Episode #59: Long Ago Not So Far Away: Music from The Thirteenth Hour (Preview)
This week, it’s all about retro 80s, starting with a preview of the upcoming official soundtrack release for The Thirteenth Hour, entitled Long Ago Not So Far Away.
It ended up being about 47 minutes long with a combination of synth instrumental tracks and songs with lyrics played on the guitar, piano, or a both. Some were songs that I came up with originally when I wrote the book, others were ones that I wrote a few years later but had not fully completed (i.e. had the lyrics and chords for the guitar, making for a skeleton of a song … but all the little riffs and fills that make a song a song, especially a retro style 80s song, weren’t there). There were two I kept more bare bones (mostly just acoustic guitar with a minimum of electric effects or synthesizers) because I wanted them to sound like folk songs out of the pseud0-medieval world the novel is set in.
It really ended up being a lot of fun. In contrast to the tortuous process I had creating the cover for the book version of The Thirteenth Hour, making the cover for Long Ago Not So Far Away felt like a breeze, since I decided that the best course of action was to make it look like something out of the 80s. I have a healthy collection of 80s CDs, tapes, and movies that helped provide entertaining inspiration. There were also tons of synthwave (neo 80s synth music) covers on the internet (some of which looked more 80s than actual 80s album covers!). I also found this great Instagram page by @synthenebrism which links to a Spotify page with hours upon hours of synthwave music for your listening enjoyment.
In terms of making the cover itself, I found this great step by step tutorial that captured the look I was going for almost perfectly. It walks you through using Photoshop to create your own retro synth cover. I wanted an aurora for the cover to fit with the content of the book, so after a bit of searching, found this free stock image (click on the image to go to the page):
Thanks to Blackmoons32 on deviantart for making a great free lightning bolt stock image already with an alpha channel (meaning the background is already transparent), making it easy to paste into your picture. I thought about adding a rainbow or a unicorn to really round out the 80s fantasy images but thought that might be laying it on a little thick. Instead, I just added the pixelart Logan on Lightning I made for the vaporware Thirteenth Hour game I started years ago. In the end, it ended up looking like this:
It should be out later this fall. But if you’d like a free advance preview, there are a few ways to do it. Check out the bandcamp page, which has many of the tracks already uploaded, though not the fully remastered ones. You can also look for former entries of this podcast or the Instagram page for some live versions or early drafts of songs. Lastly, if you haven’t already, sign up for the mailing list if you’d like a free digital copy of the album to download with album artwork and all. Stay tuned!
As always, thanks for listening!
- Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
- Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr email@example.com for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
- Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming in the next few weeks!
- Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
- Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
- Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book? Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!