Update: I reached out to composer Jimmy Hinson in the hopes of learning how this unlikely mashup came to be. In a message, Hinson said:
"One of the music coordinators for the show reached out to me out of the blue and said they found my song on Bandcamp and wanted to use it for a Netflix show ... I didn't receive actual official confirmation until about a week before the air date though, so I actually kinda thought it fell through. It's funny because the show is developed under a code name and while the description of the usage is in the contract, it's really super vague, so even with 'context' I didn't really know anything. Stuff like 'two friends are talking and comfort each other.' So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I learned that the mystery show was actually Stranger Things 2.
"I still don't know how they found that specific track, buried deep in a soundtrack of a game that is not especially well known, even in the indie games community. But I'm extremely happy that they found it, and that particular song has always been special to me because not only are Ashly Burch and Malukah's vocals serene and beautiful, but I've always been especially proud of that melody."
There Came an Echo (opens in new tab) was developer Iridium Studios' (opens in new tab) follow-up to Before the Echo (opens in new tab). It seems the titular echo is the only link between the games: the latter is a 'rhythm RPG' released in 2011, while the former is a voice-controlled strategy game released in 2015. I'm bringing them up now because a song from the soundtrack of There Came an Echo recently found an unlikely new home: season two of the hit television series Stranger Things.
The song in question is "Outside the Realm," which you can hear via the video above and on the website of its composer, Jimmy "Big Giant Circles" Hinson. It was used multiple times in the second season of the show, first playing during a pivotal scene between Will and Mike in the second episode.
Big Giant Circles is actually the name of Hinson's company. He's a regular contributor to the videogame remix site Overclocked Remix, and also scored several other games, the most prominent being Threes, one of the most popular puzzle games on mobile. With the help of featured artists Ashly Burch, Malukah, Aureylian, and Ronald Jenkees, Hinson created 21 tracks for There Came an Echo. You can listen to the full album on the game's Big Giant Circles page (opens in new tab).
Hinson's biography says he "writes music for and inspired by videogames." It makes you wonder if he ever thought his work would appear in one of the hottest shows of the year. And for that matter, whether Iridium Studios did.
Like Stranger Things, There Came an Echo is sci-fi. However, it's also distinctly cyberpunk and smacks more of Invisible, Inc. (opens in new tab) and XCOM than super-powered schoolkids. Its voice-operated, squad-based strategy was the main hook, but it also featured voice work from some fairly big names, including Wil Wheaton, best known for his part in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Laura Bailey, who voiced Jaina Proudmoore in World of Warcraft's Legion expansion among many other games.