This week saw the release of Jim Guthrie’s Score for the retro styled iPad game Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. The album is titled Sword & Sworcery EP: The Ballad of the Space Babies.
I don’t know very much about Guthrie, but I do know that he is a musician who resides in Toronto Canada.
However, I do know that over the past couple of weeks, this game and soundtrack were getting lots of press about being so awesomely cool and retro. I can’t speak to the game, but I can say that I was delightfully surprised at the soundtrack. I honestly wasn’t expecting too much based on my jealousy (I could do that… just give me the opportunity) factor. So when I listened to the samples on iTunes, I heard some very interesting stuff… not really at all what I was expecting.
The sound is more like an indie band messing with retro synths and sounds including chip tunes of some variety.
The first track “Dark Flute” which I can only presume is the game opener, hearkens back to the late 80’s early 90’s synth fantasy sounds, in an epic soundscape setting the stage for the vastness that is S&S:EP gameplay.
It’s in the next track, “Lone Star” that the variety of sounds truly begins to show itself. Using his sequencer to great effect he creates some very interesting sounding loops that begin our musical journey.
A lot of this music, for me, is pretty haunting, and tells a great story. “The Maelstrom” is an example of this. It’s simplicity is part of its epicness. The vibe the music provides is pretty strong. It’s almost comparable to a huge emo song in its emotional content, but it keeps it simple.
It’s funny to me when I look at the style of the game animation, the music is actually a step beyond. Yes, it does make use of retro sounding synths, but the live drum sounds, other live instruments and use of other effects really step up the quality of the music to something beyond just music in the game. If Guthrie had done a straight retro score, it wouldn’t be this good.
Overall, I think Guthrie’s creativity for this project should be lauded. To me, this is a better soundtrack than The Social Network… and that won an Oscar. This is what TSN could have been, especially when you combine the talents of Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor…
For 8.99 from iTunes or 7.99 from BandCamp, you definitely won’t be disappointed for the 27 tracks you get!