While June’s PlayStation 5 reveal event was full of big moments — such as our first look at the next-gen console and the announcement of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales — few could have predicted one of the event’s biggest moments: the debut of Bugsnax, a quirky action-adventure indie game from developer Young Horses.
As you’d expect from the creators of indie hit Octodad, Bugsnax is actually a little hard to explain, but in essence, it stars a journalist who is investigating a mysterious island populated with creatures that are half-bug and half-snacks. That means there are sentient strawberries running all over the island, donuts rolling around, and giant caterpillars made up of sandwiches. Yeah, this game is really weird.
Anyway, it wasn’t only the strange setting of the game that made headlines but the title’s theme song, a tune that had people humming its melody days after it debuted. The song is suitably titled “It’s Bugsnax” from the English indie-pop band Kero Kero Bonito (the trio of Sarah Midori Perry, Gus Lobban, and Jamie Bulled).
Unfortunately, the game trailer only had a snippet of the song, leaving many fans asking when they might able to hear the full track. Fortunately, Geoff Keighley and his Summer Game Fest finally delivered during a Developer Showcase meant to show off upcoming indie titles. The live stream featured the first full performance of the song and it absolutely slaps.
First, check out the gameplay trailer that took the world by storm:
Okay, now listen to the full song:
In a PlayStation blog post published in June, Lobban, songwriter and producer of Kero Kero Bonito, broke down his writing process for the song and how the band ended up with the catchiest tune of Summer 2020.
“My starting point for ‘It’s Bugsnax!’ was the D-Am chords the song rests on. The I-Vm chord change and the Mixolydian mode it implies conjure a ‘lost world’ atmosphere to me; positive, but with a definite note (pun intended) of mystical intrigue, much like Bugsnax itself,” Lobban explained. “I built up the song from there by programming a drum track, then improvising chords on a keyboard while singing hooks over the top. I made the song’s form similar to earlier KKB songs like ‘Picture This,’ which Phil had explained felt close in spirit to what they were looking for.”
Lobban said that the band was forced to record the song remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but things ultimately ran smoothly.
“We couldn’t meet up to record the vocals, so ‘It’s Bugsnax!’ was the first KKB song to use our remote lockdown recording setup. Our singer Sarah nailed the vocals the first time, and Young Horses were clear about what they wanted, which made putting everything together easy. Seeing the gameplay footage match up with the corresponding lyrics in the trailer was very satisfying.”
The songwriter also teased there’s more coming from the band’s contribution to Bugsnax: “‘It’s Bugsnax!’ is already one of my favourite KKB moments so far. To all of you who’ve found it stuck in your head, sung it to your dog, or just wondered what the hell was happening, I have this to say: it isn’t over yet.”