Oregon-based band, Astrofauna, which describes its sound as “post-modern psychedelic soul,” or as “power-chill,” is a collaboration between guitarist and synthesist Josh Gross, and singer Jennifer “Starbuck,” Lovecraft. It was formed in 2017 as a casual recording experiment to mutilate pre-recorded karaoke versions of ‘60s soul standards into psychedelic-rock remixes using studio effects. It experimented with multiple lineups, including a four-piece full band, before settling on a two-piece format based around analog synthesis, guitar, and vocals, performing original material.
The band’s self-recorded debut, #Powerchill, is a collection of five songs and four original found-sound skits combined for a seamless listening experience that juxtaposes themes of light and dark, optimism and realism, progress and loneliness, into a complex, hypnotic, and totally original sound. Like the band’s home in Oregon, the combined sonic elements sit at the intersection of the techo-futurism of urban cultures, and the treepunk aesthetic of green anarchists in the deep forest.
The skits are the actual sounds of space, made using sounds collected by NASA from radio telescopes, layered with samples from JFK’s famous “We Go to the Moon,” speech. The songs include three band-penned originals, one cover, and an incendiary new take on the folk standard, “Wayfaring Stranger,” that reinvents the song as a sonic tug-of-war between deep-pulsing synths and roaring guitars.