City Pages: 'Astronomique perfect legwarmer-pop in week's top 5 MN music videos'

If Astronomique had their way, legwarmers would never have gone out of style. The Minneapolis retro-pop trio went back to the Jane Fonda days to visualize their new single "The Shape You Take," which is off their new self-titled EP, which drops tomorrow.

"The Shape You Take" is more than buns, thighs, and abs, though. The song is an energetic, overprocessed response to the trendy nihilism of the 2010s. It reaches back to the perma-sunny days of the '80s, co-opting the upstrokes of Kenny Loggins and the visceral bass of Depeche Mode. It's about finding meaning in a fleeting moment. You can have a fleeting moment with the band on May 27 as Astronomique celebrate the release of the EP at the 331 Club.

- Jerard Fagerberg

Skope Magazine Premieres 'The Shape You Take'

‘Flash back to the 80’s with ASTRONOMIQUE’s new single, The Shape You Take. Mixed with intergalactic dream pop and elements of dark synth-driven disco, The Shape You Take creates an atmospheric sound that is out of this world.

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.

Twin Cities Media Previews Astronomique EP Release Show

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.

Infusing their flavor of intergalactic dream pop with elements of dark synth-driven disco, and complimented by Fongemie’s sensual vocals, Minneapolis New Wavers ASTRONOMIQUE return with their second and grooviest release: Astronomique EP. The 6-track, 21-minute totally danceable record reveals a funkier and more organic sound, while retaining all the passion and honesty for which ASTRONOMIQUE are renowned.

Their next show is Friday 5/27 at the 331 Club.

- Markus Akre

Pittsburgh Music Magazine Premieres 'The Shape You Take'

Flash back to the '80s with ASTRONOMIQUE's new single, The Shape You Take. Mixed with intergalactic dream pop and elements of dark synth-driven disco, The Shape You Take creates an atmospheric sound that is out of this world. Described as "an impressive introduction to hooky celestial pop-rock that sounds a bit like Ladytron meets dreamy psychedelia meets Carl Sagan," ASTRONOMIQUE's funky bass rhythms and upbeat New Wave synthpop are unlike any other.

STREAM THE SHAPE YOU TAKE.

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.

Infusing their flavor of intergalactic dream pop with elements of dark synth-driven disco, and complimented by Fongemie’s sensual vocals, Minneapolis New Wavers ASTRONOMIQUE return with their second and grooviest release: Astronomique EP. The 6-track, 21-minute totally danceable record reveals a funkier and more organic sound, while retaining all the passion and honesty for which ASTRONOMIQUE are renowned.

Receiving high acclaim in national and international music blogs, ASTRONOMIQUE’s 2014 self-released Burning Stars Fade EP saw 3 weeks on CMJ’s RPM chart, peaking at #34. Earning the band a loyal following, radio in-studio appearances, nomination for best new local act, and a headlining slot at the KNDS 96.3 annual music showcase, ASTRONOMIQUE’s debut release was aptly described by Swim Agency as “one of the more successful debut promo campaigns [we’ve] been a part of.”

Hailed by 89.3 The Current as “an impressive introduction to hooky celestial pop-rock that sounds a bit like Ladytron meets dreamy psychedelia meets Carl Sagan,” and by l’etoile Magazine as “something refreshing in a local music scene full of talented, but often similar, musical styles,” ASTRONOMIQUE are working hard to establish themselves as a unique and governing force in not only the local, but the international synthpop scene. 

- Alan Welding

City Pages reviews Astronomique EP

Album: Self-Titled

Label: Self-released

Grade: B

There's something so delightfully, unrepentantly throwback-y about the new Astronomique EP, Self-TitledTheir first EP, Burning Stars Fade, had hints of that for sure, but still sounded relatively modern — kind of a synth-dance-Brooklyn-circa-now vibe.

This one ups the post-punk ante by like a 1,000 percent with an ass-ton of magnificently echo-driven guitar/bass interplay. Think: Siouxie and the Cure, with the emphasis on the brighter aspects of those bands rather than the goth, moody ones. Add in some vibes lifted from Cocteau Twins and Lush (always a good thing), plus sharpley danceable beats, and you have an EP pitched squarely at Minneapolis' dream-pop past.

It'd be a pleasant retro trifle if the songwriting wasn't so focused and hook-laden. Standouts include the bouncy, flange-tinged "Masquerade," and the gloriously arpeggiated "Until Daylight," which focuses on jagged keyboards and singer Logan Fongemie's matter-of-factly pretty vocals. And you bet "Like Junkies" is a Local Current radio hit waiting to happen, with its MBV-inspired keyboard riffing.

Downsides: occasionally homogeneous beats (happens to dance records sometimes, what are you gonna do?) and a couple of areas where beat quantization would have helped (it's tough to sound mechanical when things get off a little bit).

On the whole, though, Self-Titled is a fine addition to a psychedelic dream-pop scene that's felt a little dormant and tired lately. Beautiful.

- Jon Hunt

Astronomique opens for SC Mira (Winnepeg)

At Amsterdam Bar & Hall, St. Paul

A vacant warehouse. Music blasting. A woman with a needle in her chest meets a man in a tacky red suit. Pulp Fiction meets feigned pomp. Sadye Cage meets Ty Vega. The unorthodox union, born of fake blood and abandoned asylum lighting, and fleshed out with the addition of drummer Jed Desilets, bassist Mario Lagassé, and Caro LaFlamme on keys would eventually become Winnipeg-rooted indie-rock outfit SC Mira. Their upcoming debut, Waiting Room Baby, showcases simple but savory instrumentation framing and keeping focus on Cage’s voice and poetry. The overall product on record, which features the legendary Buck 65 (a poet in his own right) on the track “Motel Honey,” is sweet but haunting, bold but brittle. Live, though, those same songs are injected with energy and rise, fervor and ferocity. With a live show that boasts the urgency and intensity of a thunderstorm and a fresh take on fiery folk rock – dark, dazzling, eerie, elegant – Sc Mira is a shot of adrenaline, straight to the heart.

