Astronauts of Antiquity – Future Back
Astronauts of Antiquity, a New York headquartered trio who operate much more along the lines of a “collective” than by a traditional band paradigm, follows up the success and critical acclaim achieved with their first single “Paradise” by releasing an equally exceptional second single, “Future Back”. Both songs are prominently featured on the trio’s soon to land debut EP Beyond the Maze and, based on these songs alone, that eventual release will likely rate high among the year’s best musical works in any form. Unlike many acts from this genre, Astronauts of Antiquity resolutely push back against the specter of self indulgence and, instead, serve up a diamond-hard gem with warmth and movement. Rather than some frozen electronica pop confection, “Future Back” breathes with every ounce of the life and longing reflected in its lyrics.
The lyrical content mingles personal and social concerns with most of the attention focused on the former. This is about the individual’s need to feel self-determination is possible in a world where the order of things seems increasingly prescribed rather than something emerging from within a person’s heart. Modernity depersonalizes us all, but vocalist India dramatically positions herself as a lone voice crying out in the wilderness and her phrasing embodies every bit of the longing depicted in the text. Her manifestation of various multi-tracked voices is an added dramatic element and shows off her deceptively wide range. The vocal is arranged expertly and juxtaposes the backing track in an attention grabbing way.
The backing track is largely devoted to electronic percussion, sequences, synths, and B. Rhyan’s guitar darting in and out of the mix. His guitar fills have a crystalline bite that, nevertheless, doesn’t come off as brittle. Instead, those added guitar parts are muscular and forceful, cutting through the electronica wash, and engaging listeners head on. Astronauts of Antiquity never view anything through the prism of the virtuoso. Instead, their playing and songwriting has a distinctly compositional air – the individual parts add up to a whole greater than the sum of its components. The song never overextends itself. Astronauts of Antiquity have certain goals coming into this track and they meet them all without any apparent difficulty.
India, B. Rhyan, and production wizard Ivica are a powerful artistic unit capable of invoking a number of qualities within a given song. Their unquestionable melodic strengths shine through on this track in a multitude of ways and the vocals do an excellent job of underscoring those merits. It is rare that such an outright pop oriented unit can bring listeners such an eclectic mix of the intelligent and physical, but Astronauts of Antiquity aren’t your typical pop song performers. Instead, they possess a robust and fully rounded artistic vision that outstrips the ambitions of outfits with similar sonic themes and engages themselves with their subject matter fearlessly and completely.