Son Lux Is Nominated for a Scoring Oscar: How Unusual Is That for a Band?

With the 2023 Oscars just weeks away, Son Lux is in rarified company. They are the first band to receive a scoring nomination, credited as a band, since The Beatles won best original song score in 1971 for Let It Be.

Son Lux, which consists of Ryan Lott, Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang, is nominated for best original score for Everything Everywhere All at Once. This is their first film score as a band.

Son Lux originated as a solo project of Lott’s, but became a three-piece band with the addition of Bhatia and Chang. It was as a band that they released the studio albums Bones (2015) and Brighter Wounds (2018) and the Everything Everywhere All at Once soundtrack.

The Beatles, who had broken up a year earlier, weren’t present at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles on April 15, 1971 when they won the Oscar. The award was accepted on their behalf by Quincy Jones, who was the music director for that year’s Oscar telecast.

In addition, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the two current members of Nine Inch Nails, have been nominated three times for best original score, but under their own names, not as NIN. They won in 2011 for The Social Network and again in 2021 for Soul (shared with Jon Batiste). They were also nominated for Mank in 2021.

Several other band members have been nominated for – and in some cases have won – scoring Oscars, but not in collaboration with other members of their bands. These include Pete Townshend of The Who (Tommy, 1976), Prince of Prince and the Revolution (Purple Rain, 1985), David Byrne of Talking Heads (The Last Emperor, 1988), Will Butler of Arcade Fire (Her, 2014) and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead (Phantom Thread, 2018 and The Power of the Dog, 2022).

Lott shares a second Oscar nomination for best original song with David Byrne and Mitski for “This Is a Life.” It is performed in the film by Son Lux, Byrne and Mitski.

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