As you might guess from its title, Norwegian band Acres Wild‘s newest song has something to do with Elon Musk. Namely, the track serves as the band’s official application to join Musk’s SpaceX outerspace transportation program.
It’s generally safe to assume that a song with such an ironic premise isn’t going to be any good. Jumping to this conclusion about “SpaceX” would be a mistake. Although the single’s cover art is literally a tongue-in-cheek letter to Musk declaring Acres Wild’s intent to “go to Mars in search for inspiration for our next album,” the song sounds pretty solemn despite its lyrics pretty much echoing the artwork’s sentiment.
Many a songwriter has used stars, planets, light years, and other astronomical and celestial images as metaphors for love. In writing a song about wanting to work on its next album in space, Acres Wild has also crafted a track that could totally be a standard love song. “I realize there’s something bigger/so I will go/where the planets glow in silence/they’re not that far from here/not even a light year away” is a deeply romantic set of lyrics, even though in the context of “SpaceX,” it’s about literally launching oneself into outer space.
The song’s gleaming, mostly non-distorted guitar arpeggios, slightly uptempo pacing and mood, gently crashing drums, and calming, listlessly sung vocals echo a formula that plenty of previous auteurs have set for the love song. On “SpaceX,” Acres Wild finds itself walking the deceptively thin line that divides dream pop and emo; the song boasts the tranquilizing lucidity of the former genre and the dejected sincerity of the latter. In its letter to Musk, the band tells him that among the reasons he should accept them to SpaceX is that it can “contribute with being good at guitar music,” and “SpaceX” is the proof in the pudding.