“Do you know where you’re going?”
The electronic space-pop duo Air enlisted Beach House’s Victoria Legrand to perform vocals on Seven Stars, from their soundtrack to the 2012 restored color version of Georges Méliès 1902 silent film Le Voyage Dans la Lune. I actually don’t own this album, but I do have a free Spotify account, where I suppose the world’s music is sort of like our collective heritage, or whatever, funded by occasional advertising.
Air has been another one of my favorite bands for years, so I was mucho excited to hear about this collaboration. I remember tuning in on NPR’s First Listen and being a little annoyed at the wannabe Vincent Price counting down the liftoff, right in the middle of Ms. Legrand’s lyrical composition. When I want to lose myself in Air’s spacey music and Victoria Legrand’s sultry voice, I don’t want some dude to interrupting with his counting!
The countdown voice does sound familiar, but I can’t quite place it. Last.fm user Qazeebo commented that the band used a text-to-speech voice from xtranormal.com to read the countdown. I have been unable to confirm or deny this assertion.
Interruptions notwithstanding, I thought the song and surrounding soundtrack were pretty nice, and a cool thing to have happened, but not quite to the potential of such a promising collaboration. Pitchfork agreed, scoring the album at a modest 5.7/10.
There was a cool video showing the painstaking process of digitally restoring the deteriorated, originally hand-painted color film. I can’t seem to find that now; it may have been on Amazon Prime or something. I lieu of that, you can just watch the whole thing now (with non-Air soundtrack). It’s only sixteen minutes long: