on that journey. I’m personally hoping to work with them again, maybe on a thriller or horror with fewer or no needle drops – I’d be so excited to hear what they would compose to images with a totally blank sound as the starting point.

“And because we are all from Balt – Go O’s!”