We’re heading to Finland once again! This time our focus is on Astral Magic and their January 6th, 2023, release; We Are Stardust.
About We Are Stardust
According to the description on their Bandcamp profile, “Astral Magic is a new psychedelic and spacey solo project started in 2020 by ex-Dark Sun bass and Moog player Santtu Laakso.”
The band is composed of very few for this album: Santtu Laakso – all music and lyrics, bass, synths, beats & vocals, mixing, and cover design; Jonathan Segel – guitars, violin, mastering; and Samuli Sailo – guitar.
What amazes me about Astral Magic is the sheer amount of music released by this band. Their discography is massive, including singles and things of that nature which shows how prolific a writer Santtu is.
“We Are Stardust” starts us off, and is a journey into the psychedelic, employing a ’60s vibe while still being modern. The intro is spacey, and the guitar part is soaked in watery effects, and when the vocals enter, they bring a melody that I just love, not to mention that their tone and approach fit the song perfectly. I did notice that certain parts of the song were slightly repetitive, but that wasn’t enough to make me dislike it. Besides, it sounds like there’s a Theremin, which is always cool to hear.
“The Simulacra” is the next song and one of my favorites. The intro has a nice but subtle build-up, a strong vocal melody throughout the song, and the spacey midsection is pretty cool as well. I also really enjoyed the outro vocals.
My favorite song is “Virtual Fixtures,” which stands out from the other tracks on the album. The guitar parts are infectious, and the song is set up differently than the ones that came before it. The same can also be said of “Bottled Up Inside,” which is different from “Virtual Fixtures,” as well as the rest of the album. Both of these songs are in my top two.
Other standout tracks include “Ghost in DNA” and “Out in the Cold.”
Astral Magic is psych through and through, taking in all of the elements of the genre and putting them back together in a way that is entertaining and probably an excellent way to enjoy a night at home alone with Mary Jane and the Smoke Sisters; but that’s totally up to the listener to experience it in their preferred state of mind. So, head over to Bandcamp and give it your undivided attention today! Enjoy!
This review was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.