While I’m still trying to recover some self-respect after writing about that Future and Miley Cyrus music video last month — I’ve found that holding my breath until I pass out helps — more music is being released with sci-fi and science in mind, and all of it is better than that song was. We’ve got a couple of ditties from the bands Broken Bells and Metronomy, and one video featuring the once-thought-improbable instrument, the viola organista. But first and up top is a great song called “Difference a Day Makes,” by the prolific Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie.
From his 2013 release Takes Time, this song isn’t one with lyrics that will take you hours to figure out, but the tune and the message are worth remembering for much longer. Interpret it how you like, but I imagine he’s saying you can have all the problems or joys in the world, but a day later and you’re possibly back to square one, so never let yourself forget that things can change so easily. But maybe he’s talking about spending one more day with someone he loved, or having a flight delayed due to snow. I have no idea, really. But I like the song and the Lawnmower Man-era computer graphics for the ship hurtling through squared-off asteroids. Maybe there’s a little Gravity inspiration in there as well.
And speaking of a movie, this pair of Broken Bells videos below combine to make the short film After the Disco, by director Jacob Gentry, who co-directed one of my favorite horrors of the last 10 years, The Signal. Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, who, along with The Shins’ James Mercer, embodies the Broken Bells name, came up with a story concept and allowed Gentry to make whatever kind of a piece he wanted, to serve as a music video for the entire album, rather than just one or two songs.
In the film, Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) is a man ruled by his day-to-day life who fantasizes about being an astronaut, and Kate Mara (House of Cards) is his romantic foil. As things go along, Yelchin gets entirely too full of himself and ruins things for everyone, but it’s a nice, hypnotic ride that takes him there. Check out both parts of the video below.
Let’s interrupt the pop music onslaught for just a minute to bring up what is perhaps the coolest invention ever created. A few months back, musician Sławomir Zubrzycki somehow created the somewhat legendary viola organista, first conceived by Leonardo da Vinci back in 1488-1489, as depicted in his notebooks. The instrument works like a violin or viola in that rotating wheels vibrate the strings, but it’s all operated by a keyboard, making it also similar to an organ. Either way you look at it, the music it creates is heavenly, as seen in the video below.
And now we have my least favorite of this set, the song “I’m Aquarius” from the British electronica group Metronomy. The song really doesn’t do it for me, so I just muted it while watching this gorgeous and colorful video, which takes us and an astronaut through the universe of a space goddess and her giant cats. Plus, an explosion. Enjoy.