In the absence of official numbers, we’re forced to guess at the overlap between fans of Florence And The Machine and the Final Fantasy video game series. The smart money is on a relatively massive one, which goes a long way towards explaining why the British band just made a contribution to the soundtrack for the upcoming installment of the sci-fi/fantasy roleplaying game. Among the songs just made available to fans on the Songs From Final Fantasy XV EP are two originals (“Too Much Is Never Enough” and “I Will Be”) and a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” which was released earlier this year and sounds like it was recorded in an enchanted meadow sprinkled with faerie dew. The songs were recorded at London’s Air Studios by producer/composer Emile Haynie, who has previously worked with Kanye West (“Runaway”) and Lana Del Ray (Born To Die).
Lest anyone think that the band is in any way slumming by recording songs for a video game, lead singer Florence Welch wants us all to know that she was very on board with this idea. “I’ve always seen Final Fantasy as a beautiful and creative game, so I don’t think I could have worked with another video game,” Welch said in a statement released via Twitter. “It wouldn’t have made sense. In some ways, the landscape of Final Fantasy and my own internal landscape seemed to fit quite well. It’s mythical and beautiful and epic.”
The 29-year-old singer-songwriter—who is possibly part Sindarin elf—explained that the idea for this project grew out of her appreciation for classical music. “I was listening to Classic FM, and there was a whole two-hour program about classical music in video games,” she said. “It was so inspiring and a whole scope of music that I didn’t know about. It was really fascinating, the music was incredibly beautiful and emotional, and I took it as a sort of sign, to see what I can do in this medium.”
You can hear the new songs in context when Final Fantasy XV is released on September 30. Until then, here they are, without accompanying Manticores or Poison Nagas.