There’s a fine tradition in pop music singing about journeys to the stars – Elton John had ‘Rocketman’, David Bowie had quite a few, including ‘Starman’ and ‘Space Oddity’, and Irish duo Jedward sang about their ‘Pop Rocket’ which was shooting straight for the stars. Now Brooklyn band Overlord join the star bound set with their song, ‘Mission To Mars’, the lead track from their new album, ‘The Well-Tempered Overlord’, which is set for release on September 9.
George Pasles, songwriter for Overlord, is fascinated by science fiction and space travel, and the song, ‘Mission To Mars’, takes an ill-fated trip to Mars and turns it into a metaphor romantic alienation, and the limits and dangers of human ambition.
Clever lyrics, such as:
Objects are pulled helplessly
To greater heavenly forms
With heartless precision
For a dazzling collision
Unless you’re the lesser involved
perfectly convey the helplessness one can sometimes feel when in a relationship. The song is eminently re-playable, with a great 60s psych pop vibe, and it’s been accompanied by a video made by the band on a shoestring budget. The video, like the song, harks back to an earlier more simple time, and is beautiful in its super-8 glory. Pasles kept to his indie roots, and spent hours in his childhood home in rural Pennsylvania, crafting props and sets to create the illusion of newsreel footage from the heady early days of the space race. It takes a few views to fully understand the video – there is so much detail crammed into each scene, which is to be expected from a band known for their precision quality.
After learning all this it should come as no surprise that George Pasles is an expert in comic books from the Cold War era, and so he has drawn on this knowledge in this video, his first step into video direction, and has gone to great lengths to ensure that ‘Mission To Mars’ conveys that specific historic moment, with the homemade machinery actually looking like it’s come straight from either the Apollo missions – or a Superman comic.
Pasles engaged NYC musicians Matt Houser (drums), and Sarah Brockett on bass, both of whom are from Brooklyn indiepop band, Palomar. Additionally he called on analog synth player, Tris McCall, who is known for his work with My Teenage Stride, The Consultants, and Kapow!
The album was mixed by Travis Harrison, from Serious Business Records, and the ten tracks take their inspiration from new wave, psyche, 60s bubblegum pop, and loads of weird fiction.
‘The Well-Tempered Overlord’ is out on September 9 and can be preordered from iTunes.