Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Race for Space

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about Public Service Broadcasting's second album and what it might be like. I speculated that it might be - indeed, should be - a concept album, similar to their WW2-themed EP The War Room. But, y'know, longer.

I also recounted some suggestions from people on Twitter:

Oh, and to my delight, I actually received a response from the band shortly afterwards:

Now, this was back in July, when we new nothing about PSB LP #2. We now know quite a bit: we know that the new album is called The Race for Space, and we know that it's slated for release on the 23rd of February, 2014. We know that this is the artwork...

'The Race For Space' CD pre-order

...and we know what one of its tracks sounds like...

...and we know, uh, whatever this teaser trailer tells us...

I love love LOVE how they've tied the new album in with previous hit Everest.

...but, most importantly, we know (or, at least, we can reasonably assume) that my wish for a proper PSB concept album is set to come true. The Race for Space looks very much like it will be a space-themed album, just as The War Room was a war-themed EP, and I for one can't wait to see what kind of astronomical company Gagarin is keeping on the final tracklist.

Ah, but what of those other predictions? Christopher's "samples from a different country" suggestion appears to have been Jossed, although I suppose Gagarin is a Russian-themed track, so we could reasonably expect to hear spoken word samples from China and the USA (i.e. the other two countries that have sent people into space). Perhaps British space entrepreneur Richard Branson will even make a vocal cameo?

Neil's forecast, on the other hand, seems to hold a lot more water. "70s/80s-type samples", he requested, and sure enough, lead single Gagarin is backed by a funkariffic brass section and a rather delicious guitar part, either of which could well have fallen through a wormhole from the year 1970.

Still, with all of that said, much remains unknown about The Race for Space. Will the other songs have that funky feel, or will it be a smorgasbord of different musical styles? Will we solely be focusing on the Space Race era (1955-1972), or will there be references to more recent expeditions?

Watch this space, I guess - you know I'm going to be all over that new album when it finally arrives. 

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