Deastro - Moondagger

Multi-layered fantasy fare from Detroit...
Deastro Moondagger

There are prolific writers, and then there is Randolph Chabot.

Since the age of 12, Chabot has been churning out new material like a production line enveloped in artistic Fordism, constantly trying to write a better song than the day before, both as Deastro and alter-ego Our Brother The Megazord. The extent of his scribing addiction was demonstrated when his official debut album, 'Keepers', was labelled a greatest hits, compiled from the hundreds of demos he had already released.

It is clear to see that childhood influences and imagery have saturated Chabot's writing. And like the child that sat watching superheroes, aliens and fantastical fiction, his second album leaps and calms with the unpredictability of infancy. 'Moondagger' is garage-pop layered in gossamer synths and star-gazing melodies. The lyrics are drenched in fantasy and visions of another world, like a Jim Henson piece circa 1982 (Dark Crystal, basically) – a realm relished by Chabot, inspiring his creative energy.

The provoked imagery may detail dreamlands, but the emotions remain real, anchored by survival of an optimist. And as the album unfolds, Deastro's desperate attempts to inspire play off against the natures of pessimism. 'Biophelia' opens with smacks of urgency and desolation, as Chabot cries out “Come back to me, please stay with me,” through thick blankets of splashing percussion and electronic haze.

Chabot trips over himself to deliver enthused vocals on 'Parallelogram' – the soaring track uses a catchy synth focal point that nods to more detached, cheery pop than the surrounding efforts. And, although ‘Daniel Johnston Was Stabbed In The Heart With The Moondagger By The King Of Darkness And His Ghost Is Writing This Song As A Warning To All Of Us' is intended as the album centrepiece, 'Toxic Crusaders' really vies for first listen highlight with dreamy verses, buried electronic guitar melodies and the type of contagious chorus that has made him Detroit's next most sought-after live act.

Lyrically, Chabot lurches from swathes of otherworldly nuances to pragmatic poignancy ('Vermillion Plaza'). All the while, the turbid production of the LP creates a thick atmospheric blanket, pushing the piece into the realms of M83-like experimental pop partnered with shoegaze traits.

The way ‘Moondagger’ stretches out in its unique and occasionally awkward layers sets it up for critical acclaim rather than mass mainstream praise, and it’s likely to lurk beneath the surface of 2009's credits, like the Band Of Horses and Bon Ivers of yesteryear.

8/10

Ghostly International presents: Deastro



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