Sunflower

April 2, 2009 at 9:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 102 Comments
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I’ve been really busy this year with a few different projects, one of which (PopCap’s “Plants vs. Zombies”) is just about complete and set for release in May.  I had a lot of fun working on this project because the game itself is so creative and funny that it proved to be a unique challenge coming up with music that actually matched the theme.  You’re basically defending your home from waves of awesomely ridiculous zombies using an arsenal of plants that each have their own flavor and personality.  It’s a tower defense game with elements of real-time strategy, so it appeals both to casual players and Starcraft-fans like myself.  And of course, George made it, so you know it’s gonna be awesome.  So about two months ago, after finishing all the in-game music and SFX, I decided that I wanted to make a funny theme song… I thought it would be awesome if the song was basically a dialogue between the Sunflower (the plant I’m holding in this picture) and the Zombies.  Once I was finished, I showed George and he said, “hey, let’s make a funny flash video to go along with it!”  So Rich flew down for a week, and everyone worked to put that together… it all felt pretty spontaneous, but I’d like to think that the result was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.  A couple weeks ago, the marketing team suggested we make a Japanese version as well, and being that I’m half Japanese, I decided I should represent.  So I translated the lyrics, and got help from my Dad to refine them… originally I was going to leave the Zombie lyrics (sung by George) in English.  But as I was going through the Japanese lyrics, I started mumbling them in angry-zealous Japanese and thought, “this is really funny… I bet my Dad could do this.”  So he came over and we recorded that while my mom played Twilight Princess downstairs… (and yes, she’s plays WoW and Animal Crossing).  I have one more quick story: I had to come up with a sound effect for butter hitting a head, so I made a bowl of oatmeal and recorded the sound of throwing a stick of butter into the oatmeal.  I wasn’t pleased with the result, and I thought, “this would be so much better if I had a real head to throw the butter at.”  So I asked George if I could borrow his head.  He knelt down by the microphone, and I threw the stick of butter at his head about 20 or 30 times… let me tell you… that is the best “butter hitting head” sound you’ll find anywhere!  And apparently, butter doesn’t wash off very easily.  So if you plan to do this, make sure you have plenty of time to shower afterwards.

Just in case, here is the English mp3 of the song:

Zombies On Your Lawn

Here is the Japanese mp3:

Uraniwa ni Zombies ga!

And here is the music video… Enjoy!

102 Comments »

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  1. Awesome song! I’d love to do a remix of this, probably a Drum’n’Bass remix. :D

  2. We love your songs, keep up the good work!

  3. This song has infected my brain like the zombies u sing of fighting!

  4. I often go years without finding such infectious music.

    I’d like you to know that you have broken the gap and I have now fallen in love with your singing in the Zombies video. It’s interesting because of how ridiculous the entire concept is. Very entertaining.

    I’m going to do myself a favor and check out the rest of your music, thank you for making my evening.

  5. addicting, nice voice =D
    <3 you’re perty too.

  6. I loved it instantly when I heard it, then I listened to the Japanese version and loved it even more! Amazing work.

  7. [...] Here is a link to her story of the song https://shigi.wordpress.com/2009/04/02/sunflower/ [...]

  8. I love the song, also you look like my old friend, Sam, you’re hot!

    ….Sorry

  9. I just bought the game because of this song. Well done.

    The game is quite fun as well. :)

  10. [...] puts this over the top in fucking kawaiiness. MP3’s of both the English and Japanese version are available on her blog, and are a perfect addition to your cute J-Pop songs about zombies [...]

  11. the song is really catchy and cute,love it!!!!
    =)

  12. I’d love to get the lyrics to the Japanese version! I can get some of them, but since I can only guess on phonetics, it’s a sad selection I’m afraid. Beautiful work, I’m so glad you did this project so I can discover you!

  13. [...] can read more about the game and the music at Laura’s blog and even download MP3s of the song in English and [...]

  14. Very cute, very funny. You had my fiancée and me laughing. We’re partial to the Japanese version, but the Zombies are perfect in English. :) Thanks for posting the MP3s, very cool to see all this come together.

  15. Extremely catchy song, it’s been on my mp3-player since the day I first heard it!:D
    I’m currently studying japanese in Tokyo so I was thrilled to find the song in japanese as well, gotta play it for my teachers. ^^
    Great game, great song… Sometimes the world’s just perfect!

  16. Your music is wonderful!

  17. I love this song and posted the video on my blog the other day. I’ll probably link back here in another post so people can download it from you. It’s brilliant, and I’ll be back to peruse the rest of the site soon.

