When DC Comics started spreading #blackcanarymusic around Twitter-sphere yesterday, more than a few eyes were raised. If you haven’t being reading Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu’s Black Canary then you’ve been missing out. For the uninitiated, it’s The Blues Brothers crossed with the superhero antics of the Birds of Prey. Given how central music is to the title, many began to put together Spotify playlists inspired by Black Canary‘s punk rock and indie aesthetic. DC have no decided to cut out the middle man and released a three track album simply titled EP1 purportedly produced by Dinah Lance and her crew to co-incide with the release of Black Canary Volume 1: Kicking and Screaming. In reality, the songs are the collaborative efforts of Brenden Fletcher, Michelle Bensimon and Joseph Donovan.
The viral campaign has been quite impressive with the hashtag gaining quite the momentum over the last 24 hours. Additionally, DC announcing tour dates in fictional locations such as Gotham, Keystone and Star City, putting together a tie-in website and even ticket stubs. It’s one of the cleverest ways of promoting a book that I’ve seen in a long time and whats more is that they’ve managed to produce some damn fine music in the process. The music of the fictional Black Canary group has been aptly described by the in-universe music critiques that accompany the issues as “a blend of electronic beats and killer riffs”. The album contains two original tracks; “Fish out of Water” and “Old World” as well as a cover of “The Man with the X-Ray Eyes”. It’s very reminiscent of the work of Blondie, something I’m more than willing to get behind. All of the songs are available for streaming on Band Camp (which you can check out below) or can be purchased for $3.50.
The cynics among you may cry fowl, but Black Canary‘s is the louder cry. This isn’t a forced endeavor, but rather a recognition of the excellent job that the creative team of done in making the intersection between superheroism and music stardom feel like a natural evolution of Dinah Lance’s character. Plus, if we are being honest, Dinah’s classic Black Canary costume makes much more sense if she’s a rock-star, even if naming your band after your old code-name isn’t the best way to keep a low profile.
With the release of EP1, DC is following a long-tradition of inter-textuality between the music industry and comics. Back in the 60s and 70s, The Archies‘ “Sugar, Sugar” was ruling the charts and leading a new wave of bubblegum pop. Back in the disco era, Marvel and Casablanca Records attempted to launch Dazzler as multi-media super-star to no avail. Interestingly back in our review of the series itself, we noted “Annie Wu’s interiors resemble a living album cover….Music is the heart and soul of the book and it creeps into the very artwork itself, almost as if it panels themselves were a song”. Did we call this on some level? You may very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment. Now then, when can we expect EP2?