Space Music: Magic Missile vs. the Periodic Table


Fancy an upbeat indie folk album inspired by the periodic table of elements?

Well then let me introduce you to Magic Missile, based out of Athens, Ga. Their 2010 album "I'll Careful" features tracks about hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, helium, beryllium, oxygen and carbon -- in addition to a few more tracks less-grounded in organic chemistry.

It might sound a little gimmicky on the surface of things, but once you dive into the music of Magic Missile, you discover the group's musical talent and creative spirit really elevates the material far above the sort of summer science camp stuff you might be imagining.

Oh, and just to cement its belonging in a space music post, there's also a track called "Comet Time" with some lovely lyrics about the Ort cloud and cosmic collisions.

Heck, let's listen to it, why don't we?

Well you should keep it in a flask, because it's a poisonous green gas. And you should breathe it only if you want to die. And when you take a swim, pour some chlorine in, but not too much or you'll mess up your eyes.

But I know what you're wondering: Can't we work some puppets in there somewhere? Well you've got it, because puppeteer Meghann Jordan (also the main guitarist on the track) created the following music video for Magic Missile's "Hydrogen" as part of her educational 5000 Puppets project:

But what awaits Magic Missile fans IN THE FUTURE? I reached out to frontman Jake Mosely and he had this to say about the next album "Order of Magnitude," debuting on Bandcamp this July:

"Six out of the 10 songs will be more electronic/dancey than those you hear on 'I'll Careful' and the remaining four songs will be more folky rock. Like 'I'll Careful,' not every song on 'Order of Magnitude' is science related but there are three in particular -- Potassium, Germanium and Igneous Pluton -- that fit the bill. There will also a song on there called 'TANJ' that is sorta a tribute to Science Fiction author Larry Niven but its not really sciencey."

Till then, check out Magic Missile on Bandcamp and on the group's FaceBook page.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.