Tuesday 22 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Jump street

Jump street

OKC’s Jumpship Astronaut navigates a galaxy of guitars with the only weapon it has: electronic rock that’s out of this world.

Zach Hale March 20th, 2013

Jumpship Astronaut with Ford the River
9 p.m. Friday
Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Company
50 Penn Place

Photo: Clayton Elder
Electronic bands face an uphill climb in the Sooner State, which boasts a proud musical heritage long defined by the obvious (country), the unassuming (folk rock) and, more recently, the brash (garage and punk).

Oklahomans like their guitars — for good reason — and the instrument’s reign atop the state is unlikely to be relinquished anytime soon.

But there’s been a recent influx of electronic sounds in the broader musical landscape, and with the rise of synthesizer-driven outfits like Colin Nance and Chrome Pony, the local scene is starting to follow suit.

Jumpship Astronaut — a five-man, Oklahoma City-based electronic collective — is yet another emerging force behind this tectonic shift, although its role remains somewhat ambiguous among concertgoers.

“Nobody knows what we do until they see us,” said Chris Bourland, the band’s primary synth player. “I think they expect us to be a jam band, but we’re not.”

Another impedance, often faced by Jumpship Astronaut, is the expectation of a pre-recorded show devoid of live instrumentation. It’s a stigma that plagues most within the genre, but drummer Austin Sims thinks his band is starting to shirk that stereotype.

“I hate saying we’re a rock band, because we’re not. We’re pretty far from that,” Sims said. “When people come out and see us, a lot are like, ‘Wow, you guys are actually playing everything!’ The fact that we’re playing everything live works to our advantage; it impresses people.”

Scott Dunn, bassist and synth assistant, sees an opportunity as well.

“There are tons of people that like a lot of the bands we’re influenced by,” Dunn said. “But I don’t know if they even know who to look for in the local scene. That’s been a major challenge.”

The act itself has its fair share of influences: from Passion Pit to Bonnie Raitt and everything in between. Singer Ryan Bryant has what he described as a “weird, encyclopedic knowledge of metal bands.”

Inevitably, their amalgam of tastes oozes into their music in the form of high-energy, celebratory tunes with a baroque sense of pop melody.

Jumpship Astronaut steadily has unearthed its voice in only one year of existence — a period in which most bands struggle to find theirs.

“Recently we were going back and listening to old demos,” Bryant said. “They’re completely different songs [now] — much more realized and so much better.”

As the group preps for next month’s release of its first EP — recorded in its own modest space and mixed at Norman’s Bell Labs studio — its ultimate goal of winning over fans and ascertaining a role in the city’s changing dynamics is seemingly within reach.

“We’re finally coming into our sound as a band — going from that vision that we had to realizing something a little different, but still ours,” said Bryant. “We’re finding our niche.”

Hey! Read This:
Chrome Pony interview   
Colin Nance interview

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