WL//WH Video of the Day: ASTRAGAL “Moderne Luxury”

Video of the Day  Astragal

The Texas music scene is diverse, multicultural, and expansive with four of the biggest cities in the U.S. A lot of interesting young ‘gaze’ bands have recently popped up from the “Live Music Capital of the World” Austin, like Glare, Trauma Ray, Processions, and Fun With Ether to name a few. My hometown of Houston is highly involved, as recently shown by the Ethereal Fest with Saint Rosa, Glia, and Angel Aura one of our faves from last year.
Straight out of HoustonAstragal, making waves since their first 3-track cassette “EP I” debuted in 2016, freshly reissued on white vinyl 7″ (plus the song ‘Bloomer’) through Wallflower Records.  Named after the novel by Albertine Sarrazit, the trio met on craigslist and in person at a DIIV show, consequently becoming friends due to their affinity for playing post punk with a jazz ethos. Then began developing their own heady and intriguing blend of jangle-infused dreamgaze sound spiced by noise-rock, C86 and post-punk elements. 

It’s right the latter clearly shine in the last single “Moderne Luxury”, now on video as well, taken from the freshly released, brilliant, more broodingly ‘introspective’ and mature four tracker “EP II”, soon also on tape, via fellow dynamic independent label Wallflower Records.

Rapid, piercing, and crystalline jangly guitar melodies intertwined with smooth rich bass pulses and hard hitting persistent beats create an atmosphere of eerily ominous impending doom and sorrow. Rising in intensity, guitar bleats, steady urgent drum and bass introduce a dreamy, breathy, croon of angst and agony, culminating in a hypertensive swell of high amplitude that slowly retreats from whence it came. Dramatic and murky while still maintaining a simplicistic clarity.

A song about consumerism, perception, and sense of self. Obsessive thoughts, feeling like nothing is ever good enough, and always wanting more are some of the side effects of today’s economic prowess. It seeps into your identity formation, blurs  physical boundaries  “Are you a part of me?”, and impedes having  a balanced relationship while maintaining self esteem. A night without the distraction of technology proves “time” is the most precious ‘Moderne Luxury.’ Imagine not having to hurry, being able to stop and smell the roses, and a long conversation with a loved…

 Sam Enkelmann, Jimmy Bentan, and David Sosa, wear neutral colors to blend seamlessly into a taupe tent, allowing music to be the star. Surrounded by fresh green shrubberies native to Houston close-up angles and blurred duration speeds showcase the band with their instruments in a non intrusive welcoming manner. Mysterious imagery of an extreme nature unravels into a tawdry tale of love perhaps revenge in this earthy, relatable, and simply scandalous new video by Astragal keeps intoxicating interest without being too convoluted.

A rose, a knife, and a body buried in the backyard with treasured Texan trio Astragal playing on top? Combine that with a high energy instruments and sexy crooning vocals! I can’t wait for next show due later this month at Houston’s Satellite Bar March 21 & 24th along with Slow Crush, Angel Aura, & Trauma Ray…hope to see y’all there!!!

Keep up with Astragal: