music industry news network review: 'losing our control'

NEW SINGLE REVIEW: ASTRONOMIQUE - 'LOSING OUR CONTROL'

This is a single from the soon to be released LP, Sharp Divide. Astronomique release this single close to six months after giving us Mimic Forms and 23rd Century. The band was able to retain its trademark sixties vibe in this new single.  

The Minneapolis based band has stayed true to their indie rock genre, if this single is anything to go by. They definitely put in work on this masterpiece, as it connects with you and transcends any barriers you might have put up. The distinct sounds of the guitar and well-balanced use of instruments makes it hard for you to listen to the lyrics at first. If you were bored or going through something, this track will make you forget all that and dance your problems away.

I listened to this song a couple of times before I got used to the feel-good nature of the song. This is when I started paying attention to the lyrics and what the band wanted to communicate. They effectively communicate how a sexual partner was able to distract the protagonist long enough for them to forget their problems. The partner, in turn, becomes the sole focus of the protagonist's thoughts. It is rather impressive that the band was able to communicate this in a 3:26-minute track. Yes, I know it’s a rather long song, but you’ll be so into it that you won’t notice it is ending until the last note dies out.

The vocals of the lead singer and her delivery are on point. She doesn't struggle to keep up with the instrumentals and her bandmates give her plenty of good backup.

Astronomique also released the video to this single, and its nothing short of breathtaking. The use of a minimalistic set and blurry lights play into the general ambience of the track. The band and their instruments are the only focus in the video. The simplistic result of combining the above factors makes it a rather entertaining and memorable video.

I can’t wait to hear what the rest of the LP sounds like. But if this single is anything to go by, we are in for a treat.

-Jason Quinn, Music Industry News Network

Beach sloth premiere: 'sharp divide' lp

ASTRONOMIQUE - 'SHARP DIVIDE' LP

Embracing a dark '80s pop sound, Astronomique’s Sharp Divide has the feeling of a long-lost classic. The band understand a great deal about the period they're exploring, from the detached vocals to the incredibly hypnotic bass - it all works. Reminiscent of similarly focused nostalgia-soaked bands like Twin Shadow, their approach incorporates a bit more mystery and shadows. Angelic yet ghostly vocals guide this unknowable aura, featuring cryptic lyricism and a natural, gothic sort of poetry. In balancing these many impulses together, Astronomique create something that feels uniquely soulful.

Opening the album and setting the tone, 'Forefathers' picks an expansive sound, one that feels incredibly vibrant. The drums have such a crispness to them on the DFA Records inspired dance funk, 'Side of Your Mind,' and a bit of warmth enters the equation on the surprisingly tender, 'We Disappear.' The highlight of the album is the infectious groove of 'Losing Our Control.' Icy synthesizer riffs dominate the bleak terrain of 'Smoke,' where the group lets things embrace a tragic hue as the entire piece goes for an introspective tact. Tension builds up in a fascinating way in the ornate arrangements of 'Unspoken,' and woozy riffs add to the teasing nature of 'Bleed Me.' The intensity of 'Hardly Deliberate' propels it forward with a clear-eyed gaze. Ending the album on an epic scope is the cinematic flourish of 'Heading Nowhere.'

On Sharp Divide, Astronomique catalogs an entire emotionally wrought journey, doing so with the utmost of thought and care.

- Beach Sloth

TWIN CITIES MEDIA PLUGS 'SHARP DIVIDE' RELEASE SHOW

COOL SHOWS NEXT WEEK 6/4 - 6/10

ASTRONOMIQUE ALBUM RELEASE AT 7TH STREET ENTRY – TICKETS

As the name suggests, it’s clear that Astronomique is on a space odyssey.  The sounds, the vibe, the imagery all have the feeling of floating amongst the stars.  The band arose by merging Fongemie’s love of ‘60s psychedelia and Hogan’s passion for late ‘70s B-Grade sci-fi films with both members’ equal adoration for early ‘80s post punk and dark romanticism.  It’s no surprise than these elements naturally progressed to what the band half jokingly calls “Space Wave.” With a name borrowed from a French picture book out of Fongemie’s childhood, Lunette Astronomique, their influences are fondly conveyed.  The addition of Billings on drums and Saari on bass brings an organic, funky element to the band’s unique brand of space-age electro psych-pop.

