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Oxenfree OST
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: January 15, 2016
Composed By: scntfc
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: scntfc (distributed by Bandcamp)
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: Digital
Buy this album from Bandcamp
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Lost (Prologue)
02 - Beacon Beach
03 - Epiphany Fields
04 - Against The Rocks
05 - Towhee Grove
06 - Cleanslate
07 - Alsos
08 - Cold Comfort
09 - Lantern
10 - Argonaut
11 - Catbird Station
12 - Against The Waves
13 - Kanaloa
14 - Dead Light
15 - Catchpole Station
16 - From The Leads
17 - The Gate
18 - Lost
19 - Argonaut Atalanta
20 - Days Past
21 - The Beach, 7AM
Total Time:
74'29"

I get scared very easily, so I stayed away from Oxenfree for a while. Then my friend showed me the song "Beacon Beach" from the Oxenfree OST, and I knew I had to buck up and play this game.

Yes, Oxenfree is creepy. Yes, I was scared. But the phenomenal soundtrack kept me going.

Every nuance in the Oxenfree OST complements the game. The trippy atmosphere matches the paranormal activity. The electronic instruments work off the electronic devices for communicating with ghosts. The wavering pitches play off the radio-tuning mechanic. And, of course, the overall creepiness is inspired by the creepiness of the game.

Rather than "creepy," though, much of the Oxenfree OST can be more accurately described as "hauntingly beautiful." After all, Oxenfree is about the relationship between death and love. Seeing the ghost of your dead brother is terrifying, confusing, exhilarating, and really sad. Composer scntfc does a fantastic job at capturing this complex feeling throughout the OST. The most notable examples of this are "Cold Comfort", "Catbird Station", and, of course, the finale, "The Beach, 7AM."

Then there are the turnt songs that convinced me to play the game in the first place. I've already mentioned "Beacon Beach," so let's bring "Epiphany Fields," "Towhee Grove," and "Kanaloa" into the picture. Within all the spookiness and sadness, these indie synth-pop jams will occasionally turn up and wash over you a feeling of relief and energy, reminding you that you are present, you are alive, while swimming through the past that haunts you.

However, because of the OST's close relationship to the game, some of the tracks are certainly more complementary material than pieces intended for standalone listening. This is most evident with the pieces that are particularly scary, or highly atmospheric. When listening to "Against the Waves" in the game, I'm anxiously trying to exorcise a ghost from a friend; when listening to it on its own, I'm just anxious for the track to end. Similarly, I can see how some listeners may get bored after listening to the more atmospheric tracks like "The Gate" or "Argonaut." Because of this quality, the Oxenfree OST may not the best OST for listening to outside of the game.

The Oxenfree OST captures the themes of processing a sibling's death: emptiness, a loss of innocence, distancing from reality, anger and self-blame. Take all that and add on the feelings of seeing your loved one's ghost. No matter what flurry of emotions you're going through, scntfc always makes sure to maintain an element of creepiness. Sit back, have a listen, and get ready to feel the spook.

Reviewed by: Brigid Choi



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