Soundtrack: Ariel Marx scores Hulu's <I>Candy</I>
Issue: May/June 2022

Soundtrack: Ariel Marx scores Hulu's Candy

Hulu’s Candy stars Jessica Biel as Candy Montgomery, a 1980s housewife and mother who appears to have everything going for her — a good husband, two kids and a nice house. But when the pressure of conformity builds within her, her actions scream for just a bit of freedom, leading to deadly results.

In addition to Biel, the show stars Timothy Simons, Melanie Lynskey, Pablo Schreiber and Raúl Esparza. Michael Uppendahl (Fargo, American Crime Story: Impeachment) directed the pilot and executive produced the five-day special. 

 Eclectic composer/multi-instrumentalist Ariel Marx (pictured, left) scored the series, adding to a resume that also includes American Horror Stories: Drive-In (Episode 3), Shiva Baby, My Love, The Tale and To Dust, among others.

“Creating the score for Candy was an exploration of the simmering violence beneath a seemingly perfect surface,” Marx recalls. “The show’s protagonists, Candy and Betty, suffered very similarly from the same pressures — to be a perfect housewife and mother, to be satisfied in their marriages and their sex lives, to be happy…but they weren’t.”

This desire for perfection is emulated in the dreamy, melodic themes that open the show. 

“The piano, woodwinds and shimmering strings give a sense of domestic bliss, and suburban utopia,” Marx explains. “However, as these themes evolve, they become engulfed if their own repetition, and incompleteness — unfinished melodies, uncomfortable pauses and pitch shifting disrupt this fragile luster. Underneath this unravelling, there are also atonal elements that slowly become more prominent — violent expressions on strings, distorted synths, fidelity degradation, etc. There’s a tug of war in the score between these disparate palettes, and it’s carefully calibrated to Candy and Betty’s complexity and point of view.”