Cuphead is jazztastic
While the music is faster than music of the 1910s-30s on the whole – it needs to be fast to give a sense of urgency to the action – it’s incredibly reminiscent of early jazz. ‘Inkwell Isle One’ and ‘Forest Follies’ feel splendidly ragtime, with a piano plinking in a way that makes me imagine the frantic scenes from a 1910s Keystone comedy, while ‘Floral Fury [boss]’ gives off a Xavier Cugat-style Latin vibe. The start of ‘Sugarland Shimmy’ isn’t ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ but has that quality, though it quickly becomes something very different, still with a 1930s Big Band feel. Maddigan has said Duke Ellington was his biggest influence while composing, and it really shows.
Cuphead soundtrack on YouTube while I work, and greatly enjoying it. Annoyingly for me, there doesn’t seem to be a way to get it on CD yet. It is available on vinyl, as there’s a big market for videogame records. As I don’t own a record player, I guess I’ll be sticking with YouTube for now.
And, in case you’re wondering, I haven’t played Cuphead. Besides the fact that it’s not available on PS4, which is what I own, it is, by all accounts, absolutely nails-hard. One of the best gamers I know took days to complete it. I’ll just have to keep listening to the soundtrack.