My list of favorite albums of 2018 is much shorter than those in recent years. This is not so much because of a lack of good music being released, but because I spent most of my free time in the past 12 months listening to audiobooks instead (a post about this will hopefully follow soon). Whenever I decided to put on some music, however, there were mostly two albums that have been on repeat on my phone. As purely instrumental and videogame related soundtracks they might fly under your radar, so here is a little introduction to both of them that will hopefully get you interested.
Celeste Original Soundtrack (Lena Raine)
This portrait of Lena Raine provides a good characterization of the soundtrack to the videogame Celeste: “Raine’s music is brilliant and sweeping, with memorable melodies and diverse instrumentation that reflect its author’s far-flung musical influences—from house to vintage RPG soundtracks and classical music.” The album works totally well by itself, at the same time the music whets the appetite to play the game. I had similar experiences before with other videogame soundtracks such as Transistor, Shovel Knight or FTL that made me play the games (each of them highly recommended!). In return, playing through the games and their storylines usually added even more layers to the experience of listening to the music, so I am already looking forward to exploring Celeste soon. As a sample from the album I recommend “Resurrection” which perfectly shows the above mentioned variety of musical styles used by Lena Raine.
Zelda & Chill (Mikel & GameChops)
Even if you only have the slightest interest in videogames, you will most likely be familiar with the Zelda franchise and some of its iconic music. Combining those well-known melodies with laid-back lofi hip hop beats, as done by Mikel & GameChops on their album Zelda & Chill, turns out to be a perfect fit. My favorite track on the album is “Oath to Order” that originates from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.