The Music of Brightborough & Attaway
It’s a time of innovation, rising wealth, and social change in Brightborough, and the music its people listen to is a reflection of several conflicting ideologies. On one hand, people enjoy the “classics” of decades past, music we’d recognize in our world as jazz and swing from our 1920s-40s; this also includes a few related genres like tango, samba, and other world music popular at the same time in places other than the United States and “Western” cultures.
On the other hand, people are starting to produce music that blends those old styles and adds new technologies and strange new sensibilities -- we’d probably call it “electro-swing,” songs that combine jazz/swing elements with other genres to create something that feels familiar and yet completely unique. Just like our own world, people have strong opinions about the music they listen to!
Here are two playlist links -- each should be considered both examples of the kinds of music you can expect to hear in-game at Attaway (as well as what your characters listen to). These songs also exist IG!
Playlist #1 - Brightborough Pop & Classics: https://open.spotify.com/…/122555483/playlist/18NhfOgfj31pl…
Playlist #2 - "Those Darn Kids": https://open.spotify.com/…/122555483/playlist/0neDkm3CArVIJ…
Jazz, both sweet and hot, swing music, and some forms of world music are all considered to be the status quo for what’s popular with the majority of people in Brightborough. There are plenty of variations within each of those genres and not everyone likes the same thing, but overall it’s considered to be a mix of “oldies” or “classic” music as well as mainstream pop. It’s been claimed as the the music of the Authority Bloc because it’s well known and associated with modern values which appeal to the party of the status quo.
It’s important to note that despite some people ascribing politics to this kind of music, it’s not universally pushed aside by people at Attaway Still, nor is it considered by all to be music solely for the Authority Bloc. It’s common to hear it on the radio across Brightborough, on the phonographs in many shops and restaurants, and in the homes of people in Low Town, the Wharfs, and the Factory District.
“The New Swing” / “Speakeasy Swing” / “Prohibition Swing”
The new music that’s taking off in the more affluent areas of Brightborough updates contemporary styles to suit the tastes of the city’s bon vivant population. It mixes jazz and swing with what we would consider “modern” music in our world -- a splash of hip-hop, a dash of EDM, etc. This “New Swing” is peppy, features unusual instrumentation such as some synthesizers, and even new concepts like scratching records in time with the music. Lyrics can be simply a celebration of the finer things in life in the tradition of pop music. It can also be socially aware, in some cases openly discussing (or celebrating) issues related to Brew, its consumption, and its trade like narcocorridos in our world.
All of these elements mean it’s popular with movers & shakers in High Town and Brightborough Center; the upwardly mobile claim it as the music of their generation, while Old Money have an appreciation for it as “what the kids are listening to these days.” Attaway residents have unsurprisingly taken to “Speakeasy Swing” as a reflection of their work and lives, and it’s often heard at celebrations and in private quarters alongside classic jazz and swing.
Politically, both the Liberty Bloc and the Bright Futures Bloc have connections to this genre. Liberty calls it the music of a new generation and politicians have begun trying to use it in their campaign rallies; it’s a symbol to many of them of what life could be like with the legalization of Brew. Bright Futures is interested in using the New Swing as a tool of more subversive counterculture. Musicians sympathetic to Bright Futures are rumored to hold underground concerts behind doors more closed off than the average speakeasy, preferring far more aggressive instrumentation and lyrics with militaristic attitudes calling for total social upheaval.
Bringing in Your Own Music
There’s a lot of music out there and we encourage you to compile your own playlists to reflect “records” you may have to play in your in-game spaces. However, we ask you follow these guidelines when doing so:
Please avoid using music which references real-world people or places in its lyrics.
Keep cussin’ to a minimum, please.
Please avoid using bands like Postmodern Jukebox -- Attaway may have influences from our world, but our modern pop music done in retro style isn’t part of our game!
When choosing Speakeasy Swing, try to keep electronic instrumentation limited. Synthesizers are a new technology and they’re not common; some of us would personally enjoy a song which mixes dubstep and swing outside of game, but it just doesn’t click with Attaway in-game.