Mark Orton: Nebraska

Mark Orton: Nebraska soundtrack

(Milan, 11/19/13)

"Night of the Skeptic"

If its trailer would have you believe anything, it’s that Nebraska is a complicated road movie — funny, heartfelt, maudlin, eccentric, all of the above. Its soundtrack, composed by Mark Orton of Tin Hat, covers all that ground in a neat, 45-minute package. Bathed in unabashed Americana, Orton’s score is a work reflecting the sweeping grandeur of the road from Montana to the film’s namesake state, with melancholic bits peeking out from behind each wavering squeezebox riff and golden foothill.

Tracks like “The Old Compressor / Escape” roll along to the galloping cadence of a country waltz that practically draws caricatures of tan-jacketed, blue-collared figures on the roadside. Others like “Night of the Skeptic,” which reunites the original members of Tin Hat’s original trio arrangement for the first time since their split in 2005, manage to conjure any number of truck-stop revelations amidst the group’s striking instrumental interplay.