909originals explores the idiosyncratic brilliance of the ‘Russian Doll’ soundtrack…
[Spoiler alert: If you haven’t yet watched Russian Doll on Netflix, it’s probably best skipping this article]
It may have been only on Netflix for a few days, but Russian Doll is already being spoken of as the breakthrough series of the year, combining the acerbic wit of a Joan Rivers put-down with the existential dread of a Kafkian novella.
Centering on Nadia Vulvokov, played with caustic aplomb by Natasha Lyonne (boasting a barnet that Pixar’s Brave would be proud of), it’s a modern, New York interpretation of the Groundhog Day trope – if you could live the same day over and over, what would you do?
For 909originals though, arguably the strongest performer of the series is the soundtrack, compiled by music supervisor Brienne Rose, combining quirky 70s ballads with soaring electronica, not to mention a smattering of doowop and retro Americana.
Even the track that accompanies Nadia’s re-awakening, in the bathroom at her 36th birthday party, is perfectly executed – the track, Gotta Get Up, by Harry Nilsson, is purged from the same 1971 album (Nilsson Schmilsson) that Quentin Tarantino nicked Coconut from for the Reservoir Dogs OST a quarter century ago.
Gotta Get Up also features the lyrics “Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes / What if I’m late, gotta big date, gotta get home before the sun comes up”… a sober reminder of the persistent death loop that Nadia finds herself in.
It’s the best Netflix soundtrack since that of Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch, released in late December (and possibly also Stranger Things), and wouldn’t be out of place in a David Lynch masterwork.
With that in mind, 909originals has created a Spotify playlist to enable you, the listener, to delve into the mind of the series’ protagonist as she wanders through Tompkins Square Park, trying to piece it all together…
Seriously though, what was in that joint? 🙂