The music of astroskeleton occupies the heartfelt and emotional avenues of chipmusic, filled with starry-eyed introspection. Jackson Scovel laid the groundwork to his signature sound last year with astroskeleton’s debut album, ‘you are not alone’. In his latest EP, ‘into stardust’, he once again employs the WINning combination of famitracker and live guitar+drums in order to create an unforgettable shoegazing atmosphere that is not to be missed. While this is still the astroskeleton we all know and love, he has also grown and evolved as an artist, densely packing the aural landscape of these four tracks to craft a cohesive experience that you’ll want to repeat again and again.
Softly glimmering tones form the backdrop behind the lead melody of ‘all we left behind’, which has a rising optimism throughout the track while simultaneously harboring a sense of wistful longing. The intensity rises at a steady pace, with each new layer of sound adding to the track’s emotional resonance. Along the way, sudden time signature switches are employed which keep things fresh and interesting. When the guitar and drums are in full effect, effortlessly combining with chipsounds, it’s clear to the listener that astroskeleton is at home in his element. All that’s left to do now is to close our eyes and let these tracks wash over and speak to the stardust within us in their own special way.
‘remember to rest’ utilizes a multitude of delay pedals to create a warm and ethereal soundscape which lulls the listener into submission. It’s hard to explain exactly how the space rock quality of the guitar which doesn’t hold back is used in such a way that it feels like a lullaby, but that’s exactly what happens here. Without realizing it, you’ll begin to sway in time with the hypnotic lead melody, which soars while hitting all the right notes. During the final moments of ‘remember to rest’, a multi-octave pitch sweep occurs before all systems shut down, as if this highly effective track is taking its own advice.
Rising from slumber, ‘pushing through the empty sky’ launches with an energetic intro that takes ‘into stardust’ to new and exciting heights. The track’s recurring refrain contains a delightful earworm of a melody which is at a more measured pace. On multiple occasions, the track will seamlessly transition between its aforementioned melody and the more energetic sections from the intro, reaching higher altitudes every time. These transitions are punctuated with staccato notes which mimic the wind rushing past your face with each ascension. ‘pushing through the empty sky’ is another expertly mixed track that wouldn’t be what it is without the extra oomph that the guitar provides.
The closing track, ‘and i miss everyone’, is my personal favorite. Equal parts dreamy and contemplative, it evokes the childlike sense of wonder within us all, as well as the mutual feeling of oneness that connects us. This track conjures up imagery of wide open expanses of space, and keeps the listener on their toes by never being too predictable and always musically interesting. Extra touches like the flourish at 2:40 is unlike anything I’ve heard before, and is one of my favorite moments from ‘into stardust’. ‘and i miss everyone’ ends this gorgeous EP with style and grace, leaving the listener wanting to repeat the experience and the solace that it provides.
Overall, ‘into stardust’ is a brilliantly therapeutic EP with sensibilities that will certainly appeal to any listener with refined taste and an open heart. It is also noteworthy that ‘into stardust’ is the second release from the recently launched net-label and collective, galaxy swim team. Those three words have been stated by one of GST’s founders, Noah Hafford, as being meant to convey “escapism and idealizing your situation. Living in your dreams and fantasies and being completely swept off your feet by your own imagination. Swimming with the stars and galaxies.” I can’t think of a better fit with this aesthetic than astroskeleton’s music. ‘into stardust’ is available to purchase for just $2 from astroskeleton’s bandcamp page, or from galaxy swim team for “pay what you want”. I encourage you to support the artist and all of his future endeavors, as I’m sure that you’ll find that ‘into stardust’ is more than worth the price of a pizza slice.
Keep your hands and heart held high! \m|♥|m/