  18. Thank you fo much for making both versions of this track available here for download! I really enjoy this song, and being a sound designer I LOL’d at your story of the butter sound effect. Great job! We review PvZ on episode 8 of my podcast “Across the Nerdaverse”. (http://nerdaverse.com)

    Thank you once again for the great tracks!

  19. Definitely one of my two favorite zombie songs of all time! (the other one being “Re:Your Brains” of course)

    Love the game and love the song, and it inspired me to check out the rest of your work (which is how I found this site). Fantastic stuff! I may have to buy some of these other games just to hear more of it. :-)

    Thanks from a fan!

    -bluesage

  20. Somebody (else) definitely seems to like your song:

  21. Hello!

    Just wanted to let you know how much we adore your sunflower song. It’s so upbeat and determined! You’re a great composer and performer.

    Well done on the japanese version, too!

  22. Hey – LOVE the two tracks! You may be interested to know that my friend Christine put the track in her J-Pop/K-Pop podcast, POP 88:
    http://popcast88.com/2009/05/12/pop-88-32-the-red-chapel/

    And we blogged it on our blog, 8Asians:
    http://www.8asians.com/2009/05/08/laura-shigihara-sings-the-catchiest-song-ever-for-plants-vs-zombies/

  23. Congrats on the success of your song! The composition totally matches the whole lighthearted feel of PvZ; you’ve gained a new fan :)

    Nice work on the Japanese version as well – you managed to make the lyrics more whimsical than I would’ve thought. Not to say that your dad didn’t do a good job too, but I’d like to see someone redo the zombie lyrics in a more zombie-like tone.

    • Thank-you to everyone for all of your comments :) I really appreciate all the support and kind words! You are all so awesome!

      Just to clarify about the Japanese-zombies: We actually thought if instead of having my Dad talk like a traditional zombie, it would be hilarious to have him talk like one of those over-zealous Japanese gameshow hosts… The juxtaposition of a voice traditionally associated with eccentric Japanese media personalities with phrases like, “noumiso taberuzou!!” cracked me up so much :P

  24. The “Still Alive” of 2009. Bravo, shigi.

  25. Insanely addictive and very well done. I’ve been listening to both versions at work everyday for a while now and you can relay to Pop Cap if you like that your song was half the reason why I purchased their game. The Japanese version is of particular interest to me as I am slowly attempting to learn the language.

    I was looking through the rest of your site and noticed your other music. Only one of them seems available for purchase, are you going to make the other two albums available? I seemed to have problems sampling the music as it wouldn’t fully load. I noticed you said the pop music part of the site hasn’t been updated in awhile. Do you have any plans to update it?

  26. Hi!
    I have been listening to your song (English and Japanese) for a couple of days. It’s really addictive, and you might have yourself an internet meme on your hands. See what happens when you play around with flowers and zombies…:-P

    by the way, the video just hit 300,000 views on Youtube. Congratulation!!!:-)

  27. ひまわり…

    上腦……

  28. Loved the song!!! Just one little question, could it be possible to have a karaoke version of it? That will be just awesome! :)

  29. Just wanted to drop you a line about the PURE AWESOMENESS of your work. Keep on going!

  30. awesome!

  31. My wife just finished the game (yeah the Giant Zombie Robot went down!) and we were watching the rewarding video and wanted to check out what else you’ve been up to!
    None of us is Japanese but I can understand it and we’re watching subtitled J-drama together and really enjoyed your Japanese version of the song.
    Tell your dad he should sign up for American-Asian Idol ;-)

  32. [...] think, is the solar power collecting Sunflower who performs a music video as composed and voiced by Laura Shigihara (that cool and funny video is one of the reasons why I got interested in this game!). Incidentally, [...]

  33. The music video got me interested in PVZ! And now I’m addicted to both the video and the game! Absolutely awesome work. :D

    When I showed the video to my friend, she agreed it would make an awesome ringtone. Can we request a “There’s a Zombie on your Phone” mp3 soundbyte (replacing “lawn” in the lyrics) and making it part of the PVZ downloadables section? :D

    Anyhoo, thanks for such great music. Hope you come up with more! :)

  34. You are so talented! I love the song and video but totally agree with the above comment of making a ringtone! Nice blog too :)

  35. AHHHHH EARWORM

  36. You’re a beautiful girl with a beautiful voice – and great talent, too!
    I love your Plants vs Zombies tracks!
    Very cheerful and sunny tunes ;)

    Do keep up the great work ^_^

    • Is the pun intended? you know, sunny tune, because it’s sung by a sunflower.

  37. I have to admit, I bought this game just after playing the trial and listening to the music, its sooo amazing!

    Of course, the rest of the game is very good as well, but the music was what kept me playing till the end.

    Congratulations!

  38. I’d love to see a CD release of the song. MP3s are nice, but nothing beats a hard copy or a lossless version.

  39. This song is soooo awesome!

  40. This is the cutest song I’ve heard in a LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNG time. I love both the English and Japanese versions too. I actually like the Japanese version better enough though I have no clue what you’re singing.

  41. I love the Plants vs Zombies soundtrack and I will wait patiently until the OST it is released. I will then give you my hard earned money in exchange for the ability to listen to the theme for the rooftop level anywhere I want to. Please make it happen! :D

  42. Great work! great song. The game was great and music + sound was top notch.

    Probably best game I’ve played since Portal.

    Love your voice :D

  43. I bought the game for the music too. The game itself is good but the music really make the game. Great job, keep up the good work.

  44. That is best song in all my life!

  45. i was looking at that sunflower picture and i couldnt help but want it for myself

    is there anyway i could buy one of those? i love it so much lol
    (the sunflower portrait your holding XD)

  46. I’m loving your song! <3 ^^ both English and Japanese versions :)

  47. After finding out about who sang the theme, I had to find your blog. It lead me to GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=959255&topic=49595947) and found this. Wow… keep it up! Will there be any more songs by you for any more games in the future?

  48. GameInformer :: June 2009 :: (Impulse – The Games of Summer 2009: Plants vs. Zombies) Page 21, Upper-Right :: Final Sentence

    The game’s a blast, but be warned of the infectious theme song. It will never leave your head. Ever.

    I agree, Laura, I agree.

  49. “Ultimate Battle”, is like mixing the best prime-time news music your ears could possibly take, without exploding from “radness overload” (compare to trying to play Crysis Warhead on a graphing calculator). Then blending it with what should have been a Sonic air level theme.

  50. Love the song! Gonna use it as my ringtone XD
    Many congratulations!

  51. A very funny and catchy song, real awesome work, loved it after finishing PvZ and just had to know who Laura Shigihara is … a great song that goes hand in hand with a great game, definitely a keeper in my playlist :)

  52. Your song is so cute. :)

    I finished the game to listen your song XD.

  53. wasn’t surprised to discover you are as pretty as your voice – keep up the amazing work!

  54. Excellent song:
    Have you ever watched this kid?

    XD

  55. Well, plenty of others have said it, but I love love LOVE this song. So catchy and quirky; it’s pefect for the game.

    Thanks for posting the MP3s!

  56. Love the game, but when it comes to the ending, the song hooked to me in an instant! Nice voice n definitely a nice song! :)

  57. The music video is what got me to buy the game. Before that it had just flown under my radar. Good soundtrack too! Hopefully the OST will come out one of these days. Very Danny Elfman-esque!

  58. Your songs are almost as cute as you ;)

  59. I was shown the video yesterday by a friend, and I had to try the game. I ended up buying it, and I must say I love it. The music in it is awesome. Now I want to play this song, could you share the sheet music for it?

  60. Ahh I can’t stop listening to it! It’s so wonderful ^_^

  61. Beeeyouteefull voice.
    Intoxicating.

  62. Why is the Part where the Guy Screams NOOO! Not in the Downloadable versions of the song?

    • I think it sounds better with out that part ;-) they kind of cut the “NOOO!” short if the first place :-)

  63. I loved your song, i just finished the game… loved it!! :)
    I’d like to know if there is any way i could get the full ost of the game, i just love the music :P

  64. Fantastic!

  65. It’s such a nice song. I like it so much. :)

  66. nice voice
    <3

  67. You song is make my cry… Nice voice, but sunflower is very very lovely i cry ;(

  68. thank you so much for this song. it’s too catchy to fail!

  69. dudette. I’m STILL listening to this song. I just had an urge to watch the video 3 minutes ago and I thought I should just download the MP3 and put it on my iPod.. and yep I did. so many thanks for this awesomeness

  70. Hello, my name is Henry. This is my favorite game in the world. I liked that music video, especially in Japanese. You did a good job on the music. I am six and I am your biggest fan.

