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Soundtrack review: Sacred lies (Sonya Belousova & Giona Ostinelli – 2018)


Soundtrack review: Sacred lies (Sonya Belousova & Giona Ostinelli – 2018)



“Sacred Lies” is an American drama web television series based on the novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes that premiered on July 27, 2018 on Facebook Watch. The series was created by Raelle Tucker and stars Elena Kampouris, Kevin Carroll, Kiana Madeira, Toby Huss, and Ryan Robbins. Sacred Lies follows “a handless teen who escapes from a cult and finds herself in juvenile detention, suspected of knowing who killed her cult leader. The music was written by Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli.

The abundance of new streaming services, with YouTube and Facebook getting in the game as well means more score releases for the fans. The composing team of Sonia and Giona has been on my favourites list since the first time I heard them. What made me connect to their music was the exciting, innovative flavour they bring and it’s right here in “Sacred lies” as well; a mix of a fresh electronic sound fused with vocal sound effect, chants almost in some cues and a pulsating pace. I love it when composers fight the generic zone and come up with new ways to both help the on screen images and entertain listeners of the score. There are times when the sound gets so perfectly retro that I just feel nostalgia take me over with that warm tingle inside. I listen to “Kevin Groth never fit in” and I am back in the 80s. The surprises don’t end there as this very cue suddenly descends into darkness in the last 30 seconds.

The music of “Sacred lies” is not meant to enchant or bring memorable melodies; the music is meant to affect, it’s visceral, it screams and grabs, it whispers constantly with those female vocal inserts and when it’s quiet it gets almost whimsical. There are moments when the music borders on ambient, atmospheric and times when it’s almost horror. Listening to this score is a rollercoaster journey, a sonic experiment that is successful for me. The music riles me up in its most intense moments, like the trailer music like “He’ll be back any minute”. It even feels strange for me to single out separate cues since this entire score is an experience. It’s surprising, varied and somehow its pace never lets me get out of the atmosphere as there are no filler moments.

As usually, Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli bring something extra for the listeners, creating a musical world that can be enjoyed separately from the show. I found enough moments to connect with, be they ambient or more aggressive. They don’t compromise and they are creating their own unique sound and this is something I will always appreciate and support. “Sacred lies” is one of those score that is worth listening to because it breaks away from the mainstream film music and presents something different and fascinating. Even if I usually frown at hearing vocal passages in my scores, this time the voices are used as just another sound effect and it works.

Cue rating: 78 / 100

Kevin Groth Never Fit In
Jude Where Are You
You Are Chosen
He Was Like Magic
Gone Baby Gone
It’s Not Enough
It Was Nice To Meet You Minnow Bly

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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