D&D’s new Spelljammer adventure has inspired an official music album
Spelljams compilation produced by Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk.
Dungeons & Dragons’ new book Spelljammer: Adventures in Space has inspired a complete music album called Spelljams.
Spelljams is specifically inspired by Spelljammer: Adventures in Space’s campaign Light of Xarysis, which is directly namechecked in a track by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
The 19-track album is structured to follow the episodic structure of Light of Xarysis, with each song designed to match up with one of the campaign’s play sessions. The whole adventure was inspired by the old Flash Gordon movie and its accompanying Queen soundtrack - thus, the made-for-play musical album made too much sense to Perkins and Funk.
“Helping facilitate bringing this world to life through music and the amazing artists' visions that were selected was an honor of a lifetime," said Funk in a press release. "I am of the opinion when people think of Dungeons & Dragons that there is a preconceived underscore of what these worlds might sound like.
Spelljams’ sound features a variety of artists and genres who were all given access to their accompanying chapters and told to use whatever they wanted to create its iconic sound. Some were apparently not so familiar with D&D, or roleplaying in general, but the resulting album apparently boasts a deep streak of “novelty and weirdness” that closely matches the Spelljammer setting.
Plenty of contributing artists do count themselves among D&D’s fan group, including Reggie Watts, Osees; John Dwyer (self-described as a “rabid player”), Penny & Sparrow, Deru and Grammy winner Arooj Aftab, who said he has loved DD since reading all of the Dragonlance novels.
Funk described Osees’ Red Fang as Deep Purple by way of space trucking, which is about as weird a meets-meets as they come. Reggie Watts’ own “Space is a Place” will be a funky, spoken-word track - the name might be an homage to John Coney’s 1974 experimental afrofuturist film Space is the Place.
Here’s a full tracklist for Spelljams:
- “Seeds Of Destruction” - Magic Sword
- “Arena Of Blood” – Osees
- “Space Is A Place” - Reggie Watts
- “Visible Lights” – TEKE::TEKE
- “Far” – Black Marble
- “Left Hand Path” – Mikaela Davis
- “love is the disaster” – Lucius
- “Xedalli” – Penny & Sparrow
- “Moon Dancer” – Y La Bamba
- “Light of Xaryxis” – Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
- “Spacefighters” – MonoNeon
- “Crystalline Climbers” – Cardioid & pink paint
- “Me and The Moon” – Devon Gilfillian
- “Endless Sea” – Red Fang
- “Ghost Of The Nautiloid” Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band
- “Forgotten Land” – Deru, Arooj Aftab
- “Topolah’s Song” – Wizard of Waz
- “chaotic.evil.astral.elves” – Califone
- “The Door To Endlessness” – Shabazz Palaces
Spelljams is currently available to stream or purchase on most all digital platforms. A vinyl artifact edition, which comes in a triple gatefold jacket for both LPs and was designed and illustrated by the D&D team, will release at a later date, though pre-orders for that fancy version are currently open through Kill Rock Stars' website.
This is not the first time Wizards of the Coast has dabbled in a musical tie-in for its releases. Chris Perkins dipped his toes into music with a CD soundtrack for the Eberron setting back in 2003 - it’s apparently still used as Wizards of the Coast’s hold music on their phone lines.