Record #408: Karen O. and the Kids – Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Perhaps the most shamelessly hipstery piece of media of the 2000s was Spike Jonze’s film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s beloved Where the Wild Things Are. It had all the signifiers of indie greatness: a vague, Sundance-ready plot, dreamlike visuals, and a soundtrack by indie queen Karen O. 

​So naturally, I friggin’ love this movie.

And much of the film’s youthful, blanket-like aesthetic was thanks to its soundtrack. Karen O. and the Kids (including her Yeah Yeah Yeahs-mate Nick Zinner and Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, who cowrote many of the songs) traipse their way through everything from childlike exuberance (”All is Love,” “The Wild Rumpus”) to adolescent angst (”Capsize,” “Animal”). 

But what hits me the most is how perfectly the gentler tracks capture the alone-but-not-lonely feelings of my own youth. Moments spent exploring the woods or sorting through action figures or pilfering through my dad’s tools and hacking at random pieces of wood with a hatchet (I was not a very supervised child). Tracks like “Igloo,” “Hidaway,” and “Food is Still Hot” perfectly capture the solitude of youth that surrounds some of my favorite childhood memories.

​It’s also worth noting that “All is Love” was my wife and my recessional in our wedding, and that she bought me this record for our first Christmas together. So it’s not just childhood nostalgia that this record brings up.

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