Inspiration can come at the strangest moments and for Danny Golden, the bones of what would become “Alien” came to him tens of thousands of feet in the sky. Flying to his hometown of Pittsburgh from Austin the song’s chorus came to him nearly complete, so much so that he pulled his jacket over his head and recorded himself singing it into his phone. Later on he composed the rest of the song, which will be on his upcoming four-song EP called Changes that’s out on March 24 and today we’re premiering the video for “Alien.”
“Alien” was recorded with local Austin musicians, Sam Pankey of Balmorhea on bass and Mary Bryce of Smiile adding vocals. While the lead single from Changes, “I Can’t Change,” blended a Neil Young-esque chord progression and song structure with shoegaze-style dynamics, “Alien” takes a more straightforward approach, allowing Golden’s storytelling to take the lead. The guitars have a wistful, compressed quality that’s reminscent of ’80s heartland rock. Once the chorus kicks in, Golden’s increasese the intensity of his vocals without significantly changing the instrumental mix – the guitars don’t take on any distortion and in fact, continue playing the same riff as the verse.
The video is quite abstract and doesn’t have a narrative. Instead it relies on the movements of several dancers in an empty void, moving and contorting their bodies to express the emotions felt in the song.
“I first heard ‘Alien’ as a fully formed song in a dream I had while asleep on a flight from Austin to Pittsburgh,” said Golden. “Writing the song became a process of trying to remember it and bring it to life. The lyrics explore the power of love to give purpose and direction to an otherwise alienated existence. I wanted to make a music video that gets away from a strict narrative and instead focuses on color and movement to set the song back in the dreamlike world where it came from. I wanted the video to give the audience a chance to decide what the song means for them. “Alien” is another stylistic departure from the music I had been making on my previous releases, and it was exciting to embrace this new sound as a tool to express myself differently.”
Change track list
1. “I Can’t Change”
3. “L.A. County”
4. “Cigarettes and Sunburn”