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Olivia Rodrigo's "Can't Catch Me Now" Promises Another Good Hunger Games Soundtrack

The pop star’s new song has the potential to transcend the soundtrack.

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It’s been a while since the world was blessed with a genuinely great blockbuster YA movie soundtrack. The 2010s were rife with them with The Twilight Saga and the original Hunger Games series, but little else has truly stuck with pop culture since. Perhaps it makes sense then that the new upcoming Hunger Games movie — a prequel to the beloved series — would be the one to pump some life back into the genre. The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes, which drops in theaters in Nov. 17, will arrive with a track from none other than Olivia Rodrigo, who’s written a new song called “Can’t Catch Me Now” for the upcoming film.

Rodrigo’s “Can’t Catch Me Now” arrived Friday, Nov. 3, and it’s a smoked out ballad built on plucked guitar production by Dave Cobb, the executive producer behind the film’s soundtrack. Her voice soars into the treetops when she wails the lyric, “Come in like a storm into your town,” perhaps a reference to actress Rachel Zegler’s character in the film, Lucy Gray Baird, who’s more or less a historical parallel to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss.

The upcoming soundtrack will have some big shoes to fill considering one of the previous Hunger Game soundtracks, for The Hunger Games Mockingjay: Part 1, was hand-curated by Lorde herself and arrived with colossal hits like “Yellow Flicker Beat.” That soundtrack was also filled with a roster of artists that feels nearly impossible today (unless you were making something like Barbie): with songs from Charli XCX, Chvrches, Ariana Grande, Tinashe, Major Lazer, and more.

The other Hunger Games movies were also just as sonically and culturally pivotal. The first film had chart-topping songs from Taylor Swift (“Safe and Sound”) and Arcade Fire (“Abraham’s Daughter”), while The Hunger Games: Catching Fire featured a star-studded lineup of The Weeknd, Christina Aguilera, Coldplay, and more. So much of the sucess and lasting cultural power of these soundtracks were these songs’ ability to transcend their moments in the film and on screen to find greater impact with the general populace outside of the theater: to become radio pop hits that just so happened to have been in a film. While it seems the franchise’s latest prequel series won’t be trying to replicate this scale, Rodrigo’s contribution certainly promises to be another of those songs that have the potential to live in an artists discography beyond the soundtrack.

The soundtrack for The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes is out Nov. 17, and will feature songs from Flatland Calvery, Sierra Ferrell, Molly Tuttle, The Covey Band, and more — largely bluegrass and country folk artists and songwriters.

The film centers around a Hunger Games set 64 years before the original series and follows a young Coriolanus Snow, who’s been assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from the District 12. Baird, played by Rachel Zegler (West Side Story), will turn out to be the originator of the series’ famous song “The Hanging Tree.” Zegler’s rendition of the track, a slow haunting retelling, has already been released and is going viral on TikTok. The film hits theaters on Nov. 17.

See the official tracklist below.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Music From & Inspired By) Tracklist:

  1. Olivia Rodrigo – Can’t Catch Me Now
  2. Rachel Zegler – The Hanging Tree
  3. Flatland Cavalry – Wool
  4. Rachel Zegler – Nothing You Can Take From Me
  5. Sierra Ferrell – The Garden
  6. Rachel Zegler – The Ballad of Lucy Gray Baird
  7. Molly Tuttle – Bury Me Beneath the Willow
  8. Rachel Zegler, James Newton Howard – The Old Therebefore / Singing at Snakes
  9. Bella White – Burn Me Once
  10. The Covey Band – District 12 Stomp
  11. Rachel Zegler, The Covey Band – Nothing You Can Take From Me (Boot-Stompin’ Version)
  12. Billy Strings – Cabin Song
  13. Rachel Zegler – Lucy Gray (part 1)
  14. Rachel Zegler, The Covey Band – Pure As The Driven Snow
  15. Charles Wesley Godwin – Winter’s Come And Gone
  16. Josie Hope Hall, The Covey Band – Keep On The Sunny Side
  17. Rachel Zegler – Lucy Gray (part 2)

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