Fusing infectious dance beats with darkly beautiful waves of psychedelic synths, fuzed out guitars, and hypnotic vocals, the honesty and easy-going nature of Minneapolis band Astronomique shows through on their latest release, Sharp Divide.  The 10-track, 36-minute LP matches dark disco with dreamy pop to fantastic effect. It’s moody enough to be alluring while retaining the essential delight of a house party. Fongemie’s lyrics explore the depths of life and love amidst a backdrop of ‘60s psychedelia, but conveyed with an ‘80s love song twist – something to which we can all relate.  Sharp Divide finds the band contemplating cosmic inquiries, reflecting on regrets, pondering our collective existential identity, and revisiting the raw passion of human experience that has always embodied the heart of Astronomique.

- Markus Akre, Twin Cities Media

local current BLOG premiere: 'losing our control' music video

FRIDAY FIVE: FATHOM LANE, DODIE COVERING JEREMY MESSERSMITH, AND MORE NEW MINNESOTA MUSIC VIDEOS

ASTRONOMIQUE - 'LOSING OUR CONTROL'

Synth pop band Astronomique will release their debut album, Sharp Divide, at the 7th St Entry on June 9. Here’s the first single.

- Cecelia Johnson, Local Current Blog

city pages features Astronomique's astro pale ale

LOCAL SUDS: 5 MINNESOTA BEERS TO DRINK IN JANUARY

This year, resolve to drink better. Not less. Certainly not more. Better. Challenge yourself. Shift the parameters of your comfort zone. Try beers you never thought you’d enjoy. Then try them again. If you dislike a style, attempt to nail down the reasons why. Pick apart the reasons you enjoy another. Stop being so comfortable.

Local beer culture has shifted dramatically over the past few years, and if you aren’t shifting with it, you’re going to be left behind. Education is re-education, so in 2018, push yourself to drink with more purpose. Explore, and start your exploration here, with five new beers to kick off the new year.

 

DAY BLOCK ASTRO PALE ALE
IPA, 6.1% ABV, 60 IBU

Day Block Brewing’s Bands that Brew series is one of the most inventive small-batch releases going in the Twin Cities beer scene. For their latest edition, the folks at Day Block invited trippy indie band, Astronomique, into the brewhouse to collaborate with head brewer Adam Weis on an everything-but-the-kitchen sink IPA that’s brewed with Belgian yeast and, in Weis’s words, “a shitload” of flaked rye.

Astro Pale Ale erupts with the clove esters of the Belgian yeast, though the body is as orange as mango. The sweet, slightly spicy rye flavor abounds, eating up the beer’s chinook, amarillo, and cascade hops. It’s a very atypical IPA, but then again, Astronomique is an atypical band. Astro Pale Ale drops at the band’s show at Day Block tonight.

- Jerard Fagerberg, Minneapolis City Pages

bands that brew: astronomique brews 'astro pale ale'

DAY BLOCK BREWING COMPANY - ASTRO BELGIAN IPA

In this Bands That Brew Series, we got together with the band Astronomique to brew a Belgian Rye IPA. Utilizing a Belgian yeast strain helps blend a combination of fruitiness and phenolic characteristics with the classic spice of Rye malt. We topped it off with an overwhelming amount of Chinook, Amarillo, and Cascade hops to unionize contrasting flavors of citrus and spice. Leaving you with a delightful everlasting bitterness. 6.1% ABV, 60 IBU.

Watch the video of Logan Andra Fongemie helping our brewers make this Belgian IPA, which will be released on tap at Astronomique's show January 19 with Josh Harmony & Co. and Extraterrestrials.

'mimic forms' makes city pages' best of 2017

THE YEAR IN MUSIC 2017: NOTHING BUT THE BEST

LOCAL ALBUMS

1.  Shredders, Dangerous Jumps

An aggressive throat punch to passive listening. Paper Tiger, Lazerbeak, P.O.S., and Sims are here to kick your ass.

