ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 'Her Smile in Every Summer'

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

So yes, VocalClocked ReMix was, as most of you instantaneously deduced, an A1 thing. We wanted to have some fun, but it was also a pointed way of responding to the "vocal haters" that come out of the woodwork whenever a serious mix w/ vocals is posted. While I completely get & respect that there are some folks for whom instrumental music is a preferred sanctuary (especially when it comes to VGM), I'll never understand OR respect anyone's actual intolerance for ANY genre of music or aspect of instrumentation. You don't like it, we get it, 'nuff said. There are those with the audacity to make statements like "Vocals don't belong in VGM!!," or "You can't do jazz arrangements of Mega Man!!," for example. While you might not like vocals, whether or not they belong there isn't up to you, it's up to the artists. Laughably, there are even some who try to pass off as journalism (or at least semi-serious critique) what amounts to genre bias on the part of the critic. The bottom line is, never express your own personal preference as a prescription of what is natural or acceptable or universal in any way; you're walking in historically despicable footsteps when you do.

I'll get down off my soapbox now because you know I didn't just show up with words - we've got an absolutely amazing, throwback/vintage rock vocal arrangement of Wind Waker from newcomers Hot Freaks, a Minneapolis-based band that does Guided by Voices covers, among other things, making them my new favorite people. Vocalist Leo Vondracek writes:

"I always though this track could be a great single so I wrote some lyrics for it and played it indie-rock style with my band. Hope you enjoy it!"

Fittingly, this one is both on the house AND better than ever - I'm pretty much in love with the arrangement, the execution, and the overall experience, which Shariq sums up nicely:

"Dunno why this is even on the panel. Should be direct post IMO. It's got a lovely summertime vibe, like I'm out at the beach on a late afternoon with lots of friends. Great vocals! Just lovely all around."

