FIFA 16. The latest instalment in EA’s huge video game franchise is due out on September 22nd. Every year the game gets a facelift with fresh graphics, a new cover star and of course a new soundtrack. To some it is merely something in the background, but to most it’s songs they’re going to be stuck with for the next year or so whilst they play the game hour after hour, day after day. Who wants to play a football game all year listening to Ariana Grande? Not me. So for that reason, the soundtrack matters. Big time.
EA say ‘experts’ trawl through track after track of artists worldwide to amass the games’ soundtrack, offering a variety of genres, although the soundtrack is often tailored with upbeat pop and indie anthems in mind. In past editions Indie favourites such as The Stone Roses, Kasabian, Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand have graced the games playlist, so gaining a place on a game played worldwide by the masses is quite a big deal for musicians these days. Last years soundtrack featured Reverend & The Makers anthem ‘Shine A Light’ as well as ‘Cocoon’ by new indie hotshots Catfish & The Bottlemen and game regulars Kasabian with ‘Stevie’.
So who’s filling the slots this year and providing the anthems that’ll overlay your FIFA gaming experience for the next year?
First up. Quite possibly the hottest band in the UK in 2015, Foals. The UK indie-rockers are in with ‘Mountain At My Gates’ from their latest record What Went Down which has propelled them into the spotlight of late.
Keeping with the indie anthems label and following Foals is the much-loved singer-songwriter Beck with the pulsating debut single ‘Dreams’ from his upcoming 13th studio album. Those two are sure to be stand-outs to the traditional FIFA soundtrack connoisseur but EA say they have continued to be an “international showcase for new artists of every genre.”
So where’s the variety?
Well, if you delve a bit deeper this soundtrack is as varied as ever before. There’s plenty of international music that gives you the chance to sample something new from all over the world. Gin Wigmore, a singer-songwriter from New Zealand is featured with her infectious alt-pop thriller ‘New Rush’, Iceland is represented dually by the well-known Of Monsters And Men and raspy folk-rock newcomers Kaleo, UK alt-rockers Nothing But Thieves also stand out with the incredibly catchy ‘Trip Switch’. Elsewhere there’s a dancy number from household names and frequent collaborators, Sam Smith and Disclosure in ‘Omen’.
Other notable inclusions come from Everything Everything ‘Distant Past’, Icona Pop ‘Emergency’ and Bastille ‘Hangin’.
Once again, EA Sports have provided a multi-cultural soundtrack with a bit of something for everyone, whilst adhering to their main audience with Foals, Beck and the like. It remains to be seen what the quality and depth of the game itself will be like, but if it’s anything on par with its soundtrack then there’s nothing to worry about.
FIFA 16 is out on September 22nd and its soundtrack is available to listen to on Spotify now.
Words Jake Marley