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The Many Roles of Music in Game of Thrones

Sir Jamie Lannister as a POP character image

Any fan of the epic television saga, Game of Thrones, realizes that music plays an enormous part in the success of the series. The jaw-dropping and fateful opening sequence of last season's penultimate episode was all but carried by Ramin Djawadi's gothic minimalist cue, "Light of the Seven." But his massively successful score is not the only musical aspect of the show.

This season the British sensation Ed Sheeran divided fans by making a not-so-subtle cameo appearance as a Lannister bard, but this was definitely not the first time a musician has made an appearance on the show. In fact several main characters are portrayed by musicians, as Jason Heller points out in his article for Rolling Stone. I've listed some of the artists and the characters they play below. Check them out from your library and read the latest issue of Rolling Stone by logging on to RB Digital (the eMagazine service formerly known as Zinio) with your library card!

ed sheeran cd cover

Divide by Ed Sheeran (aka Lannister soldier/bard)

One of the most anticipated global releases of 2017, "÷" sees the 25-year-old in his finest form yet. Drawing inspiration from a wide array of experiences and subjects, Sheeran takes you through a hugely personal journey; be that reflecting on past relationships, family memories, his musical career or his time off traveling the world in 2016. Musically, ÷ is a varied collection of beautifully orchestrated and emotive ballads, impassioned raps laid over hip hop beats, timeless acoustic guitar masterpieces, and innovative, idiosyncratic pop music. Constantly on the move, the album was recorded between LA, London, Suffolk and while crossing the Atlantic aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2. Executive produced by multi-GRAMMY winner Benny Blanco and Sheeran himself with additional production coming from frequent collaborator Johnny McDaid, GRAMMY winner Mike Elizondo, and BRIT-award winner Steve Mac. Sheeran also created the album artwork concept for "÷", even painting the cover himself.

Going Back Home cd cover

Going Back Home by Wilko Johnson (aka Ser Illyn Payne)

Wilko Johnson, legendary guitarist with Dr Feelgood, and Roger Daltrey, lead singer of rock giants The Who are to release a joint album GOING BACK HOME on the world famous Chess label which has been resurrected specifically for this record. The album features 11 tracks, ten of which are Wilko originals from both his Dr Feelgood days and solo years, while the sole cover on the album is a version of Bob Dylan's HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED classic "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window". The album also includes the track "Turned 21" which has never been released or performed live.

Mastodon cd cover

The Hunter by Mastodon (aka Wildlings)

The Hunter, the follow-up to 2009's critically embraced Crack The Skye, was recorded in the band's hometown of Atlanta as well as in Los Angeles with producer Mike Elizondo. As with all their albums, Mastodon, which is bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds, guitarist Bill Keliher, and drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor, decided to take a completely different tack and musical approach to the music on this album. Fans will be excited and fulfilled by what they will hear.

Of Monsters and Men cd cover

Beneath the Skin by Of Monsters and Men (aka Braavosi theater musicians)

Of Monsters And Men is back with their highly anticipated sophomore album “Beneath The Skin”. After two years of touring, writing music and developing their sound, the award winning band is back with a more complex and compelling sound that is sure to excite their fans and draw in listeners across the world.

Raleigh Ritchie cd cover

You're A Man Now, Boy by Raleigh Ritchie (aka Grey Worm)

Almost annoyingly talented, Raleigh Ritchie has a suitably fluid approach to his music. You’re a Man Now, Boy is an impassioned expedition through the UK urban scene, showcasing the Briton's swashbuckling MC abilities and a magnetic, soulful croon. “Werld is Mine”’s crisp drums and inflamed vocals sets forth Ritchie's stirring blueprint, “Stronger Than Ever” was built to soundtrack sport montages, while “Cowards” is a glitchy, charming modern love story.

Sigur Ros cd cover

Kveikur by Sigur Ros (aka Joffrey Lannister's wedding musicians)

Best known for ethereal and atmospheric post-rock, Sigur Rós's seventh studio album, Kveikur, makes a bold departure from that sound in favor of tracks that are darker, heavier, and louder. Filled with industrial crunches, cymbal crashes, and moody synths, Kveikur is both stunningly aggressive and intricate. The band's signature sounds—Jonsi's featherweight falsetto and bowed guitar—ring out across each song like a church bell in a thunderstorm. The impenetrable weight of tracks like "Brennistein" makes its uplifting songs ("Stormur," "Rafstraumur") glow with transcendent warmth. All told, Kveikur is an exceptional achievement—simultaneously harrowing, heavy, and beautiful.

Snow Patrol cd cover

Eyes Open by Snow Patrol (aka Bolton bannermen)

Snow Patrol’s second major label release goes lush without going limp, arena-bound without sacrificing intimacy. The opening cut, “You’re All I Have,” roars out of the speakers, but Gary Lightbody never abandons the melody, delicately dropping the notes in sublime resignation. Elsewhere, the band builds ethereal mystique (“You Could Be Happy”) and kaleidoscopic textures (“It’s Beginning to Get to Me”) for maximum effect.

 

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