Rose McGowan has just announced that she will drop her five-years-in-the-making debut album, Planet 9, this Friday. And judging from a new psychedelic video preview, it seems the surprising project will be quite a space-age journey to the center of the actress, activist, author, and filmmaker’s mind... far, far away from the “strange place called Hollywood” where she used to work.
“When I was a small child going through tough times, I created a utopian world in my mind and I named it Planet 9,” McGowan explains in a statement accompanying the trippy music. “I felt safe on this invented planet of mine. I also used to wonder what sounds existed on my planet. As life went on, I forgot about how special my planet was, I forgot I could go there in times of trouble. Six years ago, astronomers found a new planet they named Planet 9 — it’s the new planet that demoted Pluto to a star. Holy s***! They found my Planet 9!
“Around the same time, I met some French electronic musicians, and I decided to make music that has the power to lift your spirit. I know this, art heals. Planet 9 takes you on a very special journey. By using my knowledge of cinema sound design, I carefully created the sounds and words for a better place, an unknown world in our own mind that we can all travel to. Planet 9 is an artistic endeavor that I hope will help others meditate in a unique way. Let go, come to Planet 9.”
In the same statement, McGowan says, “I’d always loved using my voice, it was my favorite part of performing,” but she stresses that she made Planet 9 solely because she “needed to create art that would be soothing.” She clarifies that she is “not trying to be a pop star” and has no plans to perform the music live. However, it seems she took the recording process seriously, recruiting impressive collaborators like TV on the Radio’s David Sitek, audio engineers Michael Patterson (Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross) and Stuart White (Beyoncé’s), and Daft Punk producer DJ Falcon.
Planet 9 will come with specific listening instructions — “Rx for Healing,” or McGowan’s “prescription for maximum effect.” McGowan writes in these liner notes: “Turn off the lights, not even candles. Find a comfortable place to lay. Shut your eyes. At first you may feel restless, that’s common. That will pass around the 3-minute mark. Let go. Each song is for a zone of your body, pay attention to what part of your body is responding. This is a meditative yet energizing experience. If you feel like getting up and moving your body, that too is meditation, but make sure lights are off.” Lyrics for all of the album’s tracks can be read here.
Planet 9, which McGowan aptly describes as “music to go to space to,” will be released on all digital platforms April 24, with direct purchases via Bandcamp and 20 percent of all sales going to support COVID-19 relief.
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