Thomas Was Alone by David Housden
“The architects knew their fate, but set our escape in motion regardless.”
Where Are You?
Gather your AI friends and escape the splitters this week as we take a look at Thomas Was Alone by David Housden. Pressed on red vinyl by Black Screen Records, the soundtrack to Mike Bithell’s indie masterpiece is here to serenade you in it’s tranquil yet somber grooves.
Based in Ipswich, England David Housden is an award-winning and BAFTA nominated video game composer best known for his Thomas Was Alone, and more recently Volume and Q.U.B.E. 2, soundtracks. David's unique and electronic style lends himself to be extremely creative in his musical designs, often mirroring and capturing the true vision of the games his scores inhabit. David's work here on Thomas Was Alone is not only a crowning achievement in his career, but a capstone in what will be revered as one of the greatest games to ever come out of this generation of indie titles.
United We Stand
Awakening bits vibrate and come to life as you drop the needle into this ethereal piano playground, wrapped in synthetic noise and playful beats. Coming to life as it spins round and round, David's symphony of shapes starts in solitude before merging ever closer together, culminating in a beautiful synergy between electronic nostalgia and classical sophistication. Behind all the syncopated rhythms, a fuzzy, electric, and ambient blanket allows the notes to retreat before being thrust out by their forceful and stirring motions. This is one of those albums that you can truly feel the music around you; the ambient nature of David's arrangements are so tangible, and the overarching story of Thomas and his blocky friends can't help but tug on your heart strings as he and his friends literally reverberate off the grooves into the tonearm and out through the speakers.
A Time For Change
Although percussion is used very sparingly, the album culminates into this beautiful crescendo, leading off to side B where the percussive elements truly take center stage and completely rock your entire setup. Bits evolve into this rocking overdrive guitar that melds into the pulsing background. The mastering here is extremely superb, allowing for the low-end piano notes to pierce through, while electronic notes flicker and twinkle from behind the blanket of ambience that David has created. While the album starts off in this weird, unknown place -- much like the game's characters -- the music discovers itself amongst the grooves and takes on a life of its own, building on each groove as it rotates, leading to triumphant and blissful arrangements that lift the listener up into a wild and airy cloud. It's truly an incredible album and one that has to be heard by everyone!
Black Screen Records always has this way with lifting up some of the best and talented indie artists out there with their vinyl releases. Thomas Was Alone is the epitome of that philosophy, and as always they hit this one out of the park. Extreme talent was poured into this release and it shows from every quadrilateral corner of this package. Design here was carried out exceptionally well by Black Screen Records veteran Dane Baudoin, taking the original soundtrack cover and giving it that extra artistic flair. The back cover is the true masterpiece, incorporating the games characters and level design in this unique tapestry of shapes that just makes the tracklist text flow like butter. Mastering was carried out by the talented Christian Bethge from RAMA Tonstudio, and is exceptional as always. The crystal clear noise floor and dynamic range that David's album has is given justice here in the pressing. This record sounds amazing. If you are on the fence, allow me to give you a little nudge. Pick this album up!
Where to Buy?
This album is still readily available directly from Black Screen Records. They have pressed multiple variants of this record, including the red one pictured in this article, a blue one through Limited Run Games, and a standard black version. Unfortunately, the red and blue versions have both sold out.