Ben Allison has a new atmospheric album out, The Stars Look Very Different Today. Taking its name from David Bowie’s lyrics to “Space Oddity,” the bassist’s eleventh album as a leader brings together his lifelong love of space, technology and film. Allison used the record as a medium to explore musical textures that tie the three together. The result offers up a sci-fi vibe influenced by the late ‘60s pop culture including Bowie’s song and movies like “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
“The band has, I guess you could say, a decidedly rock feel, but there’s all these other sounds coming out of these guys these days: lots of kind of sci-fi sounds, which is what was happening on the scene at that time,” Allison tells NPR. “Electronics really hit the music scene, and it was a big influence on me, coming up as a young musician.”
The band is filled out by guitarist Steve Cardenas, drummer Allison Miller and guitarist/banjo player Brandon Seabrook.
Besides writing and arranging all the music, Allison also produced and mixed all of the tracks, which include five brand new songs, two re-imagined earlier pieces, and a completely improvised guitar/bass track.
The Stars Look Very Different Today Track List:
- Dr. Zalus
- The Ballad of Joe Buck
- Neutron Star
- No Other Side
- Kick It, Man
- Swiss Cheese D