2.  Suburbs, Hey Muse!

Proving that 2013’s Si Sauvage was no fluke, Chan, Hugo, and their band are back like they never left. “When We Were Young” is the tough autobiography you never knew you wanted. Hit repeat.

3.  Thomas Abban, A Sheik’s Legacy

Shockingly interesting, this young musician should be on all the local lists. Robert Plant, Jeff Buckley, and Prince had a baby, and this is him.

4.  Mary Bue, The Majesty of Beasts

From the fierce freedom of “The Shit I Left in Duluth” to the harrowing rage of “Petty Misdemeanor,” Bue released a potent EP this year.

5.  Suicide Commandos, Time Bomb

Did anyone expect a new Suicide Commandos record in 2017? No, and that’s part of what makes it so great. The pure, unrefined rock and roll joy of the tracks should keep your party hopping well into 2047.
 

NON-LOCAL ALBUMS

1.  Margo Price, All American Made

She’s here to burn the honky-tonk to the ground. Don’t believe it? Shut up and listen to “Pay Gap.”

2.  Alex Lahey, I Love You Like a Brother

Lahey isn’t here to change the course of history, but this buzzy guitar album will make you roll the windows down in the middle of a Minnesota winter.

3.  Matthew Ryan, Hustle Up Starlings

Ryan has always been a singer/songwriter who also knows how to rock, and this album is maybe his most perfect combination yet of wide open rock and introspection.

4.  Algiers, The Underside of Power

Dense, propulsive, and supremely pissed-off, The Underside of Power is not something to put on at your office holiday party. It’s something to put on when you’re looking up “how to make Molotov cocktails” at 2 a.m.

5.  Downtown Boys, Cost of Living

Their name says, “cock-rock from the ‘80s,” but their mixed gender, multiracial, bilingual mutant punk rock says, “Fooled ya, pendejo.”

 

SONGS

1.  Astronomique, “Mimic Forms”

Local mood for late nights/early mornings.

2.  Thea Gilmore, “Sounds Good to Me”

Dramatic, danceable mission statement from the UK singer/songwriter that we could all use today.

3.  Ghostpoet, “Immigrant Boogie”

A brooding wall of emotion that’s almost too powerful and sad for words.

4.  Dead Cross, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”

Great cover of a great song. Is there anything Mike Patton can’t do?

5.  Living Colour, “Who Shot Ya”

Living Colour covers Biggie Smalls, and ultimately changes the meaning and nature of the original.

- Chad Werner, Minneapolis City Pages

news whistle interviews astronomique

GET READY FOR THE SPACE WAVE - SIX CRUCIAL QUESTIONS FOR ASTRONOMIQUE

It’s time for a deep dive with Astronomique. This Minneapolis band feels like falling, floating through the stars and time, and you are invited to come along on the journey. Take ‘60s psychedelia, marry it to the best of the dark romanticism of the ‘80s along with a heaping helping of echo and vocal sweetness and you will have what the band has self-dubbed “Space Wave.”

Astronomique has a fresh new single out, 'Mimic Forms' b/w '23rd Century,' available from BandcampiTunesGooglePlay, etc.

NewsWhistle threw our patented Six Crucial Questions at the band, and was lucky enough to get answers from each one of them! Read on, and then take a trip with Astronomique.

Logan Andra Fongemie: lead vocals, synth

Sean Hogan: vocals, guitar

Mitch Billings: vocals, drums

Preston Saari: bass guitar

 

1. What is your earliest musical memory?

Logan Andra Fongemie: Me as a three-year-old watching my mom bounce on a mini trampoline while listening to Kenny Rogers records.

Sean Hogan: If we go WAY back, I have a faint memory of singing along to the Beach Boys “Kokomo” which was on the radio during lunch in pre-school. My parents always told me all the girls in the class loved me, and I am assuming it’s because I was able to sing along with all those rich Beach Boys harmonies.

