Music runs along many of the same lines as politics, but with much better outfits. Just as the traditional political values live through decades of representatives evolving around central themes, the threads of music’s core genres carry through the years, developing and changing with time and space.
With this in mind, Fremantle’s Spaceman are best described as a splinter group born out the core values of psychedelia, and borrowing ideas and angles from kraut rock, surf rock and lo-fi.
Not to say that Spaceman, or their debut release Palm Haus, are a political outfit. More that they stylistically pushed outwards from what could be stagnating traditional genres, towards a new way of thinking.
The latest offering from Spaceman is a video clip for their track It’s True I Think About You, striking a political balance between populist appeal and their vision as a band.
Spaceman are not about popular opinion, as proven by choosing glitter cassettes for their album release. Operating under values of autonomy and democracy, the band describe themselves as purists; undertaking and fine tuning every aspect of their representation from writing and recording through to promotion.
Unshackled by the usual kaleidoscopic colours and tripped out imagery of psych, Spaceman have played more to both the looming uncertainty of kraut rock and their own humour.
A generic office space throws off the psychedelic scent immediately, as the narrative commences around our somewhat sad protagonist. But as the frame fixates on apparently mundane objects, a newton’s cradle and a nodding bird take on hypnotic and inexplicably disconcerting qualities.
Subtly this scene is way more tripped out than you first think. And as a simple nosebleed assumes Hammer Horror proportions, the clip visually ties together Spaceman’s varied musical threads.
The mind numbing corporate setting nods towards the dirge like, repetitive kraut influence while an escalating nosebleed follows the urgent drumming and insistent melodies that form the foundation of It’s True I Think About You.
Loitering band members personify the dark side of Spaceman’s sound – which is a far cry from your rainbow glitter, Shangri-La style psych.
A questioning, tacit confrontation does little to answer the unfathomable plot-line, but does assert Spaceman’s assurance that really, you don’t need to worry about what’s going on. Just go with it, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable.
And this is where Spaceman hit the nail on the head in this deceptively simple clip, and in their music. Although you might recognise familiar elements across both, sonically and visually there is a lot more to digest than a first taste might suggest.
Collaborating with Human Dog on the video for It’s True I Think About You, the band present a departure from the recognisable face of psych music. Rather than submerge themselves in the old threads of genre, this one small step from Spaceman rethinks even our comfortable subgenres into new interpretations.