The Decemberists' Colin Meloy is clearly more of a Middlemarch kind of guy than a young-adult sci-fi fan. But he also loves a literary challenge, and his contribution to the T Bone Burnett-produced Hunger Games soundtrack not only nails the book's dystopic-frenzy/teen-torment vibe, it also invents a new genre: chase-scene indie rock. Over a heated folk gallop and some Edge-does-Shaft guitar peels, Meloy sings about breaking away from dark forces trying to "run you aground," something every state- sanctioned, murder-oriented game- show contestant – and American teenager – can keenly relate to.
Listen to The Decemberists' "One Engine":
• Photos: Random Notes