The Binding of Isaac, Super Meat Boy composer releasing album of unheard music

If you've played The Binding of Isaac, Super Meat Boy, or Crypt of the Necrodancer, odds are you're a fan of Danny Baranowsky, the composer behind the music that helped make them great, not to mention several other videogame soundtracks. Baranowsky is dropping a new batch of tracks next month, but this time it's an album, not a score. 

In case you were confused by the trailer: "dannyBsides" is a collection of 12 previously unheard tracks from Baranowsky. You won't find them in any game (though some of them bear a striking resemblance), and until recently they weren't publicly available. That is, until Twitch musician The8BitDrummer streamed a blind accompaniment to the entire album as a promo—no small feat, and quite the jam.  

Baranowsky has been inadvertently working on this album for nearly 10 years.
"[The song] 'Hooked Into the Machine' is from my first-ever gig, a game for the Sidekick phone, in Midi, and later an audio version for Android," he says. "'Plummet' and 'End of the Road' are from a free flash game called Fathom I did with Adam Atomic around the same time. It's technically been released before, but not individually, and not mastered like this."

Although he's best known for scoring The Binding of Isaac, Super Meat Boy, and Crypt of the Necrodancer, Baranowsky says the album doesn't echo any particular game or theme. 

"'SunnyBsmile,' 'Takeoff,' 'Circuit Lounge' and 'Skybridge' are all from a more recent game that I had to pull out from due to health concerns," he says. "I was really sad that they wouldn't see the light of day, so it was nice to finally have a good reason to release them. And they were made within the last couple years, so it helped assuage my neurosis of releasing super old stuff. The old stuff is still good, but production-wise i get real embarrassed about anything more than a couple years old."

The question, then, is why release an album now? 

"Honestly, the primary goal was to offload some of these tracks off my conscience," Baranowsky says. "You get used to having people hear everything you do, and it feels weird to have hours of stuff just sitting there, unheard. It's also nice to have an album that is just music, and not associated with a game. I'm ultra keen on making original albums for their own sake, and this was a great step in that direction. My manager, Patrick, has been instrumental in pushing me in that direction. Would love to tour someday soon, see what the audience for game music is like in the real world!"

The album costs $10 and is due out Monday, December 1. You can find more details and the full tracklist on Ghost Ramp's online store.

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.