Fly away with new music

Nothing can change your mood like good music, and even better is an album that creates another world! Concept albums are meant to be listened to start-to-finish, often containing interstitial skits. Check out science fiction concept albums when you really need an escape. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but these are a good place to get started:

 

Rush 2112 album cover

Rush’s prog-rock epic 2112 is some of the nerdiest music you can listen to. I’m particularly fond of the  track 2112, with describes a future world under technological control, freed by the discovery of a mysterious stringed instrument.

 

Warp riders album cover

The Sword is a metal band from Austin, with a similar tone and style to Black Sabbath. Warp riders imagines a galaxy of technology and magic, with space witches and wizards. It has similar ideas to Frank Herbert’s Dune novels.

 

Deltron 3030 album art

Deltron 3030, from Bay area rapper Del the Funky Homosapien, follows the rap battling adventures of the protagonist Deltron Zero. It’s a dystopic, totalitarian future, with engrossing mixing from the legendary and inventive Dan the Automator.

 

Dirty Computer album cover

Dirty computerThe ArchAndroid, The electric lady:

Janelle Monae’s R&B trilogy delves into themes of discrimination, oppression, and brainwashing, through the adventures of Jane 57821, an android. Dirty computer won “Best Album” at 2019’s Grammys, and features collaboration with Prince.

 

Mothership Connection album cover

Mothership Connection from true funk gods Parliament is an Afro-futurist opus. If you like bass guitar, horns, and ancient aliens, this is for you. In fact, the Parliament/Funkadelic  discography includes many of the same science-fictional elements and characters, like Starchild and Dr. Funkenstein.

 

These last two are tangentially science fictional but definitely space-themed.

 

The planets album cover

Gustav Holst’s The Planets is a classical work with a song for each planet.  It’s almost certainly an inspiration for the score to Star Wars. Black metal band Wolves In the Throne Room is a tough listen if you’re not a fan of bleak, harsh instrumentals.

 

Celestite album cover

Their album Celestite is not metal at all. It’s more ambient space music, and transports you to humanity’s quasi-mystical past, looking towards the stars, without any lyrical storytelling.