Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Creature Columns - Koethe: Time

Few games have had the power of Life is Strange. (I may review that here at some point.) However, the focus of this review is to showcase something that grew out of the game in an unexpected way. Anyone who has played Life is Strange would most likely agree that the music in the game is almost a character. It sets the atmosphere and contributes to the power of the story. However, this review is not about that music either. Confused? Please let me introduce you to an independent artist that created an entire album that was inspired by the game. Koethe is an independent artist that writes and plays music that the game Life is Strange inspired. However, this is more than just a fanboy effort. The deep folksy music that this man creates is a perfect match to the game. In many cases it surpasses the original soundtrack.

The album entitled Time starts with a song called “Price” which captures the flavor of the game’s plot. The deep story of the game is transferred straight into the words and tune of the first selection on the album. The haunting tones of this entire album can honestly bring a sense of deep emotion to the listener. If you have played the game, it may even bring tears to your eyes in places. The themes of love and deep friendship play out through the entire album. “Price” is lyrically wonderful with lines like:

“Though I've been miles away

Blue wings in hurricanes

You know what I'd say

The price that I'd pay for you

You dream of better days

Eternal autumn haze

My life’s been so strange

But that’s just alright with you.”
The obvious game references are here along with a gorgeous sense of poetic language. When this is coupled with Koethe’s rich and whispery voice and the soft yet nuanced music he plays, we gain a tremendous thematic album. After playing the game, I stumbled upon this work and bought it immediately on iTunes.

The entire album is absolutely filled with emotional tunes that just create a sense of melancholy and palatable sadness. For example the song “Storm” just reeks of emotional power. With lyrics like:

“Come what will I've had enough now

What’s left to decide?

Faced with this there is no question

I'd choose you every

Time comes crashing down

And our world burns to the ground

But I'll wait out this storm

I'll wait out this storm for you

I'm not leaving any more

I've found it’s you I'm fighting for

And even if this is the end

I swear I'll never leave your side again.”
Such songs contribute to the general power of the entire album. The transition of words and lines is pure poetry. It would be impossible to describe the entire album in this space. My suggestion would be to check out YouTube and Koethe’s offerings there. If you are a subscriber to Spotify, I am sure his music is there as well. In any case, supporting independent artists like Koethe is important to me. He has taken a video game that I and many others hold dear and added to the experience of it in a way I have never seen or heard before. Many fans have clamored for a Life is Strange movie or series. These same fans have all but demanded that Koethe’s music be used in such a work. I have no idea if there will ever be a film. However, Koethe has managed something incredible. When I listen to his music, I sometimes forget that is was never in the game. It is that powerful. It blends seamlessly into the lore of the game, and Koethe has captured the essence of that incredible story with his music. That deserves to be celebrated and honored.

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