Beyond its endearing character designs, crackerjack voice cast, and eye-pleasing color scheme, one of the factors that make Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe, a fantasy series created by Rebecca Sugar, such an aesthetically pleasing experience is its innovative musical score. The background themes on the show are reminiscent of old school, 8-bit video games but can also be more rich and complex when necessary. The musical excellence of Steven Universe can largely be attributed to Alvi & Surasshu, a chiptune duo made up of pianist Alvi Tran and sound designer Steven “Surasshu” Velema, who have been with the show since its inception. YouTuber Stefano Ureña has paid tribute to Alvi & Surasshu with a two-hour compilation video containing various background cues from the series. The music here ranges from light and playful to reflective and mysterious to tense and exciting. Outside of the context of the show, the score holds up beautifully. Those looking for a way to relive some mid-week stress could easily lose themselves in this music. Visually, the only accompaniment is a series of still images from Steven Universe, but since that’s one of TV’s best-looking shows, it’s more than enough.
Fans of Steven Universe’s music are also invited to check out Alvi & Surasshu’s SoundCloud page. Here, you will find 128 individual cues from the animated show, each one duly credited to its proper performer. While Alvi & Surasshu recorded the vast majority of the tracks here, a few selections are attributed to Jeff Liu, a storyboard artist at Cartoon Network who also makes music on the side.