‘The Devil All The Time’ Has a Soundtrack Perfect For Its Dark Story

Evan Romano
·4 mins read
Photo credit: Glen Wilson/Netflix
Photo credit: Glen Wilson/Netflix

From Men's Health

  • The Devil All The Time, directed by Antonio Campos, is a southern gothic tale with intercutting stories of drama and violence; it's also got a fantastic, folk-focused soundtrack.

  • Pokey LaFarge, a blues/folk musician himself, both contributes to the soundtrack and is a part of the movie's stacked cast, also including Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Riley Keough, and Bill Skarsgård.

  • The Devil All The Time is now streaming on Netflix; you can find the full soundtrack below.

While the draw to The Devil All The Time, Netflix's dark new epic thriller that dabbles in the southern gothic, was certainly the stacked cast that includes Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, and Sebastian Stan, it's a lot of the details surrounding those actors that makes the movie feel as immersive as it does. Perhaps the most important of those was the film's soundtrack, which included music throughout the film not only keeping viewers engaged and on the edge of their seats, but helping to sell the legitimacy of the events we were seeing play out on screen. Everything we hear feels right; the era appropriate, the genre complimentary to the story, and the on-screen visuals.

Antonio Campos, who directed and co-wrote the film, worked tirelessly with his co-producer Randall Poster on picking out the perfect songs to create his perfect environment. "A gospel track like The Stanley Brothers “Little Bessie”, country classics like “Wings of a Dove” by Ferlin Husky, or pop tracks like “Young Love” by Sonny James not only set the mood but define our characters and set us in a specific place and time," he says.

In one of the earliest moments in the film that music makes a significant impact, a preacher named Roy Laferty (Harry Melling) plays a song called "Washed in the Blood" for his church patrons with his wheelchair-bound friend/cousin, Theodore (Pokey LaFarge). The song, diegetic to the story we're seeing play out on screen, is perfect in an O Brother, Where Art Thou or Inside Llewyn Davis kind of way—real music that really exists in the world we're really seeing.

"The music lifts the spirits of not only the congregants of the small church but also the audience and gives us a moment of respite from the madness," Campos says. Of course, that respite from the madness also includes a sermon that ends when Laferty dumps a jar filled with spiders on his own face, but all things considered, it can still be a decent respite from the violence that persists throughout the rest of the film.

Devil actually marks LaFarge's debut acting in a film; he had previously worked with Poster creating some music for HBO's series Boardwalk Empire, and Poster in turn asked him to play Theodore in Devil. With 9 studio albums under his belt, LaFarge was a natural for a role that saw the understanding of music as a necessity. "Recording the tunes for the film was special for me as bluegrass and mountain music were what I cut my teeth on when I first started playing music," he says. "It was full circle. Glad I had such a strong background in those styles or else I may not have been so prepared to lay down what [Poster] was looking for."

Between original music and curated classics, The Devil All The Time's music helps to perfectly transport viewers to the early-mid 1950s setting where all our action takes place. Below, you can check out all the songs that help you on that journey.

Photo credit: Glen Wilson/Netflix
Photo credit: Glen Wilson/Netflix

"Washed In The Blood" - Pokey LaFarge and Harry Melling

"Hillbilly Boogie" - The Delmore Brothers

"Little Bessie" - The Stanley Brothers

"The Three Bells" - The Browns

"Put It Off Until Tomorrow" - Bill Phillips

"Wings of a Dove" - Ferlin Husky

"Honeycomb" - Jimmie Rodgers

"Young Love" - Sonny James

"He Says The Same Things To Me" - Skeeter Davis

"Funny How Time Slips Away" - Billy Walker

"Wishful Thinking" - Wynn Stewart

"Banks Of The Ohio" - Pokey LaFarge

"Dream" - The Pied Pipers

"There's A New Moon Over My Shoulder" - Jimmie Davis

"Wheel Of Fortune" - Kay Starr

"Little Things Mean a Lot" - Kitty Kallen

"Welcome to My World" - Jim Reeves

"Needles and Pins" - Jackie DeShannon

You can also check out the official The Devil All The Time Spotify playlist put together by Netflix; in addition to all of the above songs, you can also find original music from the haunting, moody score put together by composers Saunder Juriaans and Danny Bensi.

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