UPLINK 20: LIFE IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PLAYLIST!
Many thanks to Uplink 20 guest, Ocean Scientist Hayley Evers-King with EUMETSAT for curating a special Enter Shikari playlist for Space Rocks to accompany Uplink 20 which you can listen to right here on the Space Rocks Spotify channel. You can also watch Uplink 20 with guests Hayley and Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds on the official Space Rocks Youtube channel.
Words: Hayley Evers-King
Enter Shikari’s lead vocalist and lyricist Rou Reynolds has written exegesis of these songs in the books Dear Future Historians and The Spark – the connections to the anthropocene are pretty clear. The vast majority of the tracks also reflect on the frustration of not being able to do much about environmental issues and inequalities, and the ignorance of the information that science provides – I think this is what makes Enter Shikari appeal to many scientists and environmentally-minded folk. That, plus their incredibly diverse approach to experimenting with musical genre, which is consistently mind-blowing!
From Enter Shikari’s 2007 debut album Take To The Skies, this is all about explaining climate change to aliens and how we can see its effects on the ocean and atmosphere.
We Can Breathe in Space, They Just Don’t Want Us To Escape
Drawing on themes expressed by many – from Carl Sagan to multiple astronauts – this non-album single from 2008 reflects on our tiny place in the vast universe but also hints at our mighty ability to learn and change things.
From 2009’s Common Dreads, Juggernauts is about reinventing the seemingly unstoppable system that’s led to the current environmental destruction and inequality.
No Sleep Tonight
Also from the album Common Dreads, this track takes aim at those responsible for environmental destruction and inequality. It references the impacts on the atmosphere, renewable energy and the need to consider coexistence with the planetary system.
The opening track of 2012’s A Flash Flood of Colour references rising sea levels, the ignorance of not heeding warnings about environmental issues and the related political intransigence to create change.
Arguing With Thermometers
Also from AFFOC – the title is self-explanatory! Anyone who has spoken about climate related issues will identify with the frustration.
The closing track from AFFOC talks of sustainability, with the feeling that is impossible to obtain, and how we can cope with that feeling by finding comfort in unity.
The One True Colour
Possibly my favourite song – and the inspiration behind one of my tattoos. I love the lyrics, “To dissect is to broaden the adventure, to enrich ones tenure” and “There’s so much to explore/There’s so much to absorb/And then the atoms that you borrow/They are returned to the cosmos”. The track reflects in two parts on the divisions of humanity, and the awe felt in knowledge.
From 2015’s The Mindsweep, Myopia is a song about the blindness of climate change deniers to the scientific evidence for climate change.
This 2016 track is a pure tribute to our awe-inspiring universe. The video is great too – the scenes with rocket launches and the ISS traveling through aurora really capture the inspiration that comes from learning about space and humanity’s relationship with it.
A track from 2017’s The Spark, this track is mostly about life and relationships, but much of the metaphor is space-based. For me, it really captures the mind-blowing awe one gets from humanity’s activities in space.
Elegy for Extinction
From this year’s new album Nothing is True & Everything Is Possible, this is utterly fantastic. It’s an orchestral piece written with George Fenton (Blue Planet, Planet Earth) with the titular theme and even includes actual sounds of melting ice. It reminds of some work I did with UK composer @HollieAHarding which was a great experience in science communication.
Also from the new album, this is actually all about LGBT experiences, but again draws on a wide range of space metaphors.
Check out Hayley’s playlist here.