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Music for
First Contact

'Music For First Contact', the accomplished new album from Post Coal Prom Queen, explores humanity’s first contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence through the prism of political satire, Scottish identity and the cosmic sociology of cult sci-fi author Cixin Liu.


Fusing elements of contemporary jazz and serene neo-classical with smart songwriting, nostalgic synths, ethereal vocals and rhythms created via their own version of Morse Code, 'Music For First Contact' is a galactic pop opera which aims high and hits the bullseye of both accessibility and ambition.

Music for First Contact is out now. 

Three tracks in The Herald's Top 100 songs of 2023 (Free Radio Phobos - 72, From Glasgow to Mars - 26, and Sapere Aude - 20)

#7 in The Skinny's Top 10 Scottish albums of 2023

"as prescient and visionary as their avant-garde capabilities"

The Skinny - ★★★★



Scots Magazine


"a deep and intensely satisfying listen"

Snack Magazine



The List

"an absorbing listen...epic"

The Scotsman - ★★★★



"heights of perfection...cinematic, delicate beauty"

Clash - 8/10

Click here to listen to the album on your preferred streaming monolith.

Want to make first contact with PCPQ?

Email us here.

Wheeling through the void
The second single from Music for First Contact is out now.

Click here to find it on your favourite streaming monolith.

Free Radio Phobos
The First single from Music for First Contact is out now.

Click here to find it on your favourite streaming monolith.

Music for First Contact live

The Debut

Music for First Contact debuted at the 2022 Hidden Door Festival to a sold out audience. Throughout the day the festival attendees voted on whether or not humanity should make first contact with extraterrestrials. It was announced during the show that 92% of people were in favour of making contact.

The Cast

Post Coal Prom Queen (PCPQ) are Lily Higham and

Gordon Johnstone 


Soprano vocals on tracks 1-3,5-8 - Stephanie Lamprea

Violin on tracks 1,2,4,5,7 - Laura Wilkie

Saxophone on tracks 1,2,4,5,7,8 - Calum Cummins

Piano on tracks 1,5 - Baichuan Hui

Synth bass on track 2 and guitar on track 7 - Phil McBride

Everything else by PCPQ.


Produced and mixed by PCPQ and Phil McBride at

The Sonic Lodge recording studio in Edinburgh.

Mastered by Louis Lemoine-Soubeyrat. 

For more information click here.

The Lore

Music for First Contact tells the story of humanity’s first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. 1000 years in the future a space station orbiting Mars - manned by descendants of Scottish explorers - detects a signal that is clearly intelligent. The question then becomes, do they reply or do they stay silent?


The narrative of the album is an exploration of the dark forest theory, popularised by Cixin Liu’s Three Body Problem novel. It’s theorised that all life seeks to preserve itself and, upon discovering a different life form, no species can guarantee that it will not be annihilated by this new species. Therefore, the safest option for any life form is to stay quiet to avoid detection, and if it detects others, destroy them before it itself is destroyed.


The tracks explore the dark forest theory, propaganda, fear and hope all through the lens of Scottish identity. The album also satirises the current political climate and the use of heavy-handed propaganda by both sides of the political spectrum to push flawed agendas - although it is important to note that we land firmly on the ‘yes’ side of the spectrum, whether it is Scottish independence or first contact. 


Each song is an extrapolation of one of four arias written by PCPQ for voice and piano.


PCPQ designed a series of propaganda posters to encourage attendees at the Hidden Door Festival to vote in the upcoming referendum on First Contact. You can find them below - click on the thumbnail to make them bigger. They also recorded a series of public service announcements that were displayed around the Old Royal High School during Hidden Door 2022. These videos were also used at the Music for First Contact album launch in Glasgow in April 2023.



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