Over the past…uh, few years, I’ve done something that feels uniquely furry, and uniquely me: handed several different artists a prompt of just “here’s a song I love, you have total artistic freedom, draw what it makes you feel.” The results have all been fantastic, and I’ve wanted to make a post for a while which gathers all of these into one place, with some thoughts about them. This is that self-indulgent blog post. :)

To start things off, here’s a convenient playlist of the music I’ll be yapping about:

Porcupine Tree- Trains (art by Demicoeur)

Musicat 1

“Trains” is the best song on In Absentia by a mile, and probably the most important Porcupine Tree song to me personally. There was a time in my life (my extremely depressive junior year of college) in which I did nothing but listen to In Absentia, Muse’s Origin of Symmetry, and the then-discography of Imogen Heap. It wouldn’t be fair to say that “Trains” is PT’s depressed teenager song (because the entirety of Fear of a Blank Planet is depressed teenager songs), but it resonated with me in a way that very, very few other such songs do. “Things are shit, and things are about to not be shit for a minute, but what if things go back to being shit again, also, here’s a two-minute ukulele solo.”

The artist went for more of a literal interpretation: the seasons are changing, time is always moving, spend the time you have well. At least, that’s how I interpreted it.

She- Make Me Real (art by Grey White)

Musicat 2

I don’t think I could actually explain who is and isn’t a She project at this point (made somewhat worse by the fact that the producer chose a name that’s impossible to search), but this track rules. I’ve heard She’s music described as “organic electronic” (along with Zircon, who might eventually also be on this list somewhere), and that’s exactly what I got here. A cat, a robot, in space, maybe? It’s all very postfurry. I think there’s a hashtag for that these days.

Caspian- The Raven (art by Lundi)

Musicat 3

Confession: I had to try really, really hard to avoid making this project just be hundreds of post-rock tracks. (I did, admittedly, just attempt to add “Mladic” to this list; we’ll see if the artist balks at “here’s a twenty-minute track inspired by a war criminal.”) Anyway, Caspian is great, and this is exactly what I’d hoped to get when I commissioned it: it’s brooding, it’s moody, it’s evocative as hell, it makes me feel like it’s about to explode into something really rad. Basically, it’s post-rock distilled into art form, but with a bipedal fish. (And, let’s be real, most bands benefit from a bipedal fish.)

(Side note: this artist’s debut album is out now, and it’s chill and great, check that out over ~here~.)

65daysofstatic- Unmake The Wild Light (art also by Grey White, above)

Musicat 4

Of course, immediately after writing “avoid making this project just be hundreds of post-rock tracks”, here’s another one. I never said I was good at following up on things.

65DOS is, at this point, probably most famous for being the band behind the music for No Man’s Sky, but they’ve always had this very ethereal “excessive amounts of reverb and spaciness” sound, so they were a perfect choice for the game. The piece of art here is definitely the most abstract of the ones commissioned, but I think it captures a lot of what the song makes me feel. What exactly that is might be a little too real for this post, though. :)

Henry Homesweet- Evolver (art by sky3)

Musicat 5

Lastly, we have this, from Enter 5D, one of my favorite electronic albums of all time. Musically, I’m incredibly fond of albums that listen well as albums, not collections of singles, and I’ve legitimately lost count of the number of times that I’ve started listening to “Critical Buddha” and then an hour has disappeared. It’s that good.

(Digression: if you’re into pure-hardware electronic shit, his live material is ridiculous.)

So, you know that part in Undertale where you meet Napstablook and lie on the floor listening to music together and then the house disappears and you’re just floating around? This is my interaction with this album, and, unprompted, basically exactly what Sky3 drew. I highly suggest setting aside an hour and losing yourself in this.

So anyway, that’s my excessively rambling post about furry art and music. For discussion, and to help me spend more money: what would you commission if you did the same?