Friday, April 13, 2018

We Are All Astronauts - Doves



I listen to a lot of music at work, and I let myself go down a lot of rabbit holes, and among the most interesting is elaborate guitar music and other heavily ambient music. Furthermore, I listen to a lot of God is An Astronaut, that Irish guitar band I talked about back in August of 2013:

God is an Astronaut – All is Violent, All is Bright: http://colinkellymusicinreview.blogspot.ca/2013/08/god-is-astronaut-all-is-violent-all-is.html

So, it makes sense that youtube, which I am pretty much addicted to now, would sooner or later recommend music by We Are All Astronauts, given the similar band name and further similarities in mood and atmosphere. The song “Ether” comes up on the auto-play, and the name of the band intrigues me, I think it must be an offshoot of God is An Astronaut, so I let it ride and I listen. Whilst listening, I have the reaction of “what is this?” It is a good song, seven and a half minutes in length, and very absorbing and relaxing. Good stuff. I add to a playlist, so I remember it.

The next day a few more songs come up in the auto-play, they are fine, nothing stands out until “Doves” comes up. Early on in the song a voice speaks:

“In all our searching, the only thing we found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”

So naturally, my response is “what is this?”

“Doves” is a beautiful ambient song rich with layered sound and calming noise. Maybe I am a stickler for words, because almost all of my charism comes from my command of the English language, maybe as a moderate singer it is the only thing I can replicate from my favorite songs with any sort of success, but I like words, I often gravitate towards rich lyrics. The point is, a reason I got hung up on “Doves” more so than other We Are All Astronaut’s songs is the passing presence of the afore mentioned line and then later this fuller follow up:

“You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone. In all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”

I had my suspicions this was from a movie, and I quickly confirmed that I was correct, this is from “Contact.”

“Contact” was written by the great Carl Sagan, and I have read a few of his books, but I never read “Contact” which I believe is his only work of fiction, nor have I ever seen the movie starting Jodi Foster, hence why I failed to identify it right away.

Long time readers of this blog may remember I fondness of yet another guitar band, this time out of England, called Maybeshewill, and one of my most popular posts ever was me explaining all the movie references (quotes) from their music, back in March of 2013: http://colinkellymusicinreview.blogspot.ca/2013/03/maybeshewill-movie-quotes.html

I found it very charming how Maybeshewill incorporated movie quotes into their music in the place of lyrics, and We Are All Astronauts has accomplished the same sort of appeal in their song “Doves.”

An important discovery for learning more about We Are All Astronauts is their soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/weareallastronauts

They have a lot of music on soundcloud, a lot that is absent from youtube, I think. I have been going through the playlists and I have only begun to scratch the surface, I am kind of stuck on the “Blue Dot Series” which are over an hour long each. Given the earlier connection to Carl Sagan I was quick to identify the “Blue Dot Series” as a tribute to Mr. Sagan and his book “The Pale Blue Dot,” which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed.

I noticed a lot of music from artist I enjoyed mixed in the “Blue Dot Series,” like M83, Gotye and Bon Iver and I also discovered some new stuff I like, but mostly I enjoyed the inclusion of quotes by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sam Harris and of course, Carl Sagan.

The logical next move was to look up this band called We Are All Astronauts. No Wikipedia page, that’s unfortunate, because that is usually a good source of general information like, who are these people and where are they from, Wikipedia may not be perfect, but it is very reliable for that. They are very active on their facebook page, but all the about section says is: “We Are All Astronauts are an ambient, chillwave and progressive duo. Music makes the world go round.” So, there is two of them, I have no idea who they are, but I like what they are doing.

One thing I was unable to confirm was whether of not We Are All Astronauts have any connection to God is an Astronaut. I suspect the answer is no, and the similar names are just a coincidence, but it was a coincidence that doubtlessly helped me discover them, and so far that is working out pretty good.

“Doves” is the commanding favorite track of mine in their playlist so far, so I would recommend starting there, and check out the “Blue Dot Series” if you want six hours of chill background music to listen to.

- King of Braves

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