Astronauts is the solo brainchild of Dan Carney, formerly of indie-folk outfit Dark Captain. While the Londoner is certainly showing his folk roots with a lightly picked acoustic guitar, he’s fleshed out his sound a bit with the addition of electronic beats. On his first single, “Skydive,” these elements combine with the clean, cold production to create an atmosphere of hurried unease. His vocals are practically whispered à la Elliott Smith to add an air of disaffected melancholy. There are elements that would seem free and airy on other backdrops, but here are weighted down with an atmosphere of claustrophobic breathlessness. The track is heavy, and it’s dark.
There’s a sense of contemplative sadness in Carney’s new tunes in general, and while “Skydive” has a bit of tempo and drive to balance that, other tunes like “Everything’s A System, Everything’s A Sign” and “Flame Exchange” seriously bring the navel-gaze.
Astronauts’ debut record, Hollow Ponds, is due out on July 21st via Lo Recordings.