The Big Bang, the massive explosion many scientists believe was how the universe was created, is a statistical miracle. Stephen Hawking has calculated that "if the density of the universe one second after the Big Bang had been greater by one part in a thousand billion, the universe would have re-collapsed after 10 years."
A second miracle is how finely tuned Earth is. The magnetic field is just right, the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere is just right, the rate of rotation is just right, the size and properties of the Earth's crust are just right. The list goes on, and if any one of these were even slightly different, life on Earth just wouldn't be.
You might be thinking, gentle reader, this is a music website, so why the science lesson? That's because this song finds Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock pondering how fortunate we humans are to exist.
We are between, we are between, yeah, we are
Somewhere between dust and the stars
Swung open, then slammed shut, yeah, but here we are
Brock told Apple Music he's not sure what prompted his existential reflections, but the end result was this anthemic number. "It's just about how lucky it is to be here," he said. "How lucky we are to get to live in an ocean of oxygen, how lucky we are just to even get between a rock and a hard place. F--k. There's a limit to feeling good about life on earth, I'm sure, but most of the time, it shouldn't be there."
Released on May 5, 2021, "We Are Between" climbed to the top of both Billboard's Adult Alternative Airplay and Alternative Airplays charts. It was Modest Mouse's second single to reach #1 on both tallies, following "Lampshades on Fire
" in 2014.
Modest Mouse recorded the song for The Golden Casket album and released it as its lead single. Produced by Dave Sardy and Jacknife Lee in Los Angeles and in Modest Mouse's studio in Portland, it was the band's first album in six years.
Directed by Kyle Thrash, the video finds Isaac Brock stranded in a junkyard traffic jam. The Brooklyn director's other credits include Lewis Capaldi's "Before You Go
" and Every Time I Die's "Map Change."