Track By Track: Home Astronomy — ‘Home Astronomy EP’
Posted: by The Editor
Home Astronomy recently released their debut self-titled EP, a delightful slice of gruff, occasionally trumpet-featuring emo. It’s one of the better releases in the genre lately, I think, and points towards a very bright future for the Boone, NC, five-piece. I was so taken by the album that I reached out to the band to put together a track-by-track rundown of the EP. You can read that below.
Brady: this song is one of the most significant to me on the EP, because it’s the most recent state my mind is in. This sort of mentality that I wish I figured out all my problems a lot sooner, but now I’ve come to the conclusion that I can get better. I sort of reached a point where I accepted that the mental seas I had to cross could in fact be crossed. I wanted that idea to sort of be a call to arms, which is why I wanted to incorporate the group vocals towards the end.
Chris: We went into this song going for a more fun and catchy feel since most of the songs we had written in the past had been slower. I wanted the drums to sync rhythmically with the bass at some point in the song, so that’s why there’s that weird drum beat in the beginning of the song.
Owen: The riffs in this song just came to me as we rehearsed it. I love the fact that the bass is the only tonal instrument holding down the chord progression. Me and Storm just twinkle over it and I think it fits our sound well. You can hear this in “Orlando” and “Robin Williams” as well. The twinkly build into the sing along chorus is very indicative of our early writing style but it’s the only one that made the cut.
Cameron: Prior to writing this song I had just discovered New Wave bands like New Order and Joy Division and tried to incorporate those influences in my basslines/chord progressions.
Storm: Before writing this, I just got a Roland JC 120 and I was inspired by Johnny Marr from The Smiths to write some parts with high energy that complemented the melody of the vocals.
Brady: Perennial is a song about losing a friend you had for a long time. This wasn’t really specifically about anyone but sort of covers a lot of my high school friendships. You learn a lot about your close friends in high school. You see their struggles and grow this bond, then after four years you just separate and fade away. At the same time, it’s a period in your life when you’re changing tremendously. It makes me wonder if those friends just faded away with time or if I naturally fit in with them less and less as I grew.
Owen: This song grew out of one of the first songs we ever wrote as a band. We quickly phased out the first edition in favor of more exciting tunes. We decided to revisit it and give it more structure and just make it more exciting generally. The trumpet is an homage to one of our biggest inspirations, American Football.
Chris: This used to be a song called Senior Year that we played very early on. We dropped it because we all felt it was one of our weaker songs, but eventually we reworked the entire song as we felt it had a lot more potential than we had given it credit for. Slowly but surely it became one of our favorites and we decided to include it on the EP.
Brady: Orlando is our band song. This is from an experience we all shared, driving 11 hours down to Orlando, Florida to go see American Football. This was our first time packed in a car together before we ever toured. Once we were at the show, it was one of those times I felt so incredibly happy, being there with my closest friends enjoying the thing that inspires us.
Owen: When writing the intro to this song my mind immediately went to the frantic sound of Cap’n Jazz, with clean guitar tones but intense drumming. I also really enjoy the fact that this song never really repeats a section and in a sense is through-composed. Also, breakdown.
Cameron: This was the last song we wrote before we recorded the ep and I think it may be our most well rounded, with many very traditional emo feels throughout the song but also a breakdown. My opening bass part was written kinda on the spot while we were writing this song and the same progression is used throughout the song.
Chris: We all decided to collaborate on this song as most of the songs we had written before had come from an idea only one of us had. This song definitely has some late 90’s pop-punk influence from me on drums, but we took all of our more upbeat emo influences and tried to combine them into one cohesive and happy song. As Brady mentioned above, we all share the experience in the song from our trip to Orlando which makes it special for all of us.
Brady: This is the oldest track on the EP. We wrote this within the first couple weeks of us being a band, and it’s still probably our heaviest track. I was once told a story about losing someone significant in a horrible car crash. I immediately asked if I could write a song for him. The loss of someone in that sort of way is so sudden and heartbreaking, I wanted to create a sort of catharsis and venting in the lyrics. In writing it, I felt more connected with the situation and with Ben, the person that was taken away. The EP is dedicated to him, and for good reason. Taken is the heart of the EP, screaming out that we aren’t alone in grief, we can all connect no matter the context. All of us have lost someone or something close to us, and we don’t just have to be solitary in that loss.
Owen: I remember writing the riff for Taken in a practice room at our school, Appalachian State University, with our bass player, Cameron, before Home Astronomy was really even a thing. I had just started to dabble in tapping and emo guitar leads and this one just dribbled out of the creative center of my mind. The four note chorus riff is honestly one of my favorite riffs I’ve written because it mirrors the lyrics of “I still hear ambulance sirens”.
Cameron: This is the only song on our ep that during the writing process it just kinda happened. Owen and I had been playing around with a few things and had just asked Brady about jamming with us. When we first tried it out it just happened and was the first song we wrote with Brady.
Chris: This song literally just popped out of all of us. Owen came to us with this cool, catchy tappy riff which became the main focus of the song. We all jammed on it and just played what felt right and that jam ended up being the entirety of the song. I also feel that this is one of the most emotional songs on the record, as it deals with the subject of death and coping with losing someone you love in a very sudden way.
5. ROBIN WILLIAMS
Brady: The words I wrote for this song are some of my favorite I ever wrote. It’s an anthem for people who carry scars they don’t show. It’s addressed to the people that tear you apart as you’re growing and give you scars that they’ll never know they gave you. So often people come into our lives just to do damage, and aren’t there to witness the aftermath. And the damaged often just carry their wounds without projecting them. Talk to your friends, make sure they’re okay. They could be dealing with things you could never even guess.
Cameron: This is one of my favorites of ours because of the three over four chugging bass line that I play in the verses but also because it’s one of our most emotional songs.
Owen: Storm wrote the main riff in this song and it’s one of my favorites that we play. It’s super simplistic yet so graceful along with the three over four feel. I took a lot of inspiration in the closing riff from Pedro the Lion who was in heavy rotation for me at the time. This song is also through-composed.
Chris: This is probably my second favorite song of ours behind Taken. We wanted to channel the Pedro the Lion feel as Owen mentioned above, so we took this riff that Storm wrote and turned it into this emotionally and musically heavy song. Brady’s lyrics are the most personal in this song, so I feel that the instrumentals match the subject matter he chose. We also like to write songs that are all structured very differently, so we chose to have the ending of the song switch time signatures and have all of us slowly drop out, with Owen playing an unresolved chord at the end.
Storm: Whenever I go to write riffs, I usually try to imagine what angsty-high-schooler Storm would have wanted to hear besides Cobain power chords. It’s hard to strike that nerve, but I think this song is a good example of how the feeling of losing control of a situation you never had control over in the first place can have lasting impacts on how we view ourselves and our hope for the future.
Zac Djamoos | @greatwhitebison
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