ASTR – Varsity EP Summer Came Early
I know, I know. I’m late to the draw again, but discovering ASTR’s Varsity EP has officially thrust me into Summer. In my defense, I was out to sea for four months during this EP’s release in November. But this is something worth mentioning. For those of you who haven’t given this band a listen, prepare your earholes for smooth vocals, deep bass, and refreshing beats provided by a NYC duo, Adam & Zoe who met in a Yoga class a few years back.
“Operate” was the first song by ASTR I had the pleasure of listening to. Some friends and I were walking down the streets of NYC with a jambox in my backpack taking turns playing bluetooth DJ. As my friend took the digital wheel, he streamed this song from his soundcloud playlist and I immediately fell in love. I got that feeling where you know for the next several months you’re going to be hitting the repeat button excessively. It hooks you within seconds. Her inviting voice soothingly chimes in the word “operate” over an 808 snare pulsing like a heartbeat. Next, she invites you in. “Baby, come lay your head down. Every little thing that you’re looking for.” The words confirm the subconscious suspicion. Deep kicks and bass roll patiently up and down each and every vocal riff. To create the atmosphere just about every instrument is given reverb to create a valley of sound that her voice fills from end to end. When listening with headphones, the sound is zen as it creates an infinite landscape between each ear.Simply put, it’s one of those songs that is easy to get lost in. This is a song I would love to hear deep in the woods of Sherwood Forest
R U With Me
At the start of “R U With Me”, your senses are tricked into thinking the song is going to be another ambient overdrive. With a beam and China boy cymbal, ASTR thrusts you into a time machine back to the 80’s showing you just how many tricks in their arsenal they have. Once again, Zoe’s voice resonates around the drum beat as if she were having a conversation with you. The precise synths gated to the beat and late chimes develop the song into a complete piece that is destined to show up at any worthy pool party.
“Blue Hawaii” is cooler than you and doesn’t try to hide it. From the start with it’s syncopated synths and vocal slices, ASTR is making style look easy. After the intro, some soft synth keys (that any fan of Rufus will fall in love with instantly) initiate a chorus that’s likely to stick in your head for some time, as the claps draw you in further and further, until the drop hits you in an escape able trance. These are three of the highlights for me, but be sure to check out the entire EP here:
Also, ASTR has released a free download of their track, “Part of Me”, which you can pick-up here ASTR is going on tour this Summer, so be sure to check them out as it’s likely you won’t get a chance to see them this intimately for much longer.
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