    Bye,
    Henry (as dictated to mom)

    • Hi Henry, thank-you so much for your comment :) I’m really happy that you’re enjoying the game and its music!

  71. I love this game, it is soooo cute <3 and this song is really really cute xD

  72. I really like your songs!, i would really appreciate it if you
    could make downloadble sheet music for your songs like LoonBoon
    for piano because i really really want to play it :)

  73. I’ve been trying to play LoonBoon by ear but i can only get the first 8 notes :(

  74. WOW! You just made my day, I’ve had this song (both versions) running all day now. You’ve just got yourself a HUGE fan, I’ll keep looking for more songs from you!

  75. great song! catchy tune.. i was wondering if anyone could re-do the video with the japanese voice instead. :D

  76. great song, i love it!

    Regards
    ccidade@yahoo.com

  77. I really like the music … especially when playing himself in accompanied by a melancholy pop .. I really love it

    http://electricguitar-lessons.com/learn-to-play-bass-guitar

  78. [...] more exotic avenues include the music video which garnered additional interest for Popcap’sPlants vs Zombies. “It all felt pretty [...]

  79. Hi there! Well, this comment is quite late, but I just discovered your website and I wanted to say I LOVE this song! ^_^

    I played Plants vs. Zombies and I thoroughly enjoyed both the gameplay and your accompanying music. Then, when I thought things couldn’t possibly get more awesome, BAM!, the credits hit me… XD

    So thank you for adding so much to the Plants vs. Zombies experience with your music and thank you for sharing these mp3′s with us. =D

    (Oh, and I just sent in a form on the Popcap Games website asking for a PvZ soundtrack CD. Let’s hope they’ll allow it one of these days. ^_^)

  80. Thanks, Laura, for all of you and your team’s hard work! I was shown this game by a friend and I just had to have it! I run a hobby club for war game miniatures and when I brought my laptop in one night and played PvZ, people were laughing hysterically at the names of the different plants and zombies, instead of playing their games. :D

    So even after six months or so from the game’s release, people are still discovering it and eating it up!

    And on a side note, this is the most fun I’ve had with a video game in probably the last few years, and I play all of the major title console games.

    Nice work!

  81. [...] Swordplay also did some detective work and turned up the identity of the singer behind the MTV: A pretty Japanese lady by the name of Laura Shigihara. [...]

  82. can i have a full lyrics of the english version… i’m a one PvsZ addict! ^__^

  83. I really love the game. I was looking for you because the moment I heard your voice, I fell in love with it. Keep doing a good job and say hi and thanks for me to the other creators of the game. God bless!

  84. Dear Laura:
    I am 11 years old and I love both the game and your song especially. I’d like to ask if you have the piano music for your song. I would love to play it with my friend for our school talent show. Thank you so much–Amin

    • Hi Amin, I’m really glad that you enjoyed it! I think it’s really cool that you guys want to play this music for your talent show ^_^ Luckily, Sebastian Wolff uploaded sheet music for some of the Plants vs. Zombies music a little while ago. You can find it at his website. Good luck!

  85. Laura hello.
    Just played pvz on iPhone and heard ur song.
    Really awsome and catchy song and tune!
    Thanks

  86. I need that song, is there anyway to get it on a cd or off of iTunes?

  87. THANK YOU Ms. Shigihara for singing the song. I can’t imagine the complete without your song! Arigatou ne and to your dad!

  88. luv it!

  89. [...] Sunflower « mybluedream そしてなんと、なぜか日本語版テーマ曲「Uraniwa ni Zombies ga!」なんてものまで。 声質がずいぶん近いと思ったら、作詞・作曲・ボーカルのLaura Shigiharaさんが英語・日本語両方歌ってるんだそうだ。 [...]

  90. Iv’e even downloaded your music great huh!

  91. Downloaded the 2 versions!

  92. AWWW this ROCKS!!

  93. I love this track so much. I’m working on a cover of it right now.

  94. At last I found the PVZ Soundtrack. The song is pretty cool!

    ***** 5 star rate and two thumbs up =b =b

  95. I love the video. The song is great alone, but the video makes it hilarious. My favorite part is when you see the zombot dancing. Just one question. Why is there a cattail next to your name in the end?

  96. I really love your songs and voice :)
    I happened to know your songs from the game “PlantsVsZombies”
    Really want to appreciate that game because it lets me know your songs.
    (Of course I like the game, too. It’s very addicting)
    Me and my boyfriend listen your songs everyday.
    From a huge fan from South Korea


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