Soundtracks of Cinema: ‘The Humans’

The Humans Soundtrack - Every Song in the 2021 Movie

The Humans soundtrack includes music by Steve Reich, Attaca Quartet, Billie Holiday and the Philip Glass Ensemble. This info article contains spoilers and song details for Stephen Karam’s 2021 A24 movie. Check out Vague Visages’ Soundtracks of Cinema section for more music guides.

Now streaming on Showtime, The Humans explores the decay of a familial unit. Richard Jenkins stars as Erik Blake, a religious man who display hypocritical behavior and hides a secret about his marriage to wife Deirdre (Jayne Houdyshell). Beanie Feldstein and Steven Yeun co-star as Brigid and Richard, respectively; a couple who lives in a Chinatown building in New York City. Comedian Amy Schumer portrays Aimee, Erik and Deirdre’s oldest daughter who suffers from ulcerative colitis and heartbreak. June Squibb rounds out the main cast as Momo, the family matriarch whose dementia causes her to make unintelligible statements. Composed and edited by Nico Muhly (The Reader), the film includes four needle drop compositions. Here’s every song in The Humans, a 2021 adaption on Stephen Karam’s one-act Broadway play.

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The Humans Soundtrack: Every Song in the 2021 Movie

The Humans Soundtrack - Every Song in the 2021 Movie

  • “Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards” by Steve Reich (00:00:00): The Humans soundtrack song scores the opening sequence. The camera points towards the sky from a New York City building. The musical composition continues as the credits appear on screen and then fades as the camera zooms in on Erik at a window.
  • “Valencia” by Attacca Quartet (01:05:00): Brigid reveals that she wrote a piece of new music. The orchestral tune plays over shots of the apartment. The collective characters sit in silence during a discordant crescendo. Erik stares at a leak stain on the ceiling. The music fades as the conversation picks up again.
  • “Autumn in New York” by Billie Holliday (00:56:00): Deirdre takes care of Momo while preparing a Thanksgiving meal. Richard and Brigid discuss the aesthetics of the culinary presentation. Momo mumbles to herself as the camera pans across the room. The Humans soundtrack song fades as Brigid speaks with Deirdre about taking care of Momo.
  • “Einstein on the Beach: Knee Play 5” by Philip Glass Ensemble (01:43:00): Erik cries alone in his daughter’s building. Brigid looks for her father. The film ends with a wide shot of Erik leaving the darkness and walking into the light. The Humans soundtrack song scores the end credits.

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The Humans released in September 2021.

Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.