The Tracers

Album: Call The Comet (2018)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the lead single from Call The Comet, which has a reoccurring theme running through it of the need for an alternative society.
  • "The Tracers" was originally inspired by dystopian sci-fi. "I had the title for a while and it suggested an otherworldly kind of being," Marr explained to NME. "The vibe of the whole record has got an otherworldly sort of feeling to it anyway. It suggested some kind of intelligence. Not quite aliens, I'm not there yet. The idea of the song is that the Earth is looking towards alternative intelligence to help us out from the malaise or dilemma that we may find ourselves in."

    He added: "The Tracers are the either a form of intelligence from a parallel universe, a different dimension or a different planet."
  • The Call The Comet album title comes from a lyric this song.

    Call the comet, ride it so far
    Come to me, evaporate


    Marr explained: "I was writing 'The Tracers' over the period of a week or so, and this phrase 'Call The Comet' came from my subconscious as a kind of plea. This sounds highfaluting, but it's a call for something to come and help us because materialism isn't work, capitalism isn't working, religion isn't working, politics isn't working. It was then pointed out to me by a friend that comets are usually about annihilation, but I didn't really see it that way - I saw it as a reset."
  • Marr told Uncut "The Tracers" is his favorite track on Call The Comet. He explained: "The feeling I want to get from music right now is an intense listen, a feeling that's like standing close to an edge, and 'The Tracers' does that for me."
  • Inspired by sci-fi writers HG Wells and David Wallis, the song finds Marr singing of an evolved version of human life coming back to earth to guide us. "It may seem fanciful," he told The Independent, "but humankind has been worshipping some imaginary force in the sky for millennia. So sure as s--t I can sing about it."

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