SONG: Multicellular


“Multicellular” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Science News, 17 October 2019, “Acrobatic choanoflagellates could help explain how multicellularity evolved,” as used in the post “How we became multicellular.

An African kwela-blues song about single-celled organisms, like, hooking up: I might have hit peak nerd here. It all fell together really well… but for the fact that this laptop just doesn’t want to get clean audio off my mixer. I really need a USB input.

For the guitar and banjo, the parts just wrote themselves as I was tuning up after changing strings. All I did was record it with the static and digitally cleaned it out, which is kind of how I wound up with that jaw-harp sounding percussion track (actually a banjo through too much noise reduction and a couple other filters).

The voice, I recorded a few whispered tracks to, then, out of frustration, did a simultaneous recording with the mic and my cell phone, then emailed the voice memo and stuck it in alongside the microphone recording. Had the mood I wanted, at least.

Originally, I recorded the instrument tracks to about 4:20, but heeded the advice that I think I heard first from John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants: Most people should just cut about a third out of their songs. Easier said than done. I trimmed and trimmed and here we are. Sexy single cells, coming together, floating into the light, then sinking and wriggling against each other in the shadows.


We turn together and we spin
We turn together and make skin
Then we’re sinking from the light
Multicellular with you.

Multicellular with you
Multicellular with me
Multicellular with you
We’re Multicellular (x3)

Clustered into colonies
Trust each other as we breathe
Teach each other how to swim
Get multicellular with me

Multicellular with me
Multicellular with you
Multicellular with me

How our fingers intertwine
Now the fruit is on the vine
And I will make you mine
Get multicellular with you

Multicellular with you
Multicellular with me
Multicellular with you
Get multicellular

Multicellular (x4)