“And if I can’t hope, nothing’s ever gonna change.” So go the lyrics to Melbourne band Cable Ties’ song Hope, which is the soundtrack to a new independent game. In April, the band were invited to collaborate with game designer Cecile Richard and producer Maize Wallin on crafting the soundtrack to Richard’s game, Hope. The game, free online, is designed to challenge feelings of hopelessness and confront issues of anxiety and self-criticism.

Jenny McKechnie (left), Shauna Boyle and Nick Brown.

Jenny McKechnie (left), Shauna Boyle and Nick Brown.

The collaboration was the Indie Bands x Indie Developers pilot project of the Victorian Music Development Office, which partners indie musicians with indie video game creators. The VMDO has existed for just over two years, delivered by Music Victoria, specifically for the music industry. Katie Stewart, general manager of VMDO, was familiar with both Cable Ties and Richard’s work and saw a synergy between their raw, no-frills music and games respectively.

“When we started to talk about potential people to get involved, Cecile came up and aesthetically, Cable Ties was a really obvious fit for the way Cecile makes games,” says Stewart. “Their games are very DIY in feeling, which is very similar to Cable Ties. Cable Ties had an album release this year and a whole lot of touring lined up, so they’ve really felt the effects of the pandemic. For this particular project, they had a bit more time to get involved in our pilot project and they were really enthusiastic to work in this way.”

The song featured in the game Hope is from Cable Ties album Far Enough, released in March. The album has just been deemed the Best Rock/Punk Album in the 2020 Music Victoria Awards after four years and eight nominations across multiple categories for the band. Choosing the right song for the game was a collaborative effort.

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