Sing Street Cover

Sing It For The Girl: The 7 Nostalgic Soundtracks of Sing Street

After months of waiting and envying our friends in the West, July has finally brought us Sing Street, John Carney’s semi-autobiographical musical movie. While the story follows the life of musicians and pursuers of big dreams, unlike Once (2007) and Begin Again (2013), it takes us back to 1980’s Dublin and it can’t do without some defining music of the decade. Let’s take a look at the epochal tunes that inspire both Carney and his hero Conor “Cosmo” Lalor alike.

Motörhead – “Stay Clean” (1979)

This rebellious number is played as Conor Lalor, the film’s preppy protagonist, first stepped into the neighbourhood’s Synge Street CBS. Motörhead’s against-the-norm lyrics served as the perfect introduction to Conor’s journey into and out of the almost too typical bully-infested state school (or more indelicately, “this shithole”): “So you see, the only proof/ Of what you are is in the way you hear the truth/ Don’t be scared, live to win/ Although they’re always gonna tell you it’s a sin.”

©Sing Street
©Sing Street

Duran Duran – “Rio” (1982)

During a laid back evening at the Lalor’s, Brendan Lalor, Conor’s dropout music savant big brother, enlightens the family about the art of music videos after their father has dissed the pre-recorded nature of Duran Duran’s groundbreaking video. With footage of models flaunting their legs in high-cut 70s swimwear and Simon Le Bon belting out lyrics on a yacht, Brendan described “Rio” as the “perfect combination of music and visuals.”

©Sing Street
©Sing Street

Top 10 Soundtracks from British Rom-coms and Tearjerkers You Need to Hear

The Jam – “Town Called Malice” (1982)

“A Town Called Malice” is another influential number by The Jam back in the 1980s. Known for incorporating new wave and R&B influences in their music, the song was part of The Jam’s final EP which quickly climbed the UK Charts in 1982. As part of Conor’s inspiration playlist, one can see where that bass line and finger-popping, toe-tapping beat in Sing Street’s own “Drove It Like You Stole It” comes from.

The Cure – “In Between Days” (1985)

“But that’s what love is, Cosmo. Happy-sad.”

Whilst conferring with his brother about what Raphina actually means by “happy-sad”, Conor is introduced to 1985’s poppy melancholic number “In Between Days” by The Cure. After listening to the song, Conor shifts his musical style and looks, and starts wearing eye liner to school. Akin to Conor’s character development, The Cure represents different phases of music ranging from dark, gothic rock to alternative, pop rock.

©Sing Street
©Sing Street

Hall & Oates – “Maneater” (1982)

The Lalor siblings danced through “Maneater” after witnessing their parents fight about their mother’s affair. The musical number by American duo Hall & Oates was able to lift the spirits of the kids, demonstrating how music can serve as a form of relief for the soul. Even the relatively uptight sister stands up, takes a puff and dance along.

Joe Jackson – “Steppin’ Out” (1982)

Joe Jackson wrote “Steppin’ Out” when he shifted from his traditional punk rock towards contemporary pop jazz, after which the number immediately became Top 10 hit in 1982. His time in the vibrant New York City inspired the English musician to write the hit, not too unlike Conor’s teenage lovey-dovey “Up” which he dedicates to his muse.

©Sing Street
©Sing Street

M – “Pop Muzik” (1978)

“Pop Muzik” was first introduced by Robin Scott in the 1970s.This fusion pop number climbed both US and UK charts, securing the number one spot of the US Hot Billboard and No. 2 of UK Chart in the year 1979. The legendary song marked a milestone in the music industry, by combining rock and roll and disco into what we know as pop music today.

©Sing Street
©Sing Street

A lot of these bands made it to the top of the Billboard charts in their prime and have sold millions of copies whether it be singles, EPs, or albums they crafted. Perhaps Carney really wants the audience to fully integrate themselves in the movie, by recreating the scenes and music that are as he remembers and knows by heart, while subtly reminding us that most great hits are written by channelling existing ones.

Sing Street is now in theatres.





Let me know what’s up!

Be up to date of the news and events from Asia Live 365