What Remains of Edith Finch is a wonderfully atmospheric exploration adventure game, sometimes called in derogatory terms, 'walking simulators.' I am a huge fan of the genre as I find them a palette cleanser from the regular games I play and I would say that Edith Finch is the peak of the genre so far.
In the game the player controls Edith, a young woman exploring her ancestral home to uncover the mystery behind her family history and what happened to the various occupants there. The story is told through a series of immersive vignettes and each is powerful and emotional in different ways. The stunning yet understated music score is a huge part of why Edith Finch is so affecting. The album is one I've been listening to continuously over the last year or so on my mobile since the games release and with the recent vinyl release from iam8bit I have been listening to it in that format too.
Jeff Russo, who composes the music and has scored Altered Carbon, Star Trek: Discovery and much else, understands that silence and ambience is just as important as music to create a mood and it is this knowledge that lends the game an eerie and creepy atmosphere as you explore the strange house. Music is introduced when elements are interacted with or when certain narrative points are reached.
The whole score is peaceful and sombre with soft piano interweaving with yearning strings. The interplay creates a profound feeling of sadness yet has tinges of hope.
The tracklist is:
01. Edith's Theme
02. The House
03. Molly's Room
04. Molly's Hunger - Owl
05. Molly's Hunger - Shark
06. Molly's Hunger - Monster
07. Calvin's Swingset
08. Walter's Bunker
09. Gus' Kite
10. Milton's Tower
11. Lewis' Coronation - Daydream
12. Lewis' Coronation - Marching Band
13. Lewis' Coronation - Sailing Ship
14. Lewis' Coronation - Palace
15. Lewis' Coronation - Crowning
16. The Finale
17. The End
The standout tracks are Edith's Theme, Lewis' Coronation- Marching Band and The End. Edith's Theme never fails to put a tear in my eye, it's gentle piano and sad strings create a powerful and moving piece that is touching and beautiful. Lewis' Coronation- Marching Band is an haunting piece as it is so upbeat and oompahpah yet is probably the most tragic story. The End carries the motif of Edith's Theme but adds some haunting ambient vocals that is a beautiful way to finish the soundtrack.
The whole soundtrack is stunning and works well as a tapestry of the Finch family's stories. The pieces complement the game but work just as well as musical compositions in their own right. The soundtrack is stunning and this pressing by iam8bit is marvellous!