Published Jun 22, 2009Detroit native Randolph Chabot is just 23 but his music as Deastro is so complex and layered that it suggests a much more seasoned performer. It's surprising, then, to learn that Chabot only started really listening to music in his 20s, when he ditched the legalism of his fundamental Christian upbringing to explore the world of lush, synth-heavy pop music. Moondagger follows Deastro's numerous limited EPs and mini-albums as his first full-length record for Ghostly International, and shows the talented songwriter delving deep into the world of lush synthesizers and timeless electro beats. From the echoed, near-haunting synthesizers of melodic opener "Biophelia" through the anthemic choruses found on tracks like "Greens, Grays, and Nordics" it's clear that Deastro possesses the ability for both ADD-riddled musicianship and memorable melodies. Elsewhere, he shows his love of diversity. "Pyramid Builders" straddles the line between eight-bit charm and harpsichord seriousness, while "Kurgan Wave Number One" is pure '80s electro-pop. If Moondagger proves anything it's that Chabot is an incredibly talented performer whose musical innocence manifests itself in busy, unabashed electro-pop.
How was the making of Moondagger different from your previous work?
It was the first time we had a label, and I wanted to pour as many ideas I could into one album. I wanted to make it worth the time and money and resources that were going into it. It was also so much faster than anything I've done before. Moondagger was recorded with three-and-a-half days in the studio. It was all single takes because we had no time. It was going to be The Moondagger EP and we wrote those five songs a month before we were going to be in the studio. But the label wanted us to make it a full-length, so we wrote the rest of the album in three weeks. It was kind of a whirlwind. I don't even remember writing it really.
How do you write songs?
When I was younger, I practiced trying to express musically what a person would sound like as a song. I would try to conceptualize what would explain a person in a song. That has become my process: constantly trying to transcribe all the things I see around me into music. It's kind of haphazard when it's going to happen but it's always great because it's something that's really personal to me whenever I write a song. (Ghostly International)