Mitch Billings: My parents took my sister and me to see Hank Williams Jr. at the Minnesota State Fair.  This may have been my first trip to the “big city” as well.

Preston Saari: Johnny Cash and the Carter Family.

 

2. What has been your most embarrassing musical moment?

Logan Andra Fongemie: Driving hours across the country to headline a college radio music fest, only to find out that we played at like 2:00 AM to four people.  Then the music director made the situation even better by posting multiple times on their Facebook event. “How come none of the people who RSVP’d showed up?”  Ha!

Sean Hogan: I was in a band called the New Monarchs, which is where I met our current drummer Mitch. We were playing a show at Bar Abilene in Uptown – not necessarily known for its live music. The “stage” was just a corner of the restaurant they had removed the tables and chairs from. Not a huge deal though right? We all came from rocking out in basements so this is basically the same thing. What we overlooked was the power being used for the live sound equipment/instruments on stage. We got a few songs into our set and blew the power to that portion of the restaurant. Pretty embarrassing, but they got the breaker switched on and we kept going – only to have it blow again! Definitely not our finest moment, haha.

Mitch Billings: I was out doing karaoke with some classmates on one of the first weekends of law school. I was tapped to do the Snoop Dog portion of Katy Perry’s “California Girls.” I apparently know that song more than I thought because I sort of took over and sang the whole thing. It definitely left a great first impression.

Preston Saari: Playing a show with my arm in a sling and my face all busted up from crashing my bike.

 

3. What do you like and dislike about touring?

Logan Andra Fongemie: I both like and dislike the fact that I haven’t done much touring.  Like because I haven’t had to drive a million miles to play shows at crappy bars for no one.  Dislike because I might as well experience that.

Sean Hogan: Most favorite part – seeing and trying new things in the town I am playing in. Checking out new restaurants, local shops, and enjoying local brews that we can’t get in MN. Least favorite part – being cooped up in a tour van hours at a time definitely gets to you. It’s important to help alleviate “tour bus fever” by stimulating the mind – playing games, singing along to songs, ensuring you’re stopping enough to stretch out, etc.

Mitch Billings: Haven’t really done much touring in this band. But after a show in Fargo, we drove back in the middle of the night. That wasn’t much fun…

Preston Saari: Never really toured.

 

4. What is your favorite record store, anywhere in the world?

Logan Andra Fongemie: Know Name Records is right down the street from where I live.  It’s got a pretty great selection of ridiculous records, like Jazzercise and Tiki Disco.

Sean Hogan: Locally, I was always a Cheapo guy because I was also looking to browse the VHS and DVD section along with the record selection.

Mitch Billings: Not even just to get the hometown points, but it’s Electric Fetus.  I grew up not far from St. Cloud so even before I moved down here for college, it was a place I went to shop.

Preston Saari: Electric Fetus in Duluth.

 

5. Other than your own music, what is your favorite song or album of all-time? Why?

Logan Andra Fongemie: My own music is my favorite of all time. Just kidding.  David Bowie’s “Ashes To Ashes” is really great. I love everything about that song, especially the synth sounds and the killer key part at the end.

Sean Hogan: Always a tough question – I think my favorite song of all time (and it’s a sad one) is “How To Disappear Completely” by Radiohead. I’m a fan of top fives for albums, so at this particular moment in time I’d say: Radiohead – Kid A, Daft Punk – Discovery, Weezer – Pinkerton, Jimmy Eat World – Clarity, Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf.

Mitch Billings: This is always a loaded question, but, if I’m forced to choose, I’m a Weezer guy. I think I lean PinkertonThe Suburbs by Arcade Fire is pretty far up on my list as well.

Preston Saari: “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles. It was my mantra for years. Still puts me in a great mood.

 

6. You wake up in a seedy Berlin hotel room with no recollection of the past 96 hours. Who is your first call?

Logan Andra Fongemie: Ghostbusters.

Sean Hogan: First I find my phone, then look through all the photos for any evidence of what happened, then I call my dad (who is a lawyer) to both let him know I am okay and solicit any legal advice I may need.

