Lab Tracks

Lab Track: Stellar Alchemist

The Sky is CallingToday’s Lab Track, suggested by Jamie Bernstein, features the sound of a star remixed into an electronica track and combined with some clever lyrics about nucleosynthesis. Cool, no? Cracked thought so. They named this particular track — Stellar Alchemist by Kim Boekbinder, aka The Impossible Girl — #1 on their list of The 5 Best Songs Hiding On YouTube. I can’t possibly top Cracked writer Luke McKinney’s description, so here you go:

Using a truly interesting subject gives us some of the smartest lyrics ever sung: “My heart is an iron fist” and “When I go you will get gold.” Fusing smaller atoms into larger ones releases energy until you reach iron, after which point fusing into even larger atoms would cost energy, so the star can’t keep going. Instead it collapses and explodes, and there’s enough energy released in the explosion (just one of many amazing things stars do) to drive that heavy fusion, creating all the elements heavier than iron. All of them, everywhere, all of it, except a few atoms we made in particle accelerators. The zinc you need to see properly? The copper without which your body will poison itself? Stellar detonation corpse bits.

And the best bit is you don’t need to know any of that — it works as perfect pop without the astrophysics. It’s just even better with it.

Oh yeah, the rhythmic tone you hear in the background? That’s star HR 3831. Courtesy of NASA, she notes. In fact, she’s got a full album available for $5 brimming with songs about space that she had none other than Phil Plait weigh in on to ensure she had the science right. Cool stuff, guys. Cool stuff.

Stellar Alchemist
The Impossible Girl

I’ll take two elements and fuse them at my core
As the pressure builds I’ll fuse more and more
Ever heavier the elements do grow
And I will spread them when I buckle and explode

I am a stellar alchemist, my heart is an iron fist
I am a stellar alchemist, my heart is an iron fist
It goes boom boom boom, it goes boom boom
It goes boom boom boom, it goes boom

And when I go you will get gold, you will get gold
And when I go you will get gold, you will get gold

Born in a nebula, a ball of burning hydrogen
The gravity of my embrace, keeping all the tension
Billions of years of the fiercest glow
A blinding shaft across the universe when I do explode

I am a stellar alchemist, my heart is an iron fist
I am a stellar alchemist, my heart is an iron fist
It goes boom boom boom, it goes boom boom
It goes boom boom boom, it goes boom

This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

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Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

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