There is nothing more annoying to me than singing. I'm not talking about karaoke, a classic pastime; I'm talking about the folks who just sing to themselves. Doing chores. At random. It drives me nuts. When an embarrassing video of a who's who of Hollywood singing John Lennon's "Imagine" circulated yesterday, I imagined that Michael Scott GIF screaming "Nooooooooo." And now, singing is all my villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons do. I brought this hell upon myself.
Over my 70 hours with Animal Crossing: New Horizons so far, I have done a number of things to better life on my island of Sunset. I put up Bernie posters that I designed on easels outside of everyone's home, to show support for my preferred presidential candidate. I made a cute little outdoor "movie" area with a film projector spinning (though it doesn't play anything); I put a beautiful bathtub on a cliff, decorating the area around it like it was a hot spring. And lastly, with every music player I've steadily bought or collected from flying balloons, I set them to play one song only: "Comrade K.K." It is the biggest mistake I've ever made.
"Comrade K.K." is a song that dates back to the earliest Animal Crossing games. It's a cheeky song with a Soviet Union-sort of vibe, complete with a quasi-accordion. It's more upbeat in New Horizons than its past iterations, where it's a more somber song. With the Democratic Socialist energy pulsating from the Bernie signs and communal utilities like money trees I put up everywhere, I thought making every music player I set around my island play it would be funny, right? It would be like Animal Farm Crossing, but if actual equality won out in the end. Then it got annoying. One afternoon I heard the same tune in a spot I hadn't placed a music player: and it was in a different animal's voice. It was not K.K. crooning. It was my neighbor, Renee the rhino.
Slowly, more and more of my villagers took to singing along to the song. In the plaza, two gathered around Mitzi the cat as they sang together. I eventually stopped playing the music—instead setting the music players to "random" to play all the songs I've accrued through the shop—but it stopped nothing. They still mostly sing "Comrade K.K." to themselves when they're in a happy mood. I cannot escape my comrades, nor their joyful song that I thrust upon them as a gag. This is how the farm feels after it wins the revolution and still finds itself under authoritarian rule.
I don't know how to stop it. Since putting it on random, I caught Naomi the cow yesterday singing another K.K. song that I didn't immediately recognize in the town square. I have accepted that this is my new fate, but hopefully I won't hear "Comrade K.K." in every nook and literal cranny (not necessarily the shop, Nook's Cranny) of my island of Sunset. Take this as a lesson, dear readers: Do not let the same song play everywhere on your island.
Villagers singing to themselves is not necessarily new to the series. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, if characters were in a good mood, they'd sing whatever you composed as the town's theme to themselves. In the spin-off Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, villagers sing K.K. Slider songs at the concert hall you design. The addition of villagers singing K.K.'s songs to themselves in New Horizons lends more credence to the nomadic dog musician's popularity in the world of Animal Crossing. His music lives on in New Horizons through in-game songs you can buy with Bells in the ATM-like shop.
K.K.'s music still plays at certain villagers' homes too, if they have a music player of some sort. For instance, every time I visit my favorite resident Rosie, she's listening to "Bubblegum K.K.," an undoubted classic in the K.K. Slider repertoire.
The villagers singing along to whatever music you play around town is a nice added touch to the world of Animal Crossing, even if it's ended up driving me kind of nuts. It makes the community you build and live in feel a bit more dynamic than in past games. It won't be long until the rest of y'all can see it, as tonight at midnight ET / 9 p.m. PT, Animal Crossing: New Horizons goes live. Though I downloaded the day one patch that implements multiplayer last night, I've yet to formally check it out, but I intend to do so this evening and will have impressions (hopefully) tomorrow on it. For more on New Horizons, check out my review, which I position as a letter to my long lost best buddy Anchovy. Come back to me, dude.