Friday 16 December 2022

Break Time

Had this post waiting to go for a while, I'm about wrapped up for the year, so I figured I'd kick back with some fittingly foodie tracks. Tracks I could have sworn were on Bandcamp or otherwise readily available... only to find out they weren't. Well, kind of, I've managed to work around it. Still, wouldn't be 2022 without some last minute disruptor to a plan would it? Let's get into it.
Ralph Goings - Coffee and Donut (2005)

Kicking off with the initial inspiration for this post, the soundtrack for Donut County. I originally wanted to post Slackers and maybe a couple others, only to find my memories of a Bandcamp release were apparently wrong. However, there IS an album of bonus cuts that is on BC that I can use instead. Bonuts carries with it the charming indie vibes of both the game and its OST - especially here, but that's no surprise as it features the other half of the OST and Game's team after all. Cruising is a little hot compared to the main OST, feeling more like an unmastered demo in parts with the bassy parts almost clipping. Still, it's a great listen, even if you're not familiar with the game, a lovely if a little short number.

I thought I'd pair some of Coffee Talk's OST with the above to keep that food theme going, but once again it seems my memories of a bandcamp release were wrong, and I had a heck of a time finding some sources for this one that weren't Youtube. Coming from that era where a YT playlist from the devs was the only way to listen to the OST outside of grabbing it from Steam or whatever. The full ost is pretty hefty, 27 tracks with an average runtime of around 6 mins a piece. It can get a little cliché in parts as well, it leans heavily on that 'lo-fi beats' angle that was again quite popular some years ago. But as with all things, there are some real nice bits here and there - thankfully I was able to find one of the tracks I had in mind on the publisher's soundcloud of all places. Tenderhearted stood out from the title alone and fast became one of the standout pieces from the OST for me, it sets a lovely, delicate ambience.

Stretching the food angle a little bit for this last choice, but it is a game about farming (among other things) so I'd say it counts. Stardew Valley is an indie success story, and one that's well earned. Largely made by one person over the course of many years, it's a real passion project that you can almost feel the care and love that went into it. With updates over time the OST has hit 100 tracks so there's not shortage of tracks to get into. I've gone ahead and picked a couple favourites

The first thing that springs to mind with Stardew for me is the various Mine themes due to the sheer amount of time you can spend down there. They range from beautiful ambient to more upbeat tracks like the one I've chosen. Channeling its pixel art into the audio side, Icicles starts off with some characteristically bleepy stabs, but around the 40 second mark we get a beat and bassline introduced, quite heavy considering the rest of the OST! A nice but brief little number.

Rounding off with my original choice and probably my favourite track from the entire OST, Maru's Theme. This one could have honestly gone on the previous post, it's a lovingly crafted piece that feels oh so delicate. It's been a mainstay of my ambient playlists ever since it found its way into my collection with the rest of the OST. Simply wonderful, it even channels a little bit of Vangelis' Heaven And Hell as famously used as the theme to Sagan's Cosmos to my ears - fitting, given the title and all. Brief but ever so sweet, I'll catch myself rewinding this one for just one more run whenever it comes up.

And that'll be all for today - I should be back to a fairly regular schedule now that things have all been ironed out, maybe I'll even remember to do an NYE wrap-up or other seasonal post this year. At any rate, hope you've found some tracks to enjoy here, or even the games that the audio comes from too! I didn't really talk about the games themselves too much but I had fun with them all, give 'em a look if you're after something to play this winter. Until next time - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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