Soundtrack Review: Planetary

A suitably ethereal and beautiful soundtrack, Bristol-based band Human Suits’ soundtrack for Planetary is a completely new discovery for me, despite having been released over a year ago. I must confess it was a delightful discovery, genuinely easy to listen to and striking just the right balance between soothing and relaxing, and delicately complex harmonies and soundscapes. 

Most of the time, I find interesting melodies and harmonies, together with some form of connection to the music to be prerequisites to me enjoying music: if one of those three elements are missing, or lacking in quality or quantity, chances are I won’t enjoy it. But the soundtrack to 2015’s docu-film Planetary blew that way of thinking completely out of the water.

There are almost no interesting melodies at work in this soundtrack, whose soundtrack album runs at almost an hour. Instead, we are plunged into a fantastically realistic landscape so successful at conjuring up images of… whatever you so choose to conjure up. I find myself floating aimlessly through the realms of space and time, marvelling at the emptiness of it all. It’s easy to mistake the sparse textures of the soundtrack as being simply ’empty’ but it’s so much more than that. Much of the music we’re hearing in this soundtrack isn’t about what’s there, it’s not about what we’re hearing. It’s about precisely what’s not there, what we’re not consciously hearing. Perhaps that’s what makes this soundtrack so extraordinary.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

There’s certainly an element of bittersweet nostalgia to the soundtrack. In part that’s down to what I’ve just described, but it’s also down to the incredibly delicate yet surprisingly complex harmonies and soundscapes the music is painting before you. The fourth track on the album, Mass Extinction is a great example of everything I’ve been saying so far: supremely delicate orchestrations, nothing too sudden, nothing too drastic or rash, but layers upon layers of harmonies and orchestrations build up on top of each other to paint one vast and supremely intricate picture which ignites various contrasting feelings and emotions; nostalgia, joy, tranquility, loneliness… the list goes on. There are some truly beautiful moments on this soundtrack and sadly I cannot list them all, or this will become a very long review.

It saddens me somewhat that it took me the best part of a year to discover this hidden gem in the depths of the internet. I get the impression that Human Suits are wonderfully talented and it is a crying shame that they haven’t yet been picked up to provide the score to further films such as Planetary (which, incidentally, is now on my list of films to watch). It is brilliantly easy to sit down somewhere with a cup of coffee and a good book, put this soundtrack on and just relax, unwind, escape the hustle and bustle of 21st century living and enjoy some quality ‘me time’. To be able to produce a piece of music that enables you to just forget everything and chill out and find some form of ‘inner peace’ is a wonderful ability; to produce an entire soundtrack of music that does it, and that does it well, is rare. I applaud Human Suits for this soundtrack – one of the hidden gems of the internet that deserves far more credit and recognition that it has.

Planetary is available for purchase now on bandcamp. For more information on Human Suits, visit their website, or for more details on the film itself, visit weareplanetary.com.