Out now from Brooklyn’s Big Girl: ‘Science Fiction’. Music to mix potions / do crimes to.
“Science Fiction” may be the only love song I’ve ever written. Maybe that’s a reflection of me and maybe that’s a reflection of the people I’ve loved. Of course I’ve written songs about love… always with a layer of cynicism or protective irony.
“Science Fiction” is different. It’s a realization. One of those songs where you discover something about yourself and the way you see the world while you write it and it changes you.
I’ve been on a sci-fi novel reading kick myself, especially since the start of the pandemic. Ursula Le Guin and Octavia Butler are my favorites. And I see a cultural gravitation towards sci-fi as well with the Dune remake coming out, Lil Nas X’s “Montero” and other various emergences in pop-culture.
Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing, seeking a comfortable distraction that reminds you of being a kid. Or maybe it’s escapism — longing for a way out, temporarily visiting a fantastical world, perhaps motivated by a deep-seated fear that our world may be more transient than we realize.
What I find most intriguing is how relatable science fiction is. They’re all human stories written by human authors essentially about the same things all stories are about: love, power, war, the god question, strange emotional creatures with tentacles.
The thing that makes science fiction so special and perhaps even more relatable is the elevated stage the stories inhabit. The environment is not restricted by physics or the limits of the world we know. The planet, the creatures, the laws of nature are made just as grand and dramatic as the emotions we feel, which can at times only be described as otherworldly in their scale — emotional truths unearthed by physical fictions.
Coming of age is an exiled young duke roaming a vast desert planet with a terrible, powerful destiny. We find in the Left Hand of Darkness that truth is not a noun that fits neatly into a binary, but is a verb. Specifically it is the action of dragging a heavy burden uphill through snow for months on a winter planet where every person contains all genders and none at the same time.
In “Science Fiction”, I give myself over to the grand stage of my emotions. We are celestial bodies in orbit. I wanna breathe your air, lay in your daisies, and meet you at the chapel in Vegas. Through the fantasy I find a pinhole of truth, old as fire and cave paintings. I hate to say this, I really do — It’s the reason I’ve always avoided writing songs about this. But the truth is love. And noticing for the first time, the sensation of an ancient wheel grinding on and alive in me. It’s painfully mundane and extra-terrestrial all in the same breath. And… it is amazing (like, “Amazing Grace” amazing), simply inexplicable, miraculous and morbid, and amazing as science fiction.
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