Nashville Songwriter Releases Horror Film Soundtrack.

Nashville Songwriter Releases Horror Film Soundtrack.

Nashville singer/songwriter Stewart Eastham releases new album Human No More (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), featuring music he composed for the feature horror film of the same title. Eastham was previously known for writing razor sharp lyrics over country flavored rock n roll songs, but this album marks his first fully instrumental album. While it might seem like a big leap for a Nashville songwriter to compose the score for a horror film, Eastham slides easily into the role with music that is both haunting and beautiful.

Eastham breaks free of Nashville’s structural constraints composing 12 tracks that range from ambient soundscapes to full blown orchestral pieces. Though originally written for the 2020 horror film Human No More, the album stands on its own even without the visuals of the film. It paints a vivid, and often terrifying, portrait of a murky underworld where a lone wolf detective crosses paths with a serial killer harboring a personal vendetta.

At the start of the project, Eastham spent weeks bouncing ideas off director Christopher Broadstone while developing the sound palette and basic themes/motifs used throughout the score. “We shared points of reference from Zimmer to Reznor and other specific film scores, but it was really important to both of us to have a score that didn’t sound like anything we’d heard before.” That goal was achieved as the music spread across this 40 minute album is far from the retro 80s scores so popular in mainstream horror right now.

After co-producing his last two albums, this is Eastham’s first foray as a solo producer. The bulk of the material was recorded in his own home studio in Nashville TN during the 2020 pandemic lockdown. The literal isolation Eastham was experiencing made its way into the haunting melodies and textured soundscapes found on this album. “I wanted the music to feel very organic and lived-in. To give everything an industrial, worn down feel, I used distortion on almost every sound you hear, ” Eastham explains.

The album contains both ear-catching melodies and dark ambient atmospherics. After a couple short intro tracks to set the tone of what is to come, track 3 “Curious Crimes” is a 9 and a half minute opus that features hypnotic electric guitars and organ over metallic percussion. The track concludes with a menacing orchestral section bringing to mind the work of Ennio Morricone. The following track “The Calamus” slowly builds from a stark piano/cello melody to finger-picked acoustic guitars over pulsating synths.

“Aquaricum” starts with an ambient drone that morphs into a waltz that is both childlike and terrifying. The track “Forensics” churns over a grinding metallic loop bringing to mind the sounds of a serial killer’s sordid workshop. The album closes with the stunningly beautiful and melancholic track “Sunrise Bridge”. The track starts with a quiet synth, building in intensity and dynamics until it explodes into a full orchestral piece that plays over the final credits of the film.

As with Eastham’s previous albums, this record was mixed and mastered by Rich Mouser (well known as one of the top prog rock mixers/engineers). Their working relationship now spans over 10 years going back to Eastham’s first album with his former band Day Of The Outlaw. Mouser used his extraordinary mixing skills to create a sonically rich three dimensional sound experience that is sure to please both audiophiles and soundtrack fans alike.

Stewart Eastham was born and raised in the foothills of rural Northern California. He was a music and film fanatic from the very beginning — starting with his parents’ beat-up Beatles records and horror movie VHS tapes. A lot of his youth was spent consuming horror novels and wandering the horror section of local video rental shops bringing his life full circle with this horror film soundtrack.

While attending UC Davis, Eastham played drums in various bands. After graduating with a degree in Computer Engineering, he switched gears and moved to Los Angeles to attend film school and study acting. He fronted the band Day Of The Outlaw for two albums before embarking on a solo career after moving to Nashville from Los Angeles in the fall of 2010.

While continuing with his lyric-based songwriting in Nashville, Eastham plans to move further into the world of film scoring. As he puts it, “There is a freedom with creating film scores that is very different from creating pop-based albums. It brings a whole other level of creativity I absolutely love. And I love the collaborative nature of working with directors to help bring their vision to the screen.”

Human No More (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is available digitally June 25 with a vinyl release soon to follow.

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