The Best of Rockingjay (So Far) Monday 26 March, 2012

We were thrilled to learn that FUSE recently published a piece on the Rockingjay movement! While Rockingjay is nowhere near as huge as Wizard Rock (or Wrock) is, we think this new musical genre will continue to grow as the Hunger Games fandom expands and more people express an interest in Hunger Games-inspired music! You can watch FUSE’s piece below. You should recognize both Alex Carpenter and Kaysy Ostrom, as they appeared on Episode 10 of Fireside Chat last June when we held a special Music Night.

In addition to sharing FUSE’s Rockingjay segment with you, we decided that we’d also share some of our favorite Rockingjay music that wasn’t featured. So after you watch the FUSE video, we hope you’ll take the time to check out all of the artists here, and please leave comments if you’ve heard of any other amazing musicians or bands singing songs about The Hunger Games!

Now for the Best of Rockingjay (so far)…

Savanna: Because I’m such a “lyrics person,” my favorite Rockingjay song is, without a doubt, Rebekah Hawker’s “Girl on Fire.” Don’t let the relatively simple (but extremely catchy) music fool you — “Girl on Fire” is an incredibly complex song, full of brilliant puns, wordplay, and references to all three books.

I also love all of Rachel Macwhirter’s Hunger Games songs, especially “Too Clever by Half (The Ballad of Foxface).” There are so many songs out there about Katniss and Peeta, but very few about other characters, so I love the fact that Rachel chose to do something a little different.

Also worth mentioning is Alex Boyd, who has an entire album of Rockingjay music called Hair Ribbons and Rainbows (a reference to Katniss’s feelings towards music). Alex is a fantastic guitar player and his music is really awesome; like Rachel, he doesn’t limit himself to just Katniss and Peeta. His album features a couple of songs from Gale’s perspective (like my favorite, “Behind”) and even a “Song of the Avox.” I actually reviewed Hair Ribbons and Rainbows with Kate from awhile back — click here to read our review.

And, of course, there’s Sam Cushion’s stunning instrumental work and unofficial scores, which are nothing short of sheer genius.

I’d also like to recommend District 13, a Rockingjay band comprised of two sisters, Jessica and Melissa Milne. Last December, District 13 released an amazing — and frequently hilarious — album of Christmas-themed songs called The Twelve Days of the Hunger Games. They’re also developing a Hunger Games musical!

Lastly, Blue from Hello, the Future! has written a couple of stellar Hunger Games songs, and electronica musician Kristen Zimmer has created an entire Hunger Games Electronica Project that is incredibly cool.

Adam: There are so many talented Hunger Games musicians out there, so to single out any of them feels almost unfair. Steph Anderson has really brought some exceptional verve over from the Potter fandom, along with Alex Carpenter and Alex Boyd. They are both incredibly cool songsters.

One artist I’d like to point out, however, is Rebekah Hawker, whose “Girl on Fire” song (embedded above in Savanna’s section) touched me very deeply. I’ve always been a sucker for wordplay, so I couldn’t help but fall in love with the way she uses characters’ names to advance her tune. “Fingers finnicking” and “gales of wind” are omnipresent, and “the snow is bleeding” provides quite the poignant visual. Just an extraordinary effort.

I’d also like to highlight the venerable Rachel Macwhirter, who dazzled me from the beginning. Her “Iron Children” song became a huge hit in the early stages of the fandom (long before the movie franchise exploded to these ridiculous heights), and it continues to amaze. Also, after seeing the movie, her “Too Clever by Half” Foxface song rings particularly powerful. Her combination of youthful earnestness, intelligence, and vocal sweetness is magnificent, especially when coupled with that delightful Australian accent.

And then, of course, there’s Sam Cushion, our dear friend and multi-faceted Renaissance composer of all things Hunger Games. He is the heart that thumps the beats, the force that strikes the keys. He’s the father of the Rockingjay movement, and he continues to sparkle beauty on this promising sphere.

For even more about the movement, including interviews with some of the artists discussed here, check out Down with the Capitol’s Rockingjay section.

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