Pieces of this reminded me of The Raconteurs (bits of 'Steady as She Goes'), GBV, and Weezer, and the lyrics are simple & perfect. Might be a carefree jam that's perfect for Spring/Summer, but I'm going to be playing this all year long, and it's the sort of surprise that makes running the site and posting mixes so rewarding. You never know what you're gonna hear, and what's gonna work, and it's a beautiful thing to still be geeking out and going fanboy after 12 years of doing this. Great, epic mix, instant classic in my book, and huge thanks to Hot Freaks for inspiring me, for one. And to all the artists out there, keep doing EXACTLY what you feel - it might not always be right for some people, and it may not even be right for OCR, but it'll always be right.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Brandon Strader
on 2014-01-24 04:08:05
It took a while for this to grow on me, which is why I didn't review it before. Not that it wasn't good -- I always recognized that it was good, I just wasn't familiar with Wind Waker at all. I listened to this song a lot, even saw it performed live by OverClocked University and that was amazing. I played Wind Waker for the first time earlier, and when I got out into the first area and heard the song in the background, it was like hearing a cover of this remix, but more stripped down. :lol: So in a really cool way, this was the first I heard the theme, and this has become the definitive version of it for me -- I like it more than the game version, which is great as well, but when you hear something this good first, the smaller game version doesn't hold a candle to it. Really good, and quite frankly, a genius arrangement of the source. I hope to hear more!
kitty
on 2013-11-01 22:07:12
I just listened to this song for the second time, the first being right when it came out. I decided to look into it again because some people on IRC told me to listen to it. To be quite honest, I didn't like it the first time I heard it. I felt the lyrics didn't match the atmosphere created by the instruments and that something seemed kinda...off technically (even though I have no expertise in production or any type of musical talent).
Now my thoughts have changed.
The lyrics are more personally relevant to me now, almost eerily exactly how I feel at this particular moment in my life. I cried while listening and reading the lyrics because I share the same sentiment as the singer if one would interpret them in a sad way. What I see as a juxtaposition of the atmosphere of the song and the meaning of the lyrics is brilliant. It paints a picture of what could have been the singer's future and the reality of the present situation. Alternatively, I can see the singer moving forward with his life and using his memories of the girl as motivation to improve himself.
I didn't give this song enough of a chance when I first heard it. But thankfully I now see the amazing creative freedom one has to interpret the lyrics and how powerful this song can be for anyone. I highly recommend this song!
Crulex
on 2013-05-16 12:56:47
The way the lyrics fit along with the music just makes for something ridiculously fun. I really just want to bop back and forth during the chorus. It's got a really good "la, la-la, la-la" feeling to it right about there, great for the warm sunny days. So damn catchy. Great ReMix.
Power Smoothie
on 2012-09-13 21:19:01
Addictive. thanks to the UK guys for playing this one at the Alcon panel the other day - I must be on at least my 10th listen by now. :-)
Diodes
on 2012-09-04 22:22:27
I just heard this remix for the first time yesterday, and wow, I am totally blown away. It's hard for me to articulate it in words.
First of all, I wasn't familiar with the source, but still instantly fell in love with the remix upon hearing it. So after playing it on repeat a few times, I listened to the source on YouTube. After hearing the source as well, I have to say that for me, this remix epitomizes what VGM rearrangement is all about. I cannot believe how much of the source was used in this song, and woven together seamlessly into a rock song. Had I heard the song on its own, I would have just thought it was an original, and not any kind of rearrangement of anything, because everything flows and fits together so naturally.
Love the style. I'm a big Weezer fan, and I see the similarity there that Dave mentioned, so I would naturally be a sucker for this style. The playing and singing sound a little loose, which makes it very organic sounding, but at the same time they are spot on. The lyrics are amazing as well.
I don't know what else to say. I seriously think everything about this song is perfect.
Arrow
on 2012-07-13 20:38:05
<Arrow> Which reminds me, I need to start reviewing more
<DragonAvenger> arrow
<DragonAvenger> http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02412/
<DragonAvenger> that one please
<Arrow> Oh god
<Arrow> I don't even know what to say about that one
<DragonAvenger> because its SO GOOD
<Arrow> Other than "I've been listening to this track at least once a day since it came out"
<DragonAvenger> for real
<Arrow> Like, I can't offer any actual legit commentary or criticism
<DragonAvenger> there is a reason
<DragonAvenger> my judgement of it
<DragonAvenger> is....short
<Arrow> All I could do in the review is just gush nonsensically
<Arrow> Actually, you know what?
<Arrow> I'll just post this convo text right in there AS a review
DrumJ8
on 2012-06-27 03:20:14
I think it's interesting that a bunch of posts said "first wasn't sure but now love it." I feel the same way, it was an acquired taste for me and I acquired it at 2nd listen. It reminds me of Zooey Deschanel and She & Him because their music for me is very summery and happy. Nice work.
TJCliff
on 2012-06-26 21:24:50
I put this on and sing with it to calm my 7 month old down. Totally awesome track. It reaffirms my desire to listen to all of the tracks that come out on this site, despite how I feel about the source game, because I REALLY disliked Windwaker! Great job Hot Freaks!
Mirby
on 2012-05-06 03:00:33
so one of my closest friends passed away last monday; of course, no one was hit as hard as his fiancé.
thinking about the lyrics in this song made me realize that it's probably rather fitting to how his fiancé feels right now (substituting "her" for "him" to make it work, of course)
so yeah, this song is now totally dedicated to them. at least, in my eyes it is.
YoshMaster
on 2012-04-14 23:06:02
Wow, this is one amazing vocal work!!!
I think I'm in love with that group... :D
But man this has a low volume...! I have to crank it up a lot...
UnholyGhost
on 2012-04-12 15:03:38
This is so beautiful!
It reminds me od the early Smashing Pumpkins somehow (which is a very good thing to me).
Thank you for sharing.
Benjamin Briggs
on 2012-04-09 02:57:41
this is one of the most noteworthy songs on this site
nails the style, to a capital T. and I disagree with anyone complaining about the vocals. they are perfect exactly the way they are
this song is amazing.
Dafydd
on 2012-04-07 07:50:27
I agree with the others who said they didn't like the vocals much in the beginning, and I also found the performance overly sloppy. But... this is just too catchy not to grow on me, just like it did on them :nicework: This is one of very few ReMixes I think would pass as a "normal" song to people who don't care for ReMixes (i.e. if you're not familiar with the source, there's no hint of this being a video game song, or a remix thereof), while still keeping plenty of references to the game in the lyrics. Plus, like Emunator said, the performance itself is like a nod to the original. Nice work!
ArmadonRK
on 2012-04-06 14:04:04
SwordBreaker;852770 wrote: Hale Bopp's "Summertime"

Shariq's comment about the "summertime vibe", pretz's mentioning a "throwback/vintage rock vocal arrangement" made me think the exact same thing. And given my deep and well established love of Hale-Bopp's mix, I must pay this song the highest compliment I can after mentioning it:
This did not disappoint.
<3
Joining my oft referred to playlist of great OCR vocal mixes.
PROTO·DOME
on 2012-04-06 08:43:54
I like the idea, and I really like the style, but the singer just hits too many flat notes for me.
EDIT- Yeah I said that this morning and now I love it. Fuck, that chorus.