Monday, September 29, 2014

Half Rats: The Music of a Steampunk Time Traveler

Today, we'll start with this question. What is filk music? Starting in the early 1950s, sci-fi and fantasy fans began writing their own music with speculative fiction themes. There are songs about everything from 'Lord of the Rings' to 'Battlestar Galactica,' and filk sessions are popular at many sci-fi conventions.

Now, for the real question of the day. What is steampunk music? Picture people in the late Victorian era writing Vaudeville-style songs about the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Much of today's steampunk music is just like that.

Musician Half-Rats writes and records his own brand of steampunk tunes alone, ostensibly because the rest of his band died due to "a rather unfortunate incident involving time travel."

He also dubs his songs "neo-Victorian." They tell the story of a man living through the late 19th century, into World War I, and forward to the 21st century. Half-Rats finds inspiration for his dark lyrics inspiration in the works of 19th century authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In addition to Victorian and Gypsy influences, much of the music is recalls modern composers like Tom Waits and Danny Elfman.

Steampunk fans can listen to samples of Half Rats's "Ague" album at CDBaby and purchase individual tracks or the entire album. You can also visit his Facebook fan page, and read more about Half Rats and Ague on Steampunk Wiki.

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