No Wonder Billie Eilish Likes Ilomilo So Much

No Wonder Billie Eilish Likes Ilomilo So Much

Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s daily hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-arse sounds they make. Today we’re checking out music from Ilomilo, a puzzle game so overwhelmingly delightful that Billie Eilish wrote a song about it.

One of my favourite games of all time, Southend Interactive’s Ilomilo (playlist / longplay / VGMdb) is a lovely little puzzle-adventure released in 2010 for the Windows Phone 7 and 2011 for Xbox Live Arcade. Friends Ilo and Milo take turns navigating levels built from patchwork crafted cubes. Each stage begins with the pair separated, and you’re tasked with navigating the twisting constructs to bring the fated pair back together. It’s a game about friends sticking together no matter what tries to come between them. The melancholy patchwork, inhabited by odd, stitched-together creatures, makes Ilomilo feel pleasantly like a faded old scrapbook.

The game’s music, composed by Daniel Olsén of Sayonara Wild Hearts (previously on Morning Music) and Device6 fame, beautifully supports the game’s pieced-together aesthetic. He evokes an old-timey feel with vinyl album artifacts and instruments evocative of simpler times, like accordion and melodica. Listen to the track “Cosy Sofa.” It sounds to me like being sprawled out in my living room as a child in the late ‘70s, in those sleepy moments after the Saturday morning cartoons ended.

Southend Interactive / Daniel Olsén (YouTube)

My favourite track from the game is “March of the Ilomilos.” It’s a simple little tune, the sort of thing you’d expect ‘50s Boy Scouts to whistle as they march through the woods towards certain traumatisation. Olsén plays with so many instruments here. Whistles. Flutes, Wood blocks. There’s a kazoo in there. If I could still walk, this is the song I want to accompany each step until I tumble into madness.

Southend Interactive / Daniel Olsén (YouTube)

I’m not as much a fan of Billie Eilish’s “Ilomilo,” the song from her 2018 album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. It’s just not my cup of tea. Still, I can feel the echoes of the game in her downbeat pop diddy, and appreciate anyone inspired by the game that inspired me to…well, write this post.

Hope that helps you all start your day off with a bit of a jingle and jangle. Couldn’t hurt, right? Share your thoughts on the songs, the game, or anything else you wish to chat about in the comments below. See you tomorrow!

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