Now that I’m running into the latter end of my twenties, the whole “Saturn returns” phenomenon has been coming up a lot in conversation, typically to refer the period of life upheaval, self-evaluation and existential uncertainty that precedes your 30th year (and after which, for some reason, everything is supposed to be suddenly, miraculously awesome again). I think it’s probably just astrological shorthand for “figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life,” which is the theme that Canadian music and performance art collective Yamantaka // Sonic Titan seems to be speaking to metaphorically in this track from their UZU LP, which came out on Suicide Squeeze/Paper Bag in November. Against a moody, rock opera-worthy piano backdrop, Ruby Kato Attwood channels her chromatic soprano into a story of watching her home planet being destroyed and being drawn into the gravitational orbit of two of Saturn’s moons. Then the whole song gets swallowed up by a grating, cathartic drone, which lasts for over two minutes, and is perhaps meant to evoke her transit to a new, galactic existence. Here’s a short film for the track that she co-directed with Derrick Belcham, using chemicals, housewares, toys and other quotidian materials to create the pretty convincing illusion that we’re looking at stars and planets.
Video: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, “Titan and Dione: Saturn Returns”