Mitch Billings: Again? Mom wasn’t too pleased last time…

Preston Saari: My sister because I have her number memorized and she’d laugh.

- Chad Werner, News Whistle

music under glass: astronomique

MUSIC UNDER GLASS CONCERT SERIES RETURNS TO COMO PARK

Folks looking for a no-cost way to ease the dark and cold of winter can once again enjoy free Sunday afternoon concerts by local musicians at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. The Music Under Glass series resumes for 2018 on Jan. 7, with Paul Metsa, a 30-year award-winning veteran of the Minnesota music scene.

Concerts will be held in the sunken gardens, but the music is piped into every room in the conservatory. Beer, wine, soda and light snacks will be available to purchase during the shows, which will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on most Sundays through March 11.

“People will be able to stroll throughout the building, listening to the music, while holding a glass of wine or other beverage,” Como spokesman Matt Reinartz said.

This is the series’ seventh year. There will be no concert Jan. 28 due to the St. Paul Winter Carnival Orchid Show. There will also be no show on Feb. 4, Super Bowl Sunday in Minneapolis.

In addition to Metsa, a diverse group of performers is scheduled to play, including Astronomique on Jan. 14, Siama’s Congo World Quartet on Jan. 21, Café Accordion Orchestra on Feb. 25 and the Dead Pigeons on March 4.

Funding for the Music Under Glass series is provided, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board.

- James Walsh, Star Tribune

mostly Minnesota features 'mimic forms' release show

ASTRONOMIQUE SINGLE RELEASE OF 'MIMIC FORMS' - '60S AESTHETICS AND '80S MUSICAL INFLUENCE

Astronomique is the band you thought you’d be seeing in the future back in 1987. They’re a synth pop band with '60s aesthetics and '80s musical influence. They played Thursday night at Icehouse to introduce their new single, 'Mimic Forms.'

There are four members: Logan Andra Fongemie on vocals and keyboards, Sean Hogan on guitar and vocals, Mitch Billings on vocals and drums, and Preston Saari on bass guitar. The band is solid. The keyboards really set the tone of the music, bringing a space-age feel. There’s a nice contrast between the pop appeal of the keyboards and the harder rocking rest of the band. The vocals – especially on tracks where Fongemie and Hogan both sing – bridge the difference. There’s a sweet and salty, high and low mix that sounds really good together.

Adding to the space-age feel was a Sci-fi video on in the background - the video for their new release, 'Mimic Forms' (shared below), I presume. The folds in the majestic curtain behind the stage at Icehouse make it difficult to confirm. It was fun to guess the movies that influenced the obscured video (Barbarella, Tron?) in the same way it’s fun to guess the influences on the music. 'Mimic Forms' is less synth, more vocals than some of their earlier songs. There’s something soothing and almost wavy to the music.

They also played the B-side to the new single, '23rd Century.' I enjoyed the Spanish feel in the castanet-sounding drums.

- Ann Treacy, Mostly Minnesota

secrets of the city plugs 'mimic forms' release show

ASTRONOMIQUE 'MIMIC FORMS' SINGLE RELEASE WITH BEASTHEAD + STOLYETTE

We love it when some of our favorite local groups fill up a bill, especially at a cool spot like Icehouse, and that’s exactly the case tonight. New wave wunderkids Astronomique release their new single “Mimic Forms” (check out the video) with the electro-Russian folk dance music makers StoLyette (read our Quick Q+A with singer Irene Ruderman Clark) and Beasthead (which includes StoLyette’s, Mitch Miller.  10 PM. $5. 

- Paul Cajun, Secrets of the City

Minneapolis city pages premiere: 'mimic forms' music video

LAZY SCORSESE MAKE LOVE ON THE ASTRAL PLANE IN THIS WEEK'S TOP 5 MN MUSIC VIDEOS

ASTRONOMIQUE - 'MIMIC FORMS'

On Friday, synthpop four-piece Astronomique released 'Mimic Forms,' and after a weekend of buzz, they’re back with a kitsch-fest of a video to accompany that new single. Playing like an ‘80s fantasy epic dunked in colored Easter egg vinegar, the video for “Mimic Forms” has a nostalgic charm and shows the band’s playful side.

