No Wonder Billie Eilish Likes Ilomilo So Much

Screenshot: Southend Interactive / Kotaku
Morning MusicMorning MusicSet your dial to Morning Music to enjoy friendly chat and great game music with other early risers. Coffee optional!

Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s daily hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. Today we’re checking out music from Ilomilo, a puzzle game so overwhelmingly delightful that Billie Eilish wrote a song about it.

One of my favorite games of all time, Southend Interactive’s Ilomilo (playlist / longplay / VGMdb) is a lovely little puzzle-adventure released in 2010 for the Windows Phone 7 and 2011 for Xbox Live Arcade. Friends Ilo and Milo take turns navigating levels built from patchwork crafted cubes. Each stage begins with the pair separated, and you’re tasked with navigating the twisting constructs to bring the fated pair back together. It’s a game about friends sticking together no matter what tries to come between them. The melancholy patchwork, inhabited by odd, stitched-together creatures, makes Ilomilo feel pleasantly like a faded old scrapbook.

The game’s music, composed by Daniel Olsén of Sayonara Wild Hearts (previously on Morning Music) and Device6 fame, beautifully supports the game’s pieced-together aesthetic. He evokes an old-timey feel with vinyl album artifacts and instruments evocative of simpler times, like accordion and melodica. Listen to the track “Cozy Couch.” It sounds to me like being sprawled out in my living room as a child in the late ‘70s, in those sleepy moments after the Saturday morning cartoons ended.

Southend Interactive / Daniel Olsén (YouTube)

My favorite track from the game is “March of the Ilomilos.” It’s a simple little tune, the sort of thing you’d expect ‘50s Boy Scouts to whistle as they march through the woods towards certain traumatization. Olsén plays with so many instruments here. Whistles. Flutes, Wood blocks. There’s a kazoo in there. If I could still walk, this is the song I want to accompany each step until I tumble into madness.

Southend Interactive / Daniel Olsén (YouTube)

I’m not as much a fan of Billie Eilish’s “Ilomilo,” the song from her 2018 album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. It’s just not my cup of tea. Still, I can feel the echoes of the game in her downbeat pop diddy, and appreciate anyone inspired by the game that inspired me to…well, write this post.

Hope that helps you all start your day off with a bit of a jingle and jangle. Couldn’t hurt, right? Share your thoughts on the songs, the game, or anything else you wish to chat about in the comments below. See you tomorrow!

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.



This article made my day. It just reminded me how video game soundtracks are a completely under appreciated category. Please make an annual top 10-20 tracks. There are so many games with unappreciated tracks like ilomilo