New music: Gruff Rhys – Whale Trail

Gruff Rhys has composed the music to an iPhone game about guiding a whale through a Technicolor world … could anyone be better suited to the task?

In 2011 it is not enough just to record a song, release it and then hope that people hear it. No, you need advert tie-ins, TV soundbeds, film soundtracks and, in the case of Gruff Rhys's new single, the theme to a new computer game about Willow the Whale. Created by Neil McFarland – who has previously collaborated with Rhys on Super Furry Animals' DVD albums, Rings Around the World and Phantom Power – the Whale Trail iPhone game involves guiding a whale through a Technicolor world, collecting bubbles along the way that will help you avoid the nasty Baron van Barry. It's actually the perfect setting for a new Gruff Rhys song given that nearly everything he does has an otherworldly feel. A Guardian exclusive, Whale Trail – which will be accompanied by Space Dust #2 when it's released on 20 October – is an undulating, delicate thing that opens with softly strummed guitars before playful synths deliver those perfectly pitched computer game noises that everyone secretly loves. It's not just background music either, with a lyric that talks about motivating people ("this is a motivational song") and even throws in a bit of politics: "Just tax the rich and give to causes that will cause the pain to cease."

• Gruff Rhys starts his UK tour on 2 October.


Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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