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Hear a New Song from the TOMB RAIDER Soundtrack (Exclusive)

This week the all new Tomb Raider, starring Alicia Vikander as the iconic archeologist with a fondness for daring and dangerous adventures, comes to theaters. It’s been 15 years since the character was last seen on the big screen, which is why some fans of the franchise are in a frenzy waiting to see what this reboot will mean for one of the most famous figures in video game history. But whether you’re at a fever pitch of anticipation or not, we have just the thing to get your heart racing for the film, because a new thumping, epic song from the movie’s soundtrack will have you ready to head to the jungle yourself. And you can hear it exclusively right here.

“Let Yamatai Have Her” comes from musician Tom Holkenborg, also known as Junkie XL (check out this game to hear more of his score). It’s a sweeping, drum-heavy track that will transport you to Yamatai island in the Pacific, the setting for both the 2013 Tomb Raider game and the new movie. Our recommendation: listen to this with the speakers turned up if you can, because the way it ebbs and flows make the payoffs that much more powerful when the song rises.

After listening to that I’m ready to take on the Trinity organization myself right now. I mean, they’d easily kill me, assuming I didn’t slip on a rock or get bitten by a snake first, but I’m willing to fight! That’s why we wanted to know more about what went into writing a song that sounds so uniquely perfect for Lara Croft on one of her adventures, so we asked Holkenborg about what went into creating the sound here. Turns out it sounds so authentic because the instruments he used are.

Image: Dirk Kikstra

Nerdist: Were you a fan of the original Tomb Raider Games?

Junkie XL: I did play the first video game back in the day! Around 2000, the games got so good (and so addictive) that I stopped playing them altogether because I wanted to spend all my time on music. But I always thought it was a great story and Lara a great character.

N: How did you settle on this drum sound for the track?

JX: Since 80% of the movie takes plays on a small island way out in the Pacific Ocean, it made sense to look for instruments from that region. I found out pretty quickly that these are not easy to get! I finally found an authentic drum maker in San Diego who specializes in making these drums with original wood from those islands. His name is Christiaan Verbeek. I special ordered the instruments and I was able to customize them according to my wishes. I finally got them after months of anxious waiting. The instruments were shipped to London for extensive recording and sampling. The sound of them is so amazing. They are raw and have a very distinctive character that can’t be compared to anything else.

N: What was the goal before you began creating music for the film and how did that change as you were composing?

JX: I was doing a lot of thinking about what needed to go into this score. What was clear is that the Studio (MGM and Warner Bros.) and the Director (Roar Uthaug) wanted something raw and modern and less focus on a traditional thematic orchestral score. After weeks of thinking I came up with a concept and wrote a piece of music that was about 30 minutes long. It pretty much covered everything the movie needed. After some initial positive response from Roar, I started scoring the film scene by scene. The only thing I hadn’t covered was something unique for Lara’s dad. That was the missing 20%.

N: Were you listening to any other music while in the recording process?

JX: I never listen to other music when I am in writing mode. I feel like listening to other music is distracting me from the task at hand. There are too many ideas in my head already that I want to get out, and listening to other music can interrupt my process.

N: What are some reference points for the music you’ve created?

JX: Well I released six albums as an electronic producer/artist under the name Junkie XL. The first time my music was used in a film, it was actually a Junkie XL track. It was used in the Blade soundtrack. Once I saw my music in the context of a film I was hooked and that’s when I got the itch to get into composing scores full-time. I’ve worked with Hans Zimmer on various scores over the years, films like Inception, Man of Steel, Wonder Woman and in recent years I’ve scored films myself like Justice League, Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, The Dark Tower and several others.


Featured Image: Warner Bros. Pictures


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