EDIT: Official Remix
EDIT: Republic Records has released a Radio Mix for “The Hanging Tree.” This remix has been dubbed the “Rebel Remix.” You can download an mp3 of the radio mix on Mediafire, or you can buy The Hanging Tree (Rebel Remix) on iTunes by clicking here. The remix has charted on the Billboard Top 100 and been receiving radio play. Guess we aren’t the only ones who saw the remix potential with the acapella. For what it’s worth, I think all of the below are better, more textured remixes. Unfortunately though, you can’t buy them on iTunes.
I saw “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” tonight (Only spent $54 at Cinebistro this time). The movie is mediocre. The only moment of strength or emotion comes courtesy of Jennifer Lawrence’s haunting performance of an original song “The Hanging Tree,” set over images of revolution.
The lyrics to the song were taken from the Mockingjay novel and set to music by the indie-folk band the Lumineers. There is no version of “The Hanging Tree” sung by the Lumineers, unfortunately (I bet it would be great). The song provides the movie with a much-needed emotional punch. While there is an interesting story to be told about war propaganda, Mockingjay Part 1 does not ever elevate beyond a boring semi-action movie. You’d have thought the split to two movies might have allowed the producers wider thematic latitude, but I guess you don’t take chances with a franchise as big as The Hunger Games. You don’t have something to say, you just have a good story to tell.
“The Hanging Tree” is the only place where “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” feels like it has something to say. It’s just making a musical statement, instead of a filmic one.
“The Hanging Tree” is quite a hit; it’s actually charted on the iTunes store, and has seen big popularity on the streaming sites as well. Curiously, it is NOT included on the Lorde-curated “Official Soundtrack,” a release from which only one song appears in the movie (Yellow Flicker Beat, over the credits). “The Hanging Tree” is included on the Official Score, a release credited to James Newton Howard (for the ID3 freaks like me out there).
Whenever I hear a catchy, understated song like this, my first thought is always “I can’t wait to hear some remixes!” “The Hanging Tree” is no exception— there are several quality remixes already on YouTube and Soundcloud. Below are a few of my favorites— please share in the comments if you know of some that I haven’t posted here, I would love to hear them.
The Smija rework adds instrumentation and a strong bass line
Moshy delivers a trippy, slow-paced and syncopated remix
AntonMcGeezus created a pulsing, dance-oriented track
There are more out there (definitely a fewer faster, bouncier dance tracks), but these three are my favorites so far. Take an hour and scour around YouTube and Soundcloud for some hidden gems— it will be a better use of your time than seeing “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.”