Logan Andra Fongemie’s faraway voice drifts through the technological chaos and future-punk sets, deepening the unreality of the visuals, while some campy acting from the rest of the band keeps things from being too disorienting. The real-life band celebrates the single release on Thursday night at Icehouse along with Beasthead and StoLyette.

- Jerard Fagerberg, Local Frames (Minneapolis City Pages)

we heart music plugs 'mimic forms' release show

MINNEAPOLIS: NOVEMBER 15 TO NOVEMBER 16, 2017

Here are some shows taking place in the Minneapolis/St Paul area from November 15 to November 16, 2017.

ASTRONOMIQUE
+ Stolyette, Beasthead
Icehouse
Thu 11/16/2017 (10pm/$5)  
icehousempls.com 

Local trio Astronomique (Logan Andra Fongemie, Sean Hogan, Mitch Billings) is having a release party for their latest single, 'Mimic Forms.' Stolyette and Beasthead to open. 

Note: shows at the Icehouse start late.

New Release! 'mimic forms' (single)

MIMIC FORMS (6:55)

Mimic Forms Art (72dpi).jpg

Tracks:

1.    Mimic Forms (3:45) 

2.    23rd Century (3:10)

Produced and recorded by by Knol Tate
Mastered by Justin Perkins

Logan Andra Fongemie: Lead vocals, synth, lyrics, artwork
Sean Hogan: Guitar, vocals
Mitch Billings: Drums, vocals
Jordan Morantez: Bass guitar

Available on iTunes, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify.

local current blog premiere: 'mimic forms' music video

FRIDAY FIVE: DIZZY FAE, THE SUBURBS, AND MORE NEW MINNESOTA MUSIC VIDEOS

ASTRONOMIQUE, 'MIMIC FORMS'

Astronomique will celebrate the single release of “Mimic Forms” with Beasthead and StoLyette on Nov. 16 at Icehouse.

- Cecelia Johnson, Local Current Blog

Go 96.3 FM Interviews Astronomique's Logan Andra Fongemie

TODAY'S GO LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: ASTRONOMIQUE

KQGO 96.3 FM (MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA)

DJ Barb Abney from Go 96.3 FM (Minneapolis, MN) talks with Logan about Astronomique's Self-Titled EP, the band's inspiration, local music Logan is listening to at the moment, and guitarist Sean Hogan's affinity for terrible '80s horror flicks.

- GO 96.3

radio k track of the day: 'the shape you take'

TRACK OF THE DAY: 'THE SHAPE YOU TAKE'

KUOM 770 AM/100.7 FM (MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA)

Local funky electronic group Astronomique stopped by the studio earlier this month for an in-studio. Their performance of “The Shape You Take” closed the set strong. Astronomique arose out of inspiration from the ‘60s-throwback psychedelic artwork of vocalist/keyboardist, Logan Andra Fongemie (Satellite Voices). Joined by Sean Hogan (The New Monarchs) on guitar/vocals and Mitch Billings on drums, the trio envisioned a soundtrack that would compliment their visual component. Namely, a nouveau approach toward New Wave synthpop, inspired by the likes of The Cure, Depeche Mode, A Flock of Seagulls, and outerspace itself.

- Radio K

Radio K 2016.jpg

CMJ Stats: 'astronomique' ep

After ranking #17 on CMJ's Top 200 Adds chart, Astronomique EP spent 4 weeks on CMJ's Top 200 Chart, peaking at #130.

 

FEEDBACK:

“Makes my job so much easier when I get music I like. Keep it up and we’ll keep spinning it.”

- Urban Knights Radio (San Francisco, CA)

 

"Your CD has definitely been well received. Good one.”

- WCHC 88.1 FM (Worchester, MA)

 

“Thanks for the good tunes.”

- RLC-WVPH 90.3 (Piscataway, NJ)