'The National' Band Write Song for Portal 2

Hectic Glenn

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[br]In a press release from Valve today comes the announcement that a song from the band The National will be included in its upcoming game, Portal 2, when it is released worldwide the week of April 18th. The band from Ohio have an indie rock style and Chet is excited to be working with them.
"The inclusion of the original song, Still Alive, in the first Portal game was part of what made the game special," "For Portal 2, we wanted to extend the use of music. When Bug Music mentioned to us that The National might be interested, we jumped at the opportunity to work with them."
The National have had a successful year with 'High Violet', The National's most acclaimed and fastest-selling album to date. Released in May 2010, it debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200, and prompted the New York Times to claim "The National is in a league of its own." Julia Betley of Bug Music said,
After I met with Valve and learned about the intricacies and story line of the first Portal game, I knew The National's music would fit beautifully in the sequel." "The National's raw and emotive music evokes the same visceral reactions from its listeners that Portal does from its players. It was exciting and a privilege to bring together two exceedingly talented creative teams to create something special for Portal 2."
Make up your own minds on The National, check out their youtube here and some more info here.
 

DEATHMASTER

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I can't see how they'd fit in with it but I suppose we'll see.
 

Stigmata

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That song is pretty decent. The decision to include such a band seems more marketing-driven than anything else, though. Maybe Portal 2 wasn't generating quite the pre-order response Valve was hoping for?
 

Avoidist

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That song is pretty decent. The decision to include such a band seems more marketing-driven than anything else, though. Maybe Portal 2 wasn't generating quite the pre-order response Valve was hoping for?
No. The decision to include a song by them wouldn't happen this late in development. Preorders may appear artifically low due to people waiting for the PS3 version, however I highly doubt that is the case either, and even if the preorders are low, Valve would not do such a thing as a last-ditch effort to increase hype. They have too much confidence in their game for that.

What they have done is make a press release, which will no doubt increase hype, but as part of a planned out marketing scheme revealing a detail that would have been decided much earlier in development. Think of it as the Episode Three approach to information.
 

Dekstar

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Interesting piece of news; I wonder if there'll be lyrics, and if they'll be 'roboticised' to fit the theme...
 
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Very strange... I like the National, but they seem like an unusual choice for Portal!
 

Kyzr

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Didnt see this coming. Could be interesting.
 

JUL3

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I can actually see this fitting into Portal like a dream, fantastic VALVe, fantastic.
 

Zephos

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The National are an amazing band, but seriously now, their music is the furtherest from Portal's aesthetic.
 

Paulaner

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The National are an amazing band, but seriously now, their music is the furtherest from Portal's aesthetic.
Still Alive was good, but was sort of a little joke. I see Portal 2 as a more mature, more developed game, and the music could go the same way.
 

Zephos

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Still Alive was good, but was sort of a little joke. I see Portal 2 as a more mature, more developed game, and the music could go the same way.
Still Alive was just a novelty song, I was referring more to the ambient and kooky electronics that fill the rest of Portal's soundtrack. The National specialize in rustic, weary, borderline country style music. Even as an end song it'd be jarring, like when they put Radiohead at the end of Twilight.
 
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The national have been one of my favourite bands for years. Definitely seems like an odd choice for Portal but Valve rarely goes wrong
 

Sheepo

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Still Alive was just a novelty song, I was referring more to the ambient and kooky electronics that fill the rest of Portal's soundtrack. The National specialize in rustic, weary, borderline country style music. Even as an end song it'd be jarring, like when they put Radiohead at the end of Twilight.
Well we really have no idea what they'll be doing or how the band is going to end up sounding. I'm pretty sure it was confirmed at some point that Coulton was signed on for Portal 2, so there's really no telling. I think that there's plenty of room here, even for a traditional song. In L4D2 it's shown how well music can add a little bit of depth and history to the universe through background appearances while not interfering with the actual soundtrack. Portal was all about how the idealized sterile white laboratory was a facade that contrasted with gritty reality, and this seems to be stepped up a great deal in the sequel. Background music that played against the ambient electronic soundtrack could help reflect that.
 
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