'SHARP DIVIDE' - ASTRONOMIQUE
Astronomique are a space odyssey style band from Minneapolis, MN. Their name has been borrowed from a French picture book called ‘Lunette Astronomique,’ and it suits them perfectly!
Their latest album is a 10-track beautifully and lovingly crafted piece of work. The band describe their music as ‘space-age electro psych-pop’. They have achieved their aim. We took an audio tour around the solar system while enjoying this very well executed first album.
The opening track, ‘Forefathers,’ sets the scene beautifully as to what is to come. There is a gorgeous synth opening followed by very well mixed drums, equipped with a snappy snare, and filled with texture and balance. A lot of thought and precision has gone into the musical melodies accompanying the vocals. Two separate instrumental parts can be heard panned in either ear, working together as one with the main leading light: the stunning lead vocals. The chorus is also sublime, accented with an unobtrusive tambourine, carrying proceedings through and giving life and soul to a harmonious tune.
Another stand out track is ‘We Disappear,' which captures synths working together in unison, separated only by octaves. We believe this song would be a strong single choice. There is a recurring theme in the opening synth riffs, which come in and out, and feel like an old friend when they reappear. This track is unmistakably Astronomique. It is catchy, thought provoking and welcoming. Again, the tambourine is used in the correct measure for a supportive back bone to a thought provoking song.
We also adored ‘Smoke’. The instruments offer interesting chord progressions and unexpected twists and turns. The delay on the vocals is very long, and this is works well in adding sustenance to the track. The guitar riffs have their own themes, working independently of each other, while still sounding as one.
There is no denying the musicianship on this album. Each player somehow manages to do their own thing while still coming together as a whole. This can only be accomplished to such a high standard by musicians who really know their craft. The vocals are smooth and delicate, while still packing a catchy punch. The bass and guitars are funky and interesting, showcasing their own style, technique, and flare. The drums provide the heartbeat, shining in the background while keeping everything together. The synths give a new wave feel, reinventing an 80’s classic style in an innovative, made-for-the-2010’s way.
While the instrumentation on the album is similar on each song, they all have their own unique personalities. The familiar instruments make for a cohesive and inclusive piece of art.
Overall, we were very impressed with the balance of the album. Much like the solar system, the instruments do their own thing but work in harmony together.
A summer classic for sure and we can’t wait to hear what comes next!