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Futuristic meets classical in new video game soundtrack

Written by: Rebecka McAleer

Welcome back to Additive Noise, your #1 source for music you probably haven’t heard before. Old music, new music, strange music — it doesn’t get any stranger than today.

This weekend I went to the store and traded in some old video games for credit to buy new ones. One of the two that I picked up is Trion Worlds’ recent release, “Defiance.” The game is set in a futuristic Earth inhabited by a combination of humans and various alien races known collectively as “Votans.” The game is based on a tie-in television series (which I highly recommend) that airs on the SyFy channel.

In celebration of my new game, I decided to spend part of my week exploring the “Defiance” series soundtrack. One track in particular jumped out at me, but I admit it’s a little odd.

“Terraform my Heart” is a song created specifically for “Defiance” by the series music composer, Bear McCreary, who incidentally is also the composer for “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Walking Dead,” and the brand new series Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

According to his website, www.bearmccreary.com, McCreary was “launched into pop culture with his groundbreaking score to the hit series Battlestar Galactica, that was lauded by Variety as ‘the most innovative music on TV today.’ It ‘fits the action so perfectly, it’s almost devastating: a sci-fi score like no other’ (NPR). Io9.com ranked McCreary one of the Ten Best Science Fiction Composers of All Time, and recently WIRED Magazine declared him one of only five ‘Secret Weapons’ of the television industry.”

Having listened to his work, I have to say I agree. “Terraform my Heart” is one of the few songs I’ve heard that manages to sound both futuristic and classic at the same time, which is perfect for “Defiance”. It features the vocal styling of McCreary’s brother, Brendan McCreary. Brendan’s band, Young Beautiful in a Hurry, provides several of the other tracks on the “Defiance” soundtrack. Bear’s wife, Raya Yarbrough, also sings for many of the tracks.

With a swift and striking guitar riff and mid-pitch male vocals, it really sounds like what would happen if meteor men decided to do Led Zeppelin or Twisted Sister covers. The only major difference would be the whole half-the-song-is-in-another-language thing. Oh, did I mention that? While the chorus and a few sporadic phrases are in English, the majority of “Terraform my Heart” is performed in the made-up language of Irathient, named for and spoken by one of the alien races in the game. However, the song is so seamlessly put together than the change in language could go mostly unnoticed.

Whether or not you speak Irathient or plan to play or watch “Defiance,” “Terraform My Heart” should definitely make its way to your next playlist.

As always, this has been Additive Noise. Remember to Listen Out!

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