Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Daniel Olsén via Simogo

This week it’s two tunes from video games!

First up is this lovely version of Clair de lune from the soundtrack to Sayonara Wild Hearts. It’s the music for the first level of that video game, and I think it’s beautifully performed and brilliantly used as the magical introduction to the game, even though I am just terrible at it.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is one of those games that I can appreciate intellectually even though it brings me little joy. It’s not fun to me because it’s not really my type of game, and it just makes me feel clumsy and old. Also the music is unabashedly synth pop, and so it isn’t really for me, apart from “Clair de lune” which I like in just about any form. (Except, surprisingly, Debussy’s own performance of it).

I bought the game anyway because Simogo are outstanding developers, and they’ve got eternal goodwill from me for making Device 6, which remains one of the best games I’ve ever played on any platform. The game is relentlessly clever and darkly funny throughout, but if I’m honest they had me from the opening theme, which was also composed and performed by Daniel Olsén.

I feel like video game music is too often dismissed as being just a pastiche or an imitation of styles, but I think some of the best video game music — outside of a Mario game — is more like a distillation of a style down to its essence, so it can be re-applied to a new piece of art. This somehow immediately evokes the themes of The Prisoner and The Avengers to me, even though it sounds nothing like either of them, and it’s distinctively modern. Like every other aspect of Device 6‘s aesthetic, it’s perfect.