The concept isn’t alien, is it? The concept of serendipity. (Serendipity also happens to be the title to one of my favorite movies). Fate. Coincidence…without apparent causal connection. The great Webster Dictionary says, “A coincidence is an occurrence of events that happen at the same time by total accident.”

Entering the Twilight Zone

Perhaps it is a coincidence that my two younger children are currently watching “Battle Universe” from Hi5 Studios, on YouTube, and the episode is about alien prisoners. Specifically, it is called “Area 51 Prison Escape NERF Challenge,” and I’m not sure if I’ll get the names right, but I think Woods and Sam are the prisoners. I know these things, because I’m a cool mom. They are trying to escape the studio, it’s highly amusing to the children. Usually I can get behind the quirky videos produced by the Hi5 crew, but this one is extra weird. Thankfully, the weirdness has prompted this album review. *high five* Hi5 Studios! Coincidence? I think not.

Anyway, the reason I’m saying it is, or is not, a coincidence, is because it was suggested that I check out the band LANDROID. Their music sounds weird and spacey to me. I think it would make it to the final soundtrack of a “Battle Universe” anthology, should Hi5 Studios ever create such a thing. 

Trusting the Vets

Cooper Gillespie (vocals, guitar, bass) and Greg Gordon (drums, sequences) of LANDROID are considered veteran performers. They have traveled the world like gypsies and played their music in many, many, many venues. I do not know if they ever made it to Area 51. I suppose it’s possible, but we will never know the truth. However, now the duo live in the California town of Landers. Population: 2,632. Landers is an unincorporated community located in the Homestead Valley of the southeastern Mojave Desert.

Fully embracing the semi-arid environment in which they now live, their debut album is named Imperial Dunes. The album drops on September 13th via their own Mojave Beach Records label. Hmmm…Imperial Dunes, LANDROID; anyone else sensing a theme here?

“They are the largest mass of sand dunes in California,” Gillespie says of the actual Imperial Dunes, another real-life location that contributed to the name game. Turns out the “DROID” in LANDROID has a connection, too: “In Return of the Jedi, the Imperial Sand Dunes are the location of Jabba’s Palace,” Gillespie adds.

Integratron, Landers, California photo taken in 2017

But wait, there’s more!

Come on, Landers may be a tiny hometown, but they are known for their big mysteries and desire to understand the universe. UFO enthusiasts know this, because they are fans of the Integratron, which was built in 1960. Van Tassel claimed the Integratron was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity, and time travel.

In addition to the Integratron (not to be confused with everyone’s favorite carnival ride called the *Gravitron – also known as the Starship, Starship Exodus, Alien Abduction, Flight To Mars, and Enterprise), there are two major amateur astronomical facilities in Landers. Clearly, something otherworldly is going on in Landers, with LANDROID, and quite likely with this post – because that’s how we roll here at TPL.

What does it all mean?

Singer Cooper Gillespie, says “The dunes feel like an appropriate metaphor for life,” which explains her lyrical themes. “Nature is the ultimate power, and just as the dunes change day-to-day, everything in life is constantly changing. We like to think we are in control, but nature reclaims us.” In reference to the first single of the album, “Yellow Sea,” Gillespie feels that the song is “a meditation on the hereafter.”

If you find yourself listening to the album after its release in September, make sure to really listen to the lyrics. Even when the music lulls you off into a daze, the lyrics should be familiar. You’ll even find a couple covers. Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel” and Plastic Bertrand’s “Ça Plane Pour Moi” could be mistaken for originals if the lyrics didn’t give them away. 

Imperial Dunes by LANDROID arrives on Sept. 13th, 2019.

*By the way, the Gravitron is not my favorite carnival ride; I don’t mind a Ferris wheel or a haunted house, but the rides that just make you want to vomit are totally not my thing.

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