Happy Monday, internet. We’re back once again with a new collection of songs to help get you through the week.
While in the past we’ve gathered up our lists according to genre, this week we’ll be taking a different route. I’ve been watching a lot of movies in my free time lately. Between streaming films and Game of Thrones, I sometimes wonder how I find the time to write anything at all.
So this week, we’ll be paying tribute to the movies that touch, inspire, and entertain us by selecting our songs from recent soundtracks. We’ll include a brief description of each film, along with how the song is used, and what context surrounds it. Then, we’ll pivot to a discussion of the song itself.
Our first song this week comes from the soundtrack to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. The song: “Sunflower”, by Post Malone, Swae Lee.
Into the Spider-Verse
I can’t even begin to describe just how much I love this movie. Miles Morales is hands-down my favorite version of Spider-Man. And in this movie, there are a lot of contenders.
“Sunflower” comes in for the first time at the beginning of the film, when we first meet Miles. In the scene, Miles sits at his desk drawing and singing along to Post Malone. In a later scene, Miles sings the song to relax, and we hear it again at the very end. “Sunflower” effectively becomes Miles’ theme for the movie.
But apparently, the song wasn’t meant to be in the film at all. In an interview with Vulture, writers Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman discuss the first choices they had for the scene.
“The song we initially used was the Donald Glover song ‘Redbone,’ and we liked the double-layered joke of opening with a Donald Glover song because of his history with Spider-Man. ‘Redbone’ killed … until Get Out premiered.”
The switch to “Sunflower” turned out to fit perfectly for the character of Miles Morales, coming with a metaphor that can be traced through the entire movie.
“Miles is singing a song that theoretically he’s a little too young for and he doesn’t know the words yet. That’s the metaphor we’re going to be working with for most of the rest of the movie. He’s going to be asked to step into shoes that he feels he’s not ready for, he’s not going to know the words, and he’s going to feel very self-conscious and nervous about that.”
“Sunflower” is the second collaboration between Post Malone and Swae Lee. They first collaborated on “Spoil My Night”, a song from Post Malone’s second album, “Beerbongs and Bentleys”. As of Jan. 19, 2019, “Sunflower” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Post Malone’s third track to top the Hot 100, and Swae Lee’s first as a solo-billed artist.
In the song, the sunflower serves as a metaphor for love, loyalty, and commitment. The sunflower also represents a girl, one who Post Malone and Swae Lee continue to refer to. The mystery girl is the subject matter for the song. In both Malone and Lee’s verses, she continues to stick by their side, despite receiving no affection or commitment in return.
While the music behind the song is beautiful, the lyrics make me like it a little less. Lines like, “I know I always come and go / But it’s out of my control”, leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. Sounds a lot like this was written by two guys with commitment issues, who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions.
But that’s just one man’s opinion. I’ll admit that even though I disagree with the lyrics, I still listen to this song on repeat some days. But my strongest connection to this song will always be Miles Morales.