The singles released prior to Waking Astronomer’s self-titled debut didn’t provide a blueprint for the album to come, but what it did provide was a set of snapshots for the sonic journey ahead. Though the final product is as wild and bohemian as we’ve come to expect from the trio, the eight-song EP retains an air of deliberation which provides a tranquil unity amidst the glitchy beats and ancient rhythms.
On “Graphite,” vocalist Afua Richardson sings, “All these walls and cages just a figment of my mind.” This description of the control we can exercise over our consciousness is not new, and for this EP, that’s exactly the point. This is Waking Astronomer’s assumed reality, where a psychedelic expedition through space and time is not only normal, but expected. This consciousness is evident through the near spiritual connection they have to their instruments, a perfectionism never forced or mechanical, but rich and deep.
Even though the irregular has become the norm for Waking Astronomer, the trio never sound complacent; instead, they are emotionally intertwined with each note. The passion is subtle and often overshadowed by the band’s technical prowess, but deep sentimentality shines through the sparser tracks, especially “Sea of Memories” and “Pendulum,” which run through the heart of the album.
From the smoothest of future R&B to chaotic experimentalism, this record is about the intersection between the physical and the spiritual. When Richardson sings that she is made up of “invisible strings” she exposes the secrets which Waking Astronomer traffic in, and demonstrates how well the band lives in the twilight between worlds.
Waking Astronomer is available now via Psych Army Intergalactic.