It’s been a long while since we’ve heard from Savages, the feverish and theatrical London postpunk band. Savages released their sophomore album Adore Life back at the beginning of 2016, and while there’s been no talk of a breakup or a hiatus, the members of the band have gone on to do different things. There have been side projects, like Kite Base and 180dB. Bandleader Jehnny Beth sang on a Trentemøeller single, and she also starred in the French film An Impossible Love (Un Amour Impossible). And now she’s got a new cinematic endeavor. She’s getting into film scoring.
Beth and Johnny Hostile, the Savages producer who is also her partner, have done the score for XY Chelsea, a new documentary about Chelsea Manning. Manning, the trans activist and former US Army soldier, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking information about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Barack Obama commuted her sentence just as his presidency was ending, and now she’s back in jail, being held in contempt of court for refusing to go before a grand jury to answer questions about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. XY Chelsea recently debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, after the filmmakers had to do a last-minute recut to include what’s going on with her case right now.
Beth and Hostile composed and performed the soundtrack. And Beth sings in the end-credits song “Let It Out,” a chilly synthpop track. It doesn’t have the guitar-riffing intensity of Savages, but it does have some of the gothic grandeur. Of the song, Beth says, “It is about being inside Chelsea’s head at the moment she decides she won’t be hiding anymore. It’s a great moment of human bravery that can inspire anyone in this world to go beyond their own fear and accept who they are no matter the consequences.” Listen below.
The XY Chelsea soundtrack is coming soon on Pop Noire, and you can pre-order it here.