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'New Moon' soundtrack to make new stars?

By Shanna Schwarze, CNN
Anya Marina may find herself with a growing audience, thanks to the "New Moon" soundtrack.
Anya Marina may find herself with a growing audience, thanks to the "New Moon" soundtrack.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" soundtrack has already hit No. 1 on Billboard charts
  • Singer Anya Marina, a discovery of director, wrote a song for the album in one week
  • She may have success like that of Bobby Long, who had song on "Twilight" soundtrack

(CNN) -- The phenomenon of the "Twilight" franchise has turned little-known actors into household names. Now it's doing the same for a group of indie musicians on the films' soundtracks.

Anya Marina is one such case. Already a familiar voice to many in Southern California, she was an opening act for Jason Mraz, in addition to holding a day job as a DJ at a number of alt-rock radio stations.

But as Marina explains, it wasn't either of those gigs that grabbed the attention of "New Moon" director Chris Weitz. Rather, it was a version of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" that he heard on a mixed CD.

"He invited me to come in and watch some clips of 'New Moon,' " she says. Marina then had less than a week to write a song for consideration.

The result is "Satellite Heart," a breathy, aching interpretation of the main character Bella's heartbreak and the expression of what Marina describes as a "general concern for her well being. The 'why can't you just move past this?' "

The "Twilight" soundtrack surprised many, selling 2 million copies thanks to tracks from heavy hitters like Muse (a favorite of series author Stephenie Meyer) and Paramore. The "New Moon" soundtrack is already on its way to being just as successful, after debuting at No. 2 and climbing to No. 1 the next week.

The secret to the soundtracks' success isn't too difficult to unravel -- a careful blend of mainstream rock with a handful of more melodic songs, such as Death Cab for Cutie's "New Moon" contribution, the haunting "Meet Me on the Equinox."

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For Marina, after spending years agonizing over ways to balance her music and her job on the radio, it became "painfully obvious something had to give," she says. She now focuses solely on her songs and is enjoying the "New Moon" mania. (The film, which is due out November 20, is dominating advance ticket sales at such outlets as Fandango.com.)

She's got a glossy video for "Satellite Heart," is hosting the film's premiere live on MySpace and has a spot on the "New Moon" mall tour across America.

Marina says she has no idea what to expect next for her career. One person to look to is a "Twilight" soundtrack alum, Bobby Long. The bluesy troubadour out of the UK has seen his own star rise since "Twilight's" debut a year ago, thanks in part to a fortuitous friendship with actor Robert Pattinson.

The two met during one of Long's open-mic nights in London, England, and later the actor (and part-time musician) passed along his friend's song, which landed a spot on the multiplatinum "Twilight" soundtrack.

Long now has his pick of major record label offers and is touring around the world, performing his unique brand of British-tinged, American-style folk songs to packed sing-along audiences.

Thanks to the chance "Twilight" bump, "I don't have to rely on one song you play at the end of every night," he says.

 
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