Where can you find music from Vampire Weekend, The 1975, CHVRCHES, Grouplove, Foals, The Naked and Famous and Bloc Party together on one disc? On a playlist that I burned for long car rides? Yes. But, that’s not the only place. These bands were all also featured on the soundtrack of one of the most popular video games today, Fifa.
Heralded as one of the most realistic sports games on the market, Fifa attracts gamers of all types. And its soundtracks have always been stellar. The bands listed above were all featured on last year’s addition, Fifa 14. Previous years have also featured Imagine Dragons, Fitz and the Tantrums, Two Door Cinema Club, Bastille, The Hives, and The Strokes. However, this year’s soundtrack is a little different.
The Fifa 15 soundtrack headliners include Avicii, Foster the People, Vance Joy, Rudimental and Milky Chance, making the soundtrack much less indie than in prior years. More pop and electronic music definitely prevail. Some more indie-type bands do make their way into their deeper parts of the soundtrack including Tune Yards and The Kooks.
However, perhaps the most striking characteristic of the soundtrack is its international feel. Artists including the Afro-Colombian hip hop group ChocQuibTown, the Nigerian Nneka, the Swedish Elliphant, Polock and a host of other Hispanic groups truly reflect soccer’s worldwide appeal.
These musical changes have had an effect on the feel of the game. Browsing through scouting reports hunting for the perfect transfer feels a lot different when listening to a Mexican hip hop jam as opposed to a slower alternative song. It adds an element of energy that you may not have realized was missing from prior games.
When I first listened to the Fifa soundtrack, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. Most of the artists were completely unknown to me, and for the artists I did know, I felt that the game selected songs that were very pop-electro and did not represent them well. But, after sitting down and actually playing the game, the soundtrack grew on me. Certain rhythms simply get engrained in your head when you’re playing. And you don’t want them to go away.
On a song by song basis, this soundtrack falls short of those from prior games. But, the soundtrack does an excellent job of providing an upbeat feel for gameplay and its diversity makes for an interesting listen in any case. Fifa would be a great game without its soundtrack, but it’s refreshing to see a gaming franchise as invested in their music as they appear to be.
The full track list for Fifa 15 can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_15