Public Service Broadcasting – Gagarin
Several weeks ago I heard a song, once again on my local college radio station, as I was driving home. The dj had read some information about the song that was pretty interesting so I Shazamed it to look it up later. An online friend said he’d been listening to the album for a couple of months after he’d heard it on his college radio station. I was curious enough to look up the rest of the album and more information about the band.
The band is Public Service Broadcasting, two nerdy looking guys from England going by the names J. Willgoose, Esq., and Wrigglesworth. They use audio and film clips from old public service announcements and news reels which they set to music. The song was on their album The Race for Space, nine songs that trace the history of the US and USSR space programs by highlighting different chapters in each nation’s story.
The more I read about them and listened online, the more intrigued I was. The reviews of their albums on Amazon were nearly all 5-stars and for this record especially they recommended buying a physical copy so you could get the booklet that comes with it. I don’t need much arm twisting when it comes to getting the liner notes so I ordered the CD (much as I like records, the CD seemed more practical for me right now) and have not been disappointed.
It is worth it. The whole album is fantastic. You can just have it on in the background but it really deserves to be listened to more closely. I find myself getting pulled in to these stories and, this is not going to come out the way I want it to but, I feel like all of the day-to-day distractions fall away. I’m really immersed in these scenes of the space race.
I almost hate to choose just one song for this post because they work so well in the context of the whole and I can’t really pick a favorite. I lean toward “The Other Side” because it’s so expertly done – but I don’t want to give it away.
So if you’re curious and/or like this song, check out the whole album. And here’s some more links to see how they pull it together when it’s just the two guys* or when they add some people to flesh it out for a larger stage.
*The Tiny Desk Concert link is from last year and features songs from earlier albums but equally cool.