Field of Hopes and Covers and Covers
It should be no surprise that the hype of Toby Fox’s DELTARUNE title, a “sequel” of sorts to the 2015 smash indie hit UNDERTALE, resulted in a multitude of arrangements flourishing the soil of Youtube’s music scene. No track quite captured the balance of melody and fun, straight, dance-worthy rhythms like Field of Hopes and Dreams. The track plays early in the game’s first chapter, serving as the overworld anthem in a wild neon forest. Since there are an absurd number of covers, I want to focus on a few from both well-known and lesser-known artists.
Insaneintherainmusic both respects and defies expectations of the original track with his dazzling Jazz cover of the song. The intro maintains the same filtered piano with small modifications to the motif, while the body of the song is full of cleverly-placed flute quips (an instrument new to the musician) and fills from his keyboard patches. The lead saxophones are always expressive on this channel, especially with the wonderful breathy solo section that is a staple of both jazz and Insaneintherainmusic’s channel. He tops it off with an inclusion of his rarely-seen vocal talent to supplement the song’s final chorus.
While the riff writing Christian Richardson hails from a more modest channel in stature, his arrangement is easily one of the hugest in sound and strength. The musician poured an extra week (a lifetime to those recording DELTARUNE covers during its peak), it is incredibly evident where the extra love went. Within the first seconds you are hit with a wave of rumbling distorted guitar riffs, gritty bass shuffles to match intricate drums, and it is immediately evident how different Christian made this particular version of the song. Around 2 minutes we hear a beautifully nestled reference to the game’s prequel ballad “Home” and we receive slick solos from both Christian and his guest BlackearacheXD who wield great usage of fitting scales and fast-tempo runs to mesh with the arrangement. In a sea of modern metal arrangements, Christian and BlackearacheXD deliver a memorable cover worth cranking.
Now as requested I’d like to, if you’ll allow me, share my own thoughts on creating my version of the song. I promise to sparingly showcase my own work on the Gazette but in the spirit of unique arrangements I think this one would be worth writing about!
My (Ro Panuganti) version of the arrangement is heavily and very apparently influenced by Bollywood’s famed scores incorporating a mixture of cinematic standards and traditional Indian music styles. The kinds of songs I grew up hearing in Indian films were ballads or more traditional folk with ample use of Indian sitar (stringed instrument), tabla (similar to bongos), and impassioned vocal belting about the complexities of love. I mixed a handful of sampled Indian percussion and drone instruments with my own live Sitar and Tabla to create a mixture of basic patterns that would fit the DELTARUNE anthem, and incorporated electric guitar afterward to drive the melody. Due to the limited nature of sitar tuning, I couldn’t perform the main melody as easily - however I recorded those parts in segments too. Much of the vocal part is me singing the phrases “There is hope/dreams in this world” in Hindi, just to add to the charm and mysteriousness of the cover, since most of my audience would not know the language. Ultimately much of Indian music, like bhangra for example, is meant to be danced to! Movies like Lagaan and Mohabbatein are fantastic references for the vibes I went for and hopefully this style continues to be well received!
I could write about 100s of covers from Deltarune, and I am certain there will be more fantastic arrangements when the entire game is released! If you have a favorite cover out, or made on yourself, leave a comment or reply on Twitter!