If you’ve ever heard Andi Rogers sing with her indie rock duo Night Driving in Small Towns, you’d understand why her new project is tailor-made for her voice. Past praise for her vocals have included the usual feminine modifiers: pretty, sweet, alluring, and the such. And without a doubt her voice is all those things. But what strikes me is the emotional complexity she exudes in even the simplest of phrases; by turns, she can sound aching without seeming fragile, triumphant without coming off as blustery or overwrought. It’s a precarious balance, and Rogers seems to instinctively know which way to lean.
With Star-Splitter, her new electronic pop project with the Well Reds drummer Torin Degnats, Rogers gets the opportunity to stretch her voice in directions she’s never explored in the past. Buoyed by Degnats’ elastic synth soundcapes, she glides confidently over the top of his lush instrumentation, tugging at the tension between pop structures and the cosmic atmospheres the duo generate in their wake.
Today, the duo unveil their first three-song maxi-single, “Afterglow,” and have graciously allowed us to premiere the A-side title track. It’s a majestic effort that utilizes buzzing synths, percussive hand claps and sweeping strings to lead an expansive excursion into the upper reaches of the stratosphere, while a lovelorn Rogers examines the waning strands of a strained relationship. “Are we faded are we kismet / like the tail behind a comet?” she ponders, her heavenly voice caught between the twin possibilities of failed romance and the immutable destiny of everlasting love. It’s a sentiment both exhilarating and terrifying, shrouded in the hypnotic haze of Star-Splitter’s starry-eyed soundtrack. Listen below.
“Afterglow” is available for purchase now via Bandcamp.