Committing themselves to the sounds and emotions they love and believe in, The Astronomers have brought something special to the surface on their 11-track debut album The Occasion. Deepening their foundation in modern music, they cautiously pull back the curtains for their debut release. The duo Ben Baker and Michael Stensland capitalize on indie sounds of pop, alternative, and rock, defiant but reflective.
With cosmic churning of synthesizers, fancy vocal chops, electric guitars, floor-filling drum beats they tend to recall the vibrant sound of electronic rock. The duo pushes this approach one step further with their debut album The Occasion. You grove harder with each of the song followed by another. The duo transforming the smallest of phrases into sparkling sounds is no secret. Uplifting, melancholy ranging the emotional tenor with a feeling of purposeful motion.
“Ruin My Day” is the focus track from the album, in which the duo make use of a wide array of styles and instrumentation. Layering a ukulele, powerful drums, uncharacteristically elaborate lyrics, glossy vocals , augmenting several pieces with a piano and electronic sounds, they venture, “Oh I think I want to go to space…”. A snapshot of the duo’s present state of mind. The song starts with the ukulele and the vocals coming right in, later with the addition of piano before launching into a measured gallop of drums and bass driving you to the heart of the song. They work through their feelings that the mind can play, the feelings of being in doubt or discouragement, with the importance being not to let those voices of negativity prevail. “The more people come across our music, the greater chance a portion may not like it, even express their hate towards it. Instead of letting that get to us, we put those feelings into this song”, the duo adds. Even though it has the simplest chords it for some reason carries a shining glow.
The duo focuses so much on their music, asserting how vulnerable they are yet channeling all those emotions through the songs. With an attempt to express themselves in a better way. There are shards of interesting ideas, in the making of the album, like the use of vocal chops, ear-candy sounds, frenzied drum patterns, pitch shifted vocals, catchy hook lines. With nearly two years in making, representing a major step, the duo have written, mixed and performed their music since the release of their first EP in 2020 and now the follow up project in 2021. “We have always wanted to release an album since we started making music in 2019”, says Stensland. He then goes on to add,“The goal is to take our fans through different sounds, lyrics, and relatable and introspective topics.”
“This project involved many months of revamping songs, moving to different studios, and balancing school.” Four previously released singles, all receiving radio play take the duo to new heights and record numbers. Seven new tracks showcase the versatility of The Astronomers’ sound. “We’ve always loved listening all the way through our favorite artists’ projects because of the story they tell. We also know as listeners that you can often develop a relationship to an album that will last a lifetime. We hope this collection of music will do that for our listeners.”
Altogether the duo have created an album that’s full with emotions, sentiments, passion and intensity. Everything about the album makes sense as you keep listening to each of the songs, with reassuring relief and a bold statement, a joyful depiction of art, all these reasons that make their music more relatable, malleable and immersive. The atmosphere of a particular song, the quality, the emotions surrounding it you could sense that in each song. Their debut album “The Occasion” shows the conviction of the duo and the power to make believers of the people who listen to their music.
The duo’s lead single “Overthinking” off their sophomore EP “Guess It’s Just Life” received substantial play on Wisconsin radio including 101.1 WIXX, reaching #1 on top nine at 9. The project boasts roaring brass sections akin to AJR, punchy vocals of QUINN XCII, and the sentiment of Jon Bellion.
The Astronomers create a dynamic, energy-filled performance, headlining venues including Titletown Green Bay and The Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin to 500+ attendees.
“Bad Type” and “Hotel Rooms,” the first two singles off of their upcoming project have been in full rotation on 5 radio stations. “Hotel Rooms” recently charted at #88 on Mediabase and hit #1 on WIXX 101.1 where is has been placed in Power Rotation.