VAARN . tune eight

Image by Simon Stalenhag

“Conduit” by Lorn

I looked back through my tune posts and realized I haven’t covered Lorn, which surprises me. I have been listening to his music for a couple of years now and I’m enjoying every single release. When I first discovered Lorn’s experimental electronic music, I realized I hadn’t heard anything like him. His music is darker, scratchier, and more kinetic than any other stuff I’ve listened to in the genre.

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ALONE IN VAARN 7.2 portraits

Image by Eric M Smith

The other day I opened my inbox to read an email from Eric M. Smith. Eric is an illustrator and cartoonist whose art has appeared in comics, games, books, and more. Go find him at his website here. He sent me an amazing piece of art including the original three members of Alone in Vaarn: Leif, Faulkner, and Symeon (featured image, above).

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VAARN . tune seven

Image by Kunrong Yap

“Wisdom’s Tragedy” by Disasterpeace

This is another great track from the OST for Hyper Light Drifter, an enigmatic post-apocalypse game about ruined new-beasts, dead titans, and a cruel enemy–all with a heavy science-fantasy overtone and retro gameplay.

Disasterpeace’s arrangement captures the mysterious, heavy brilliance of the beautifully crafted world of Hyper Light Drifter. It also clicks with the Vaarn setting awfully well. If I had to choose a single album and put it on repeat for Vaarn gaming music, this would be it.

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VAARN . tune two

Image by Kunrong Yap

“Crow” by Forest Swords

About a year and a half ago, this music video caught my eye and also led me to discovering other artists like Lorn and Dolor as well as rediscovering Aphex Twin. This track slowly builds with industrial-masked tropical percussion. A wailing lead and a haunting array of sounds blends into a phrenic song full of dark mood. Just an all-round great track to play while your party is wandering through a dangerous ruin-filled wadi or some ill-lit backstreet in Gnomon.

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VAARN . tune one

Image is “Cosmonova” by Kilian Eng

When playing table top games of any kind, I like having some background music. Even if I might not pay attention to it while actually playing, I find it nice to search around for tunes here and there in the middle of my day. It also helps me find new artists.

Now, I don’t know why, but it took some time to find tunes for Vaarn. I knew what kind of music didn’t want to listen to. Nothing lyrical, cinematic, or with much piano or strings. I definitely edged away from anything heroic or too classical. I wanted to pick up something idiosyncratic and mostly instrumental. With lots of guitar and synth. I wanted desert themes and a touch of psychedelic, a hint of qabbalah, and a peppering of kashmir. Electronic sounds were very welcome. But nothing too retrowave-ish. I didn’t want a strong beat, but lots of atmosphere.

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