In 1977, two spacecrafts left Earth. Their mission was a tour of the outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and eventually interstellar space. These, of course, were the two Voyager spacecrafts. Inside the spacecraft are the infamous “golden records,” a time capsule containing Earth’s natural sounds, human greetings in myriad languages, and music. To celebrate the release of their debut album Whatever It Is, we recently asked the band Hello Forever which tracks they would select for their own golden record, to blast off into interstellar space. Here’s what they chose.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Operations Manager
Yebba — “Evergreen”
Anand: My ears are always watchful for skillful, soulful vocals that make me shiver. The clarity of the riff at 1:55 is what set off my current obsession with Yebba (Abbey Smith).
Feist — “Intuition”
Lina: The whole world could be on fire, and this song can somehow still take you to a place of unprecedented warmth and comfort.
Radiohead — “Pyramid Song”
Lina: A glorious ode to existence and mortality, and the concept of time being completely cyclical and circadian. If I were to float off into the ether, this would be my soundtrack.
Justin Timberlake — “Pusher Love Girl”
Jaron: The first song I would choose for the golden record is “Pusher Love Girl” by Justin Timberlake. To me, this song fully embodies the feeling and emotion of The 20/20 Experience, which in my humble opinion is one of the most exquisite and musically ambitious pop records of the 21st century.
John Coltrane — “A Love Supreme, Pt. I – Acknowledgement”
Jaron: When making music (or creating at all for that matter), things can begin to feel predictable and it’s easy to get into a comfort zone — to not see the forest for the trees in a sense, and forget what it was that you set out to do. You lose that feeling and the connection to the purpose and the spirit that moved you in the first place. John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones are completely uninhibited in the improvised record A Love Supreme. Their commitment to that feeling and that experience being expressed through the music is a very significant thing for me. It reminds me of the spirit of that moment when I’m creating, brings me back to square one. Reminds me why I get up in the morning and do it again.
Parliament — “The Motor-Booty Affair”
Joey: Parliament, Funkadelic, and all supergroups led by George Clinton show the power of a true music collective. They created a community that transcends just playing an instrument, and defines a headspace and lifestyle.
Björk — “All Is Full of Love”
Molly: I like to think that love is universal, and according to the lyrics of this song, Björk does too. I think an interstellar being would appreciate the message of this song and enjoy the delivery.
Gilberto Gil — “Marginália II”
Sam: Gilberto Gil’s 1968 self-titled album is a transcendent, mind-altering masterpiece. It is a seminal work in Brazil’s great Tropicália movement (which we fiercely enjoy, study, and revere), combining many different styles including bossa nova, samba, psych rock, and chamber pop. “Marginália II” is full of elegant melodies, emotional chord changes, gorgeous vocals (performed by Os Mutantes), and extravagant orchestral arrangements (by Rogério Duprat). This album absolutely changed my life and what I thought was possible in pop music — a complete revelation. It is humbling, inspiring, cathartic and transformational music. Thank you Gilberto Gil for this album and so many others!
Los Tres Reyes — “Contigo”
Andy: This song always takes me back to my uncle’s backyard as Los Tres Reyes were played at every family get-together. The group was founded by two Mexican brothers and because my dad, also from Mexico, was in a band with his brothers growing up, it always reminds me of family. It’s a beautiful love song made even more beautiful because of it.
The Beatles — “And Your Bird Can Sing”
Sam: We need a second space capsule that’s just every single Beatles song. Can’t choose just one but we had to, lol, and this one is a thrill.
(Photo Credit, left: Brandon Weiss)