Posted April 1, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

The Rentals Pay Tribute to an Astronaut With Their New EP and Music Video

The Rentals photo by Dirk Mai
The Rentals photo by Dirk Mai

The Rentals just issued a new music video for the tune “Forgotten Astronaut,” a track from the Q36 Forgotten Astronaut Special Feature EP.

Both the music video and the EP aim to “remind us of the extraordinary things mankind is capable of accomplishing when we work with a common goal and purpose.” Apollo 11 continues to inspire future generations to “create a better world for everyone.”

For the music video, the indie rock group enlisted the visual production company Subtractive, Inc. It focuses on space exploration and is best-known for producing “playfully surreal and inventive visual experiences” that promote both science and science fiction.

The “Forgotten Astronaut” video provides an “inspirational look back at one man’s real-life space odyssey” and features NASA archival footage.

The EP explores four totally different sonic perspectives, each one a tribute to astronaut Michael Collins. The “acoustic mix” of the song has been stripped back. It is a couple of original scratch tracks of Matt Sharp’s beaten up 1920s Martin parlor guitar and his vocals so there’s nothing but “endless space” for his friends in the Gentle Assassins Choir to fill the chorus backgrounds with a bed of “glorious, Beatles-esque harmonies.”

On the two “Z36” (vocal and instrumental) mixes, the arrangements focus primarily on the “atmospheric worlds” built on the guitar work of Nick Zinner and Sharp’s own vintage synthesizers. These polar opposite musical viewpoints offer a better understanding and sense of depth to the Dave Fridmann album mix featured in the video.

“When I was previewing early arrangements of the song for friends, I would tell them that lyrics were being sung from Michael’s perspective and they would, without exception, hit me with the exact same question, every time, ‘Who the hell is Michael Collins!?!’” says Sharp in a press release.

Subtractive and the Rentals both hope that this collaboration of sound and image will inspire like-minded folks to find their way back to the source material of Collins’s writing, and they strongly encourage those who are interested to read his books Flying to the Moon and Carrying the Fire. Beyond that they have a dream that this video, in some small way, will inspire more artists from a wide variety of backgrounds to “reach out and collaborate with the modern space community to find new creative ways to promote the exploration of our future beyond the stars.”

Photo Credit: Dirk Mai via The Syndicate