Home / Uncategorised  / Dead Astronauts – Constellations – One of the Most Original Albums This Year


Dead Astronauts – Constellations – One of the Most Original Albums This Year

Constellations by Dead Astronauts is a cool album. I wish that didn’t sound so clichéd. The release just exudes such a unique vibe and creates such dense atmosphere with what feels like little effort. It manages to skirt retro/synthwave clichés throughout, but subverts them in subtle ways to make


Constellations by
Dead Astronauts is a cool album. I wish that didn’t sound so clichéd. The
release just exudes such a unique vibe and creates such dense atmosphere with
what feels like little effort. It manages to skirt retro/synthwave clichés
throughout, but subverts them in subtle ways to make this a very original and
consistent album.
It is usually very obvious which 80’s artists a
retro-inspired musician goes to for reference. The amount of retro songs
inspired by “Beat It” is pretty substantial, and there’s nothing wrong with
that. I love “Beat It” and I love some of the excellent songs that I believe it
inspired. Dead Astronauts recall the sounds of more eccentric artists. Little
moments of music and elements of vocal delivery recall Echo & the Bunnymen,
Bauhaus, and Joy Division. These are three of my favorite bands and this album
captures so much of what made those bands so great while recontextualizing it
in modern synths and production.
The back and forth between the Jared Kyle’s and Hayley
Stewart’s vocals is the ace up Dead Astronauts’ sleeve.  Individually they are both unique voices
(literally) in the genre. Kyle recalls 80’s post punk and gothic rock while
Stewart croons soulfully with a tasteful atmospheric reverb used sparingly.
Stewart’s also deserves special mention. I love when music is able to give me
newer experiences and newer appreciations with each listen. The album works so
well when you just listen to the surface. The vocals help that out. But if you
look under the hood you hear a lot of neat stuff happening and some synth
sounds that are interesting.
The entire album presents clichés of the genres reimagined
in an original light. They are reclaimed and are no longer a negative. The
pulsating bass synths hit you in a different way than you would expect. Some
moments have synths that sound almost chiptune-inspired, though not to a level
of campiness or novelty. The tracks absolutely work with them. “Parallel
Universes” and “Unhappy Women” get downright glitchy with the production on the
vocals.  The artwork and general aesthetic
occupy a mystical juxtaposition between fantasy and science fiction, as
embodied by their mascot Persephone.

I really love so much about this release. It is easily in my
top five albums of the year regardless of genre. I wish this album were
available on vinyl. Fans of NRW will absolutely eat this album up. Constellations will get the band fans
from outside of the community and they absolutely deserve it.  



joey.edsall@newretrowave.com

Review overview

POST A COMMENT

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.