Let me tell you, I spend a lot of time behind my computer these days writing. Lots of hours. I switch a lot between working in silence and working with tunes and right now I’m listening to some great tunes. In fact, because I’m involved with a radio show periodically, and getting the pleasure of suggesting a few songs, I’m beginning to pay more attention to what songs really get me going and I came across Public Service Broadcasting out of England.
Listening to “Go,” is of course a jolt of nostalgia, but what got me thinking was how the song does a such a great job building to the moment when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. It’s something that great art finds a way to do, pull on heart strings and tighten them to that moment when each crank on the tuning peg fills you with that anticipation for the pop of the breaking string.
It was interesting enough for me to find out a bit about the album. That pursuit led me to this article by Simon Chandler on Tiny Mix Tapes that just dives a bit into the album The Race for Space:
That said, even if our “enlightened” cynicism and caution are the safer postures to adopt in a less Utopian 21st Century, the duo’s multicolored eclecticism and laser-guided escalations reside as an often irresistible testament to what we could achieve if only we dropped our defenses once in a while.
Woah, I wan’t expecting this from that. I mean, it’s just retro and catchy… I mean the title is… well… The Race for Space. Okay so I’m wrong. But the way Chandler (not thinking Friends, not thinking Friends) writes this album is about some pretty big stuff.
Then I remembered art should be about something. Which is funny because it’s easy to forget that when you listen to pop where many manufactured songs pop songs are about lust. (In all sorts of forms). It’s easy for me when I write to lose sight of that, because trying to write about why this one character problem matters to that character is hard enough to do well, to think about bigger issues, is something that’s feels big. Towering.
And these days when people talk about big issues, it’s rarely a debate but more of a shouting match. Michael Sandel does a good job discussing about the lost art of debate on TED
Art about something big, political, is as comfortable as a hot fart. But it has been in my mind a lot lately with the stories I’m wrestling with now. And the more I think about it, the more necessary it seems.
Anyways, if you haven’t listened to “Go,” do it. Simon Chandler’s description I thought was bang on and I think is a good enough reason to do it.
Admittedly, the album’s focus on backwards-looking instrumentation might not be to everyone’s taste, but I defy anyone who’s ever been fascinated by the mysteries of space to listen to the oceanic lull of “The Other Side” or each resolute “Go” in “Go!” and not feel something bristling inside them.