EXANDRIA UNLIMITED PLAYLIST: DARIAX
Written by Christina on July 14, 2021
The good vibes continue with another character playlist inspired by Exandria Unlimited! ExU playlists drop on Wednesdays so check back here each week for some sweet sweet tunes!
These playlists are curated carefully by each of the Exandria Unlimited cast members. All of our playlists can be found on Spotify via the official Critical Role account or you can listen to the playlist directly embedded below.
This week’s playlist is brought to you by the man, the myth, the Dariax — Matthew Mercer! Take it away, Matthew!
Alrighty! So… you may be surprised by this, but Dariax’s playlist is meandering, chaotic, and odd. I know, I know, just go with me on this. Some themes I felt characterized different states of his lovely mind, while others hit points in his journey so far (and maybe hint at moments to come), and some still were just fun swings that snagged my (his) ever-wandering attention. It’s a zigzagging sprint alongside the world view of this impetuous, joyful mess of a dwarf.
1st of tha Month by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
This song has been a fav of mine since high school, exemplifying the chilliest of “carpe diem” moods. In this context, it evokes for me the feeling of waking up in the big city of Emon, taking in the morning sun in the bustling streets and looking to make the best of the day/week/month ahead without expectation. Do what you need to get by while having fun, take what comes at you, get in a little trouble, make a little coin, and likely getting in a little trouble while making a little coin.
Young Dumb & Broke by Khalid
This song is all I could think of in those early days of this crew crashing into each other and forming a ridiculous band of skilled dimwits. Proto-adventurers getting trashed between ventures, spending their meager gold pieces on drink and youthful flights of fancy as they look in front of them to a future of possibility unwritten. This is a song of humble beginnings, avoiding the call of responsibility as long as one can before it becomes inevitable.
Breakfast Machine by Danny Elfman
I believe Dariax sees himself as an idea man. A problem solver. A person who can quickly, and without needing thorough planning or intel, develop an unconventional answer to the challenge and eagerly get to it. This song really is the theme that should play any time he gets an idea and begins offering his ill-advised and confusing “plans” to the group. “See? Nothing to worry about. We got this.”
Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
Dariax is a creature of impulse, racing towards whatever lights the fire of excitement within his heart. If something looks sufficiently shiny, he’s gonna go for it, and its in that anticipation that he finds the true spark of life… and woe be those who try to get in his way. This song is his theme song: filled with drive and joy, he’s an engine running on laughter and momentum hoping to stoke those flames within his companions so they can ALL be having a good time.
Lucky by Radiohead
This song, I feel, better encapsulates the experiences of those AROUND Dariax. Being his friend is a fulltime job at times, and the challenges of keeping him from being his own worst enemy makes most relationships brief ones. Watching someone you are personally invested in be unable to see the destruction in front of them, sometimes of their own making, and having to save them from themselves… and never quite learning their place in their own misfortune. It can be taxing…
Pay Your Way In Pain by St. Vincent
…and this often the outcome. I imagine Dariax as a being forged through the stumbles, having whittled away his fear of failure by repeated failure. He runs, he falls, he gets back up and runs harder. In some ways this is his key to occasional success, but it also (like the song above explores) leaves those around him burned out and quick to abandon him. A lifetime of finding himself on the ground and suddenly alone has taught him that, in many ways, that everyone in Exandria has to eventually pay their way in pain.
Beautiful Strange by Prince
As a person who carries a relatively unknown power within him, Dariax certainly finds himself drawn to the mystery of darker, external forces. He’s eager to walk just close enough to the fire that it begins to burn, and that orbital dance where curiosity balances with self-preservation can make for interesting conflict. When a particular crown rolls into the life of this troupe, it also brings an allure of danger and the unknown… and this underappreciated piece by Prince really kind of hits that seductive dance to me.
Sissy That Walk by RuPaul
If you tell him you need a distraction, Dariax will fucking DELIVER. Inspired by his time spent in Kymal, he’s seen enough shows to pickup a trick or two, and his embodiment of Tharla Starr proved to maybe feel a little more comfortable than he expected. Through all the ribbons and glitter, there is an unstoppable smile. This song is the stealth theme you didn’t know could work.
Follow the Leader by Eric B. & Rakim
In his eyes, Dorian has his shit together. He’s clever, quick, confident, and Dariax sees him as the leader of this troupe… even if he needs to convince Dorian of it himself. This is the song that accompanies Dariax’s grin as he takes direction from his genasi friend and falls into line. If Dorian’s got a plan, then nothing can go wrong!
New Cydonia by Starcadian
Dariax grew up a country boy who came of age and ran for the cities that promised so much more. In some ways, they certainly brought unique hurt into his life, but also offered him a broader and more exciting world view. His time in these Tal’Dorei cityscapes brought him endless opportunities to challenge himself, meet new and fascinating people, and maybe find a grand purpose in this crazy world. To me, this is the song that fills his mind as he wanders away from the lights and bustle of the big city, thinking on where its taken him, and eager to return.
Steer the Canyon by Big Black Delta
Moving as a crew into the unknown, pushed with hurried excitement by unseen forces towards a greater destiny towards the shadowy promise of danger. Are they in charge of their fate, or has Fate come to keeping them charging on? This is my theme for the rush into the wilds, driving ever forward to meet whatever awaits.
Duck Tales – The Moon Theme by Hiroshige Tonomura (performed by Lame Genie)
When the cards are down and all seems lost, there’s that moment when the heroes look at each other and within themselves to find that lost spark of hope and strength. They rise up as a unit, inspired by the will to protect each other, and rush into the fray in a heroic frenzy, acting as one, and deliver the epic, final blow to the evil that once held the upper hand. This… this is what plays in that moment.
Fly Like An Eagle by Seal
Exandria is a strange place filled with wonder, danger, and strife… and this band of weirdos is building a kinship in the face of it all in hopes of maybe making it a little bit better than they found it. Together, they lift each other up, and who knows what they might accomplish. Maybe even Dariax one day may find his wings and fly like an eagle?
Official character art by Hannah Friederichs (@agarthanguide)