Whether you’ve been following it as it airs or you’re waiting for it to release on Netflix, you may have noticed that music plays a pretty important role in Carole and Tuesday. Shinichiro Watanabe’s latest series has barely hit its double-digit episode count and has already given us a list of songs that not only come from a large variety of genres but manage to stand at the top of them. The show’s long list of renowned musical contributors is naturally where the credit for this feat lies, but one composer has influenced Carole and Tuesday more than any other. You’ve seen the name Mocky appear in bold roman letters in the show’s OP and now you’ll know what it means, as we explore the man behind this season’s most celebrated soundtrack.
Born under the name Dominic Salole in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, Mocky has developed talents in multiple instruments including, guitar, piano, bass, synthesizers, and drums. His scope as an instrumentalist can be matched only by his worldliness, having lived in many of the biggest cities for music like Toronto, Amsterdam, Berlin and of course, Los Angeles. Mocky is also a notable member of the Canadian Crew, an informal group of currently popular musicians originating from Canada and performing in Europe which includes such performers as Chilly Gonzales and Feist, whom he has been known to collaborate with. His storied career has brought him to master several different genres of music which he combines in all his songs to create beats and flows like none other. He frequently uses alternative chords and progressive beats in a way that explores pop song progressions with an expressive and experimental edge that pulls listeners into the moods he communicates through it all.
There’s no denying that Mocky is an extremely multi-talented performer, but he seems like an odd fit for such high-profile soundtrack work at first glance. Aside from the occasional featurette, the fruits of his nearly 20 years of playing are almost exclusively comprised of songs as a solo musician and his only other score credit is for a semi-obscure Chinese film called UFO in Her Eyes. But diving into Mocky’s career shows exactly why he’s the perfect man for the job. Although his songs are clearly designed to be listenable on their own, the focus tends to be much more on the instrumentation rather than singing and lyrics and the ambient melodies on tracks like Birds of a Feather feel like they were made to be in soundtracks. Plus, Carole & Tuesday features frequent use of diegetic music played in-universe by the many musicians in its cast of characters, giving Mocky ample opportunity to flex his talent for more traditional songs. What has made his contributions to the show especially great, however, is his previously mentioned flexibility, a perfect skill for creating the many themes of such a character-driven show. When he wants to express the pomp the character Ertegun gets from his fame as a performer of A.I.-authored songs, his campy electronics hit the nail on the head when he wants to express the eponymous duo’s youthful, starry-eyed worldview, his soulful alt-pop tracks nail it and so on.
Soulful is really the best way to describe what Mocky brings to the world of anime OSTs. When big artists contribute songs to anime, it becomes pretty obvious that they’re there for promotional reasons rather than because their music was right for the show in question. We’ve doubtlessly all experienced at least one series that distracted us during a pivotal moment by playing an atonal J-Pop track. The songs we’ve seen from Mocky thus far never make that sort of mistake, always being used for the benefit of the scenes they’re featured in while still being engrossing when listened to on their own. They even engage in some actual world-building, using highly polished, but sterile beats to represent characters who play songs by A.I.s and comparatively rudimentary but inspired songs for our heroines, reflecting how they write all their songs at the last minute. Whether he’s laying down a tone-setting score or an informative character piece, Mocky makes Carole and Tuesday’s music a nuanced part of the experience that’s fun to listen to and even more fun to have as part of this awesome show.
Carole and Tuesday still has a long way to go before what we assume will be a show-stopping finale and we hope that having Mocky onboard will make you just as excited as we are for the journey there.