Film scores

Soundtrack review: Olive and Mocha (Amil Byleckie – 2015)

olive

“Olive and Mocha” is a short comedy about two very different children, one goody goody and the other a bad seed who form an unlikely friendship that wreaks havoc amidst their friends. The score comes from composer Amil Byleckie, a new name for me. The bonus for me is that the movie appears to be set in the 80 and I get tingly when I read this.

This is one of those rare cases where I don’t mind (and also include in the review) cues that have a vocal part. 80s where such a special musical time and every distinctive treat of the decade is present in this short but meaningful score. We get the pop hits, we get wonderfully simple synth pieces and we even get an all our rock n roll piece at one time.

The score is unbelievably short but it’s just as sweet. While I was debating whether to actually review it or not it was already over and I was starting to replay it. The score had won me over. The synth background of vocal pieces like “First kiss” or “Together” is so simple and delightful that I feel I’m playing a video game with original sound effects while there’s some 80’s vocal music playing in the room. I’ve traveled back in time and I am shooting invaders on that old school screen while two voices talk a high school love.

There are also two cues worth one whole minute in total depicting life at the “Sugar High” high school where the story takes place. I could listen to those on repeat forever. “Soda shots” make me feel as if I am watching a kids party from the 80s where it’s dark and everyone has glowing plastic bands on their foreheads and wrists. “Olive and Mocha” is going back to the simple roots of electronic music and brings a short shot of nostalgia to me. This is the most precious feeling a film music score can bring… this is 10 minutes long so there will be no harm in having a little fun with it.

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 8 / 14

Album excellence: 54%

Highlights:

Earth, Moon, Sunshade

First Kiss (feat. Liz Isenberg)

Sugar High Credits

Sugar High Party

Soda Shots

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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