If you were one of the millions to tune into the Super Bowl Sunday night, it’s likely you saw a musical performance that caught your eye. No no, not Beyonce’s halftime show (though, wow, that performance was pretty incredible, and I’d say, the best halftime show I’ve ever seen). No, I’m actually talking about The Flaming Lips, who pop up in a 60-second Super Bowl commercial for Hyundai, set to its brand new song, "Sun Blows Up Today," a collaboration with pop duo Phantogram.
Titled “Epic Playdate,” the ad depicts a family embarking on an adventure that features off-roading, museum chases, bikers, cardboard robots, 8-bit video games, and even frontman Wayne Coyne’s signature giant inflatable bubble that he employs in shows. Oh yeah, and Coyne and the band surface a few times jamming on a roof and a tiny boat. Tonally, it feels just right for a band who oozes joyful escapism and colorful fantasy. And I think, for many, the commercial repositions The Flaming Lips back into people’s minds, just in time for the band’s upcoming new album The Terror.
Here's the entire song, in a seizure-inducing video:
Just a couple weeks ago, The Flaming Lips announced the album, would be coming out on April 1 (April 2 in the U.S.), and to the casual fan, it may seem like a long-awaited return for the Oklahoma City psych rock veterans. Granted, The Terror is technically the band’s first true new album since 2009’s Embryonic, but The Flaming Lips never really went away. And really, in that time, Wayne Coyne and the band have been as prolific as ever, putting out new songs at such a frantic pace, it was hard to keep up with every collaborative EP project, 6-hour-long song and gummy singles.
While all of this frenzied activity and experimenting has been exciting, after awhile I think even the most diehard of fans out there started clamoring a bit for The Flaming Lips to maybe relax just a little and release a proper studio album. Now with The Terror, us diehard fans have gotten our wish, and from what Coyne has said about it, the record looks to go further down a darker and more sinister psychedelic path.
"Why would we make this music that is The Terror -- this bleak, disturbing record...??", Wayne Coyne explains in a press release. "I don't really want to know the answer that I think is coming: that WE were hopeless, WE were disturbed and, I think, accepting that some things are hopeless... or letting hope in one area die so that hope can start to live in another?? Maybe this is the beginning of the answer."
As a long-time admirer and fan of the Lips, I love it when they let loose and get really weird. So needless to say, I can't wait to hear this record.
Still, just when you think the band maybe put all it’s oddball projects on hold, think again.
The Flaming Lips are now collaborating with Dallas-based chocolatier Dude, Sweet Chocolate, to put out a USB mix called Songs Of Love -- just in time for Valentine’s Day -- housed appropriately in a decadent and anatomically-correct dark chocolate heart. Of course.