Chilean electronic-rock outfit Astro exude enthusiasm. Their set at this year’s Lollapalooza Chile proved that point, as the band blended traditional Chilean sounds with synthesizers and pop songwriting. Ironically enough, Astro and their vibrant, colorful music weren’t born under such sunny circumstances — the frigid and icy slopes is where it all began.
As the story goes, frontman Andrés Nusser had agreed to perform at a ski resort in southern Chili in exchange for a three-day stay, but he didn’t have a band. So, he recruited the current lineup, who then decided to stick with him and help record the band’s first EP, 2009’s Le disc de Astrou, as well as Astro’s self-titled debut album in 2011.
Now, four years later, Astro are read to drop their sophomore record, Chicos de la Luz (translated as Children of the Light). Due out on July 24th through Nacional Records, the 10-track effort was recorded in Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was mastered in New York by Dave Kutch (Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys) with Latin Grammy-winning sound engineer Justin Moshkevich.
Ahead of the official release date, the band has shared new single “Druida”, which sees them fiddling even more with their synth pads and arpeggiators. Tropical vibes permeate throughout, accompanied by Nusser’s smooth tenor. For five minutes, the track swoons with the excitement of a dance club or beach party, a certain spark which band member Nicolas Aranciba likens to a “futuristic Gloria Estefan vibe.” Each verse builds joyously, upping the ante before reaching pure euphoria in the infectious chorus.
In an email to Consequence of Sound, Nusser details the song’s backstory:
“The song discusses a key character by the name of ‘Druida’ who forms part of Astro’s [imagery]. He is the same character that burns the animals in “Maestro Distorsion”, the one who flies across the sky in “Druida de la Nubes”, and the song “Panda”. This time, we find him imagining himself as if he were alive and fabricating a reality of his existence when he is actually dead.”
Or as keyboardist/percussionist Daniel Varas puts it, “It makes me sway my hips!”
Chicos de la Luz Tracklist:
02. Bardo Thodol
04. Chicos de la Luz
06. Danza Celestial
09. Dimensión Suprema