18th August 2022 - Music to work with

I work from home for some ~25 hours of the week and that's a long time to be sat in silence, but also a lot of time to have to fill with music to keep my brain engaged. I felt the need to talk about this today in particular because I had up the 11 hour soundtrack of Xenoblade 3 on YewChewb (this one) because I cannot stop thinking about that game for 1 second, lol. But the thing is I cannot even come off the video on mobile because I don't have YewChewb Preemyum aand refuse to get it on principle, even though I bloody hate the ads, most especially the obnoxious noises on the [Ke$ha hit single] and YewChewb omg stfu Preemyum itself. Spotify is more worth it but I also happen to be on a family sub that makes it a fair amount cheaper than it would be otherwise. But it also lacks the vast majority of Nintendo music, even what's been independently released like the Xenoblade 2 soundtrack. I was motivated to dig out my CD copy and it was nice to look at it again, as I haven't looked at it much since ripping the files, I just lack the equipment to play the actual CDs on (which would be decent for working) and the same goes for the Xenoblade DE vinyl which I am honestly TERRIFIED of handling. Xenoblade 3 was lacking an accompanying sound selection of any kind (the SE additions haven't released yet but we know it doesn't have any) so YT is the only way of listening to any of it outside of the game for now. So overall it can be a bit frustrating when that's all I want to listen to at the moment, and look forward to a possible release of the soundtrack like 2's, if it's as nicely presented - the 5 CDs each have an image of the five playable drivers, and the booklet has English lyrics for songs.

Funnily enough these games' soundtracks, being of a broad church genre-wise, are pretty evocative of my wider taste in music. I have wracked my brain to try to determine what my favourite genre is objectively. The closest I have come is Irish folk metal, but this doesn't feel specific enough, not for what Spotify seems to think that genre is, anyway. It always tosses in a bunch of Viking or pirate-themed stuff, which has its merits and I certainly like some songs that are like that, but when I look for metal that is Irish or Celtic that's not what I'm looking for. The other day I went looking for flute metal (inspired by Xenoblade 3, again...) and got a playlist where 70% of the songs had a guy doing a demonic voice which is very much not my thing. Definitely not to try and do work while listening to.

Maybe I have favourite instruments I like to hear in particular genres rather than favourite genres? So I like a bit of flute and pipes and woodwind in metal, but also in hip hop - I do not care what they are rapping about but if they use a flute sample the song is going to get saved. That's not even a rap-specific thing, I have a hard time paying attention to lyrics in general. For me it's more about the vibe of the song through instrumentation and key. And then someone says to me 'oh yeah that happy song you like is about death' and I go WHAT. I'll make playlists about my characters and for all I know the songs could be totally inappropriate.

I think this contributes to me being very much a music trivia nerd, but not really someone who has listened to the whole discography of favourite artists or can name favourite albums. I have only been listening to albums as they release for a couple of years and can't name a single one where I like every single song. They tend to put all the crap at the back end. Sometimes I will put an artist on shuffle to work to. Earlier this year I decided Kate Bush had the right vibes that I would enjoy listening to and give me a normal-looking Spotify wrapped, which usually gets decimated by the VGM I inevitably end up putting on at some point and is therefore too embarrassing to put on social media. I have since stopped caring about posting things like that performatively, and good job, as now a Kate Bush appearance would make me look like a bandwagoner. I'm glad I spent those few days listening to her as I enjoyed the vibes.

I don't really know where I'm going with this other than 'I like a lot of artist/popular music that isn't from video games and in fact mostly isn't but one influences my taste in the other and vice-versa'. Like absolutely popping off when there's a bit of brass in a video game, or accordion in a normal song. More music posts in future maybe?