In a little less than a month, Sharon Van Etten will release her new album We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong. Van Etten has already shared the singles “Porta” and “Used To It,” and she just dropped the LP trailer a couple of days ago. Today, though, Van Etten released a new song that has nothing to do with her album rollout. Instead, it’s an extremely short cover of a David Bowie classic that serves as the end-credits song for a new Netflix documentary about Elon Musk.
The new doc Return To Space, which hit Netflix yesterday, is all about Elon Musk and SpaceX, and it’s one of those things that looks more like corporate messaging than like filmmakers telling an interesting story. Musk seems to use David Bowie’s music whenever possible in the whole conquering-space narrative that he’s pushing; back in 2018, Musk launched a Tesla Roadster to Mars, and it was playing Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Presumably that’s why we’ve got Sharon Van Etten singing “Starman” over the Return To Space end credits.
“Starman” is, of course, one of Bowie’s enduring classics, and it was the first single from his 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. Van Etten’s version of the song is just 70 seconds long, and it’s nothing more than a first-verse-first-chorus type of deal, with added-in synth-swirls. Below, you can listen to the Sharon Van Etten cover and the David Bowie original.
Return To Space is now streaming on Netflix. Let all the billionaires boogie.