To whet the appetites of the geeks among us for the October release of her sci-fi video album, Girl Inventor, psychedelic electric harpist Erin Hill has posted "Giant Mushrooms," the first of the album's videos. She describes each of the ten projected videos as something like a little four minute Twilight Zone episode, and "Giant Mushrooms" is a good example of what she is talking about.
The video juxtaposes scenes of the singer and her band against images of the song's narrative about a young boy back in the Leave it to Beaver days of the 1950s growing giant mushrooms in his cellar. He finds an ad for them in the back of one of popular pulp magazines of the period, and although cautioned by his father, he sends away for them. Given the later associations with mushrooms, their eventual effect on the boy and his mother is not unexpected. The video has a kind of creepy humor that meshes well with the eerie quality of the music.
While the idea of mashing together science fiction with pop rock is not exactly new (think "Major Tom" and ground control, among others), it is not something that has saturated the market, to say nothing about featuring the harp in a rock video. This is still a form with fresh possibilities. If this video is any indication, those possibilities are soon to be realized.
Hill is an energetic performer with a dynamic voice and a wide range. Not only does she rock, she is no slouch with an operatic aria. Listen to her version of Giacomo Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Gianni Schicchi.
She is no less at home with traditional Irish music. This is a talented singer, and a promising song writer.
A clip of a second video single, "Lookout, Science," a song described as a "smackdown" between science and religion, is due out sometime next month so we'll have a chance to see if that promise continues to be realized.