Naughty Dog VP Neil Druckmann has confirmed the acoustic version of New Order’s ‘True Faith’ used in a recent trailer for The Last of Us Part II was indeed inspired by musician Lotte Kestner’s existing cover of the song. Druckmann, creative director on The Last of Us Part II, explained the situation as an “oversight.”
“Ellie’s rendition of ‘True Faith’ was inspired by Lotte Kestner’s haunting cover of the song,” said Druckmann via Twitter. “Due to an oversight on our end, she wasn’t credited as intended. Our deep apologies – we are rectifying this ASAP.”
Ellie’s rendition of “True Faith” was inspired by Lotte Kestner’s haunting cover of the song. Due to an oversight on our end, she wasn’t credited as intended. Our deep apologies — we are rectifying this ASAP. We hope that @lottekestner receives the recognition she deserves.
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) June 10, 2020
Seattle, Washington-based singer/songwriter Kestner pointed out the similarities to Naughty Dog and Druckmann via Twitter late last week, calling the version used in the game’s trailer a “replica” of her own track, released in 2011 on her album Stolen.
“I wrote original parts not in the original song that are copied exactly by whoever covered it,” wrote Kestner. “I am heartbroken.”
Kestner has since removed that post and noted her thanks.
So proud this music has found a home in such an amazing project. Thanks to Neil, Naughty Dog and everyone at Sony. https://t.co/FJ2r5Xgbgs
— Lotte Kestner (@lottekestner) June 10, 2020
Towards the end of Kestner’s cover is a hummed vocal segment, which has been replicated at the end of the version ostensibly sung by Ellie in the trailer. This hummed melody does not appear in the original 1987 new wave synth-pop track by New Order, either as vocals or an instrument solo. To compare, listen to Kestner’s cover, the trailer, and the original New Order song.
Luke is Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office. You can find him on Twitter sporadically @MrLukeReilly.