Scottish duo Post Coal Prom Queen return to the past to explore the future with the blissful space-jazz of ‘Wheeling Through The Void’, the second single taken from Music For First Contact, an ambitious song cycle exploring Scottish identity and contact with aliens.
Introduced by what sounds like the low-end pulse of the cosmos itself, the heavenly-voiced Lily Higham – one half of the PCPQ mothership with fellow musician/composer/producer Gordon Johnstone – reflects on the evolution of communication from the time our fishy ancestors hauled themselves out the waters to the electromagnetic waves of modern devices and the moment humanity receives a signal from an advanced extraterrestrial intelligence.
Around Higham’s honeyed lullaby coil the post-human pipes of Stephanie Lamprea, a soprano trained in the high-flying ululations of operatic coloratura. While Lamprea’s extraordinary vocals recall that most pioneering of electronic musical instruments, the theremin, PCPQ’s constellation of accomplished artists – violinist Laura Wilkie (Fat Suit, Kinnaris Quintet) and saxophonist Calum Cummins (Bombskare/Yoko Pwno) – render ‘Wheeling Through The Void’ a serene and mysterious cool jazz delight; a lounge bar amid the velvety expanse frequented by Zen astronauts and time travellers powered by mid-20th century optimism.
Rather than carefree easy-listening, however, the track’s tone of awe at such a momentous moment is tempered by an undertow of uncertainty and confusion: who sent the message, and what do they want?
‘Wheeling Through The Void’ follows ‘Free Radio Phobos’, the first single taken from PCPQ forthcoming album Music For First Contact, and features a video seemingly beamed from 1968.
“We wanted to create a video that reflected the retrofuturistic feeling of the track; a sort of hauntological glimpse into a future that might have been,” says Johnstone. “Stephanie Lamprea, who contributed soprano vocals to this track and the rest of the album, is a fantastically emotive performer; it was a lot of fun turning her into a hologram. We learned through the course of making this video that it is vital to read the instructions on vape pens and also that vape pens used incorrectly taste like fireworks.”