Video games have been in our lives from the get-go. We’ve all engaged with a games console at some point, it’s one of media’s biggest exports. The same, of course, can be said for music, something that is constantly in our lives and manages to convey emotions left right and center. So what happens when these two factors come together?
We’re left with an incredible outcome. Over the years, musicians and game companies have collaborated to lend their talents to each other. It’s great to see a song have a visual and there’s something very captivating about it being delivered on a virtual level. Here are a few amazing examples of when musicians and game companies hit the nail on the head and left us something magical.
Florence + The Machine // Stand By Me (Final Fantasy XV)
Final Fantasy is known for its gripping story lines, high action, landscapes and characters you connect with almost instantly. Square Enix made an incredible choice by getting Florence to do the soundtrack for the newest edition for the franchise. This cover of Ben E. King’s classic Stand By Me can be considered the definition of atmospheric. The orchestral production blends with Flo’s unique belting twang so well and really sets the scene for what this game is about.
Karen O // I Shall Rise (Rise of the Tomb Raider)
Microsoft approached the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s frontwoman Karen O expressing interest in her penning a theme for the highly anticipated sequel to the Tomb Raider rebooted franchise. She described this song as her I Will Survive and how she wanted to do her version of that. This song is truly haunting and arguable Bond theme worthy. It captivates from the get go and this it embodies the high stakes and drama that Tomb Raider is known for.
Carly Rae Jepsen // Run Away With Me (The Sims 4: Get Together)
There’s no denying that Run Away With Me is one of the greatest songs to come out in a long time. It’s every gays best friend and everyone’s guilty pleasure. A song this big and iconic can’t simply exist in our world, so of course it made it’s way to the digital world too. EA approached Carly to rerecord the sax banger for a Sims 4 expansion pack, meaning she’d sing it in the Sims’ native Simlish tongue. The outcome is quite simply proof that this song continues to be a banger, even in a fictitious language.
Leona Lewis // My Hands (Final Fantasy XIII)
Moving back to Final Fantasy, it’s time for a throwback. In 2009, Square Enix released Final Fantasy XIII, a game that redefined the typical RPG and gave a whole new meaning to a gripping story line. Leona Lewis donated her song My Hands to the video game after being approached by the video game company. She gave the game a whirl and was instantly connected to the female protagonist and felt her song resonated through this character and her story. The song itself is one heck of a power ballad, that final chorus just oozes emotion.
CHVRCHES // Warning Sign (Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst)
When EA approached this Scottish trio to pen the theme to the highly anticipated sequel to Mirror’s Edge, they were overjoyed. The band themselves are self-proclaimed video game fans who felt that their ethos would really fit the character and how their sound really worked well with the futuristic upbeat vibe of the games location and story. They were correct, with the song packing a punch and a vibe which perfectly fits this fictitious city and the fast pace moment of the game.
April Towers // A Little Bit Of Fear (FIFA 16)
Nottingham two-piece April Towers declared that appearing on the FIFA ’16 soundtrack was the highlight of their career so far, along with the ‘street cred they received off mates.’ The song itself is just what you’d expect to find on a FIFA soundtrack. It’s upbeat, fun and engaging with the high energy that you’d expect for a sport like football, perfectly captured in this tropical electro summer anthem.
Words by Connor Spilsbury-Brown