Flatbasset Radio Podcast - 'Pretend We're Stars' is best of 2014

On episode #53: Best of 2014

 

01. Some Pulp - Oh Oh (Who's Cryin' Now)

02. Half Japanese - In Its Pull

03. Astronomique - Pretend We're Stars

04. Hollow Boys - Melted

05. The Rentals - 1000 Seasons

06. Fishing - Chi Glow (w/Marcus Whale)

07. Museum Mouth - Strange

08. Floating Action - No Surprise There

09. Armand Margjeka - Hummingbird

10. GOLD-BEARS - Yeah, Tonight

'Burning Stars Fade' EP is a top played record

'Burning Stars Fade' EP is one of WSCA 106.1's 7 most played pop/rock records of 2014

 

Astronomique - Burning Stars Fade (Pretend We're Stars, Shaded Gray, The Rawest Nerve)

Claire - The Great Escape (Games, Roll Down Run South, You Walk In Beauty)

Leisure Cruise - Leisure Cruise (Double Digit Love, Believer, Crime Tip)

Lovestarrs - Supernova (Get Your Sexy On, Movie Star, I Heart You)

Mesa Jane - Level (Lay Your Arms Down, Haunt You, Don't Stop)

Midnight Faces - The Fire Is Gone (Over Again, This Time, Wake Me)

Strange Talk - Cast Away (Cast Away, Another Day, Falling In Love)

Astronomique opens for The Preatures (Australia)

At the Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis (sponsored by 89.3 The Current)

The Preatures are a five-piece rock band from Sydney, Australia. The band formed in 2010 after Izzi, Jack and Tom met Gideon at the Lansdowne Hotel. Luke joined a year later on drums. The lead single off their second EP 'Is This How You Feel' became a breakthrough hit, earning both popular and critical acclaim in Australia and overseas. Pitchfork called it "groove based confection that explodes into one of the year's best choruses." In August 2013 'Is This How You Feel' won the coveted $50,000 first prize in the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition. Soon after The Preatures signed with Harvest Records in the US and Virgin EMI in the UK. In October 2013 the band played CMJ in New York and club shows in LA and London. They were featured by the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and singled out by NME as one of the top two acts of CMJ. The single has since gone gold and reached number 9 on Triple J's Hottest 100 list of 2013. The band head back overseas for a run of shows in the UK and the US, including SXSW and Coachella. Their debut album is due out 2014.

Lake Minnetonka Magazine - Monthly Must-Have: 'Burning Stars Fade' EP

While it’s hard not to conjure up theremin-like wails when the word “space” is used in any musical context, rest assured that self-described space wave group Astronomique sounds nothing like a cheesy sci-fi soundtrack from the ’50s. Sure, the young Minneapolis group’s Burning Stars Fade EP is ripe with synth and subtle soundscapes, but don’t expect to hear standout mentions of planetary strife or interstellar ballet. Instead, the EP operates a lot like a solar system in its own right—a central body with each element swirling around it, all exerting just enough gravity to keep it together, yet leaving enough, well, space to never impose.

If there’s a star of the EP, it’s undoubtedly vocalist Logan Andra Fongemie. Delivering the most consistent performance, Fongemie’s voice seems to snake throughout each song, never dipping into staccato territory but providing just enough syllabic deftness to dodge monotony.

There’s solid songwriting on display here, with each instrument ascending to crescendo and fading into the dark at times that feel natural. That restraint definitely contributes to the EP’s overall theme, but it also means that standout guitar licks, bass grooves and drum fills are fairly rare, making the experience of Burning Stars Fade more pleasing plain than dynamic mountain range. 

Available for purchase on iTunes.

- Alex Skjong

l'etoile Magazine Features 'Collide' Release Party

Minneapolis band Astronomique are something refreshing in a local music scene full of talented but often similar musical styles. Astronomique’s sound, sometimes described as “space wave,” is inspired by the French visual artist/singer/keyboardist Logan Andra Fongemie’s 1960s Space Age-themed drawings and paintings. Fondemie’s no stranger to the Minneapolis music circuit–she’s played keyboards and provided vocals to Satellite Voices. The sound? Think spacey, French-inspired synths and fuzzy guitar, combined with influences including new-wave, My Bloody Valentine, disco, and loads of other eclectic sounds. The band’s releasing their single, “Collide,” along with a remix via Taylor Nelson of Tired Tongues. Joining the lineup is electronic pop band DENNIS and the headliners Phantom Tails, a band that you really cannot escape (and definitely don’t want to) playing show after show around Minneapolis.

- Alicia Neubauer

CMJ Stats for 'Burning Stars Fade' EP

After landing at #16 on the CMJ Top 20 Adds Chart, and being the third most added RPM record, Astronomique's 'Burning Stars Fade' EP spent 3 weeks on the CMJ RPM Chart, peaking at #34.

"Looooove the 'Burning Stars Fade' EP.  Really great release.  Was #2 on our chart.  Tough to pick a favorite cut, as each tune satisfies."                            - WSCA 106.1 FM (Portsmouth, NH)

“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 making awesome music!"                       - WAUG 97.9 FM (Rock Island, IL)