A rejected song written by the experimental indie-pop group Animal Collective for Rockstar Games' open world Western game Red Dead Redemption surfaces online.
Those who have had the pleasure of experiencing Rockstar Games' seminal open world release of Red Dead Redemption through to its completion would certainly attest to the title's fantastic score and soundtrack. Surely, most would argue that the indie folk singer-songwriter José González's tune "Far Away" and the band Ashtar Command's "Deadman's Gun" are both songs that perfectly encapsulate the game's ethereal, yet gritty Western aesthetic.
Interestingly enough, however, during the development process for Red Dead Redemption, the experimental Baltimore-borne trio Animal Collective could have impacted the title in a much stranger way with one of its own electronica-tinged ditties that was cut from the final version of the game. Recently, the band took to its official YouTube account to share the once-lost song dubbed "Mountain Game," with the group simply stating, "Here’s an unreleased track we recorded in 2010 for Red Dead Redemption and it never got used. Enjoy."
As heard from the song in the video above, it's evident why Rockstar didn't give Animal Collective's "Mountain Game" the green light to be used in what is easily one of the top games of the last generation. That isn't to say the group's tune is bad, though, but instead tonally incongruous with the overall feel of Red Dead Redemption. While the first couple of minutes of "Mountain Game" would definitely settle in snugly as background music for a cutscene of John Marston traveling across a craggy region in the game, as soon as the drums and vocals kick in, it's obvious that the song simply doesn't fit within the world of RDR.
Although Animal Collective's "Mountain Game" was rejected for Red Dead Redemption, it doesn't mean the band shouldn't try its hand at writing or scoring music for other video games in the future. As a matter of fact, their more unconventional and electronic sound could suit titles from the science fiction genre well. Bearing that in mind, even though little is known about the specifics for the subject matter of CD Projekt Red's forthcoming Cyberpunk 2077, it's quite possible for Animal Collective to compose a tune that's more in-line with the game's futuristic imagery.
Of course, considering the fact that Rockstar Games is currently working on the followup to Red Dead Redemption with RDR 2, there's still a chance for the developer to commission Animal Collective for another song of theirs since it passed on the band's work the first time around. However, since the sequel's story and gameplay are somewhat nebulous at the moment, there's really no telling which styles of music will be appropriate for the game.
At any rate, should there be Red Dead Redemption fans out there that believe Animal Collective's "Mountain Game" is a perfect fit for the Western title, they can always mute the in-game soundtrack and play the song on some external speakers or headphones. If there are gamers playing Red Dead Redemption via backward compatibility, though, they could utilize the Microsoft console's background music feature to do so instead.
Red Dead Redemption is available now for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and can be played on Xbox One by way of its backward compatibility program.
Source: Animal Collective – YouTube