So, Don McKay is probably a movie you never heard of. It’s dark comedy/thriller that stars Thomas Haden Church as a janitor who flees his hometown after a terrible tragedy. When he returns more than two decades later he tries to rekindle an old romance as the town’s dark nature pulls him in.
The film was only shown in a handful of theaters so naturally not many of heard of it. The film features a score by Steve Bramson, which I must say is excellent. He’s probably most well known for his work on J.A.G, but he’s been composing television since the early 90’s. Don McKay is a score that works in its subtlety. It’s focuses on using solo instruments such as a piano, violin and some electronic drones to create atmosphere. In a way you could say it sounds somewhat like a Thomas Newman score.
What I love is that it’s so simple. I love simple tunes and melodies. They echo much further than the complex over the top stuff most composers do. The score speaks a sense of loneliness and intrigue. It can be vague as it sparks your interest but it’s never boring. Many “small” scores tend to be boring, but I was never bored with this one. It reminded me in ways of Hans Zimmer & Klaus Badelt’s score to The Pledge with a Thomas Newman vibe. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this score. It’s a great experience that’s worth a look.