Pete Astor is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, whose previous bands The Loft and The Weather Prophets were signed to Creation Records and paved the way for his work on The Wisdom of Harry and Ellis Island Song, gaining him a loyal and cult fan base. A prolific, introspective, modest artist, Astor is a purveyor of jangly, choppy, reverberating riffs, stripped down acoustics, jaunty, melodic tones and whose cerebral, witty and observational lyrics are an idiosyncratic mix of crestfallen, romantic and gritty realism. He’s a reluctant rock star, whose wry insights, anecdotes and deadpan delivery help him share any angst with a cool, calm and collective disposition, whilst giving us a sneaky glimpse into an underground world of emotional states and sensual nuances.
An artist that can’t be pigeon-holed, Astor’s catalogue of hosts a fusion of synth-pop, atmospheric electronica, baroque pop, new wave, alt-rock, rockabilly, industrial, sophisti-pop, neo-jazz, neo-psychedelia, wrapped in melancholy, reflective musings and a breezy cool to blow any cobwebs away. With such an impressive CV, Astor now works as a Senior Lecturer at Westminster University, where he teaches music, whilst still performing and making his own music. Now working on his ninth album, with his seventh single “Water Tower” being selected as “My Single of The Week”.
Released on 17th November 2017 and featured on the upcoming album “One For The Ghost” (released 16th February 2018), “Water Tower” is an alt-country western, folk, blues, rock song whose fusion of fuzzy and jangly riffs glide along a happy-go lucky road. It’s an infectious track, whose laid-back vocals and succinct lyrics are meticulously crafted and whose wistful interludes make the perfect listening for those weatherbeaten and hazy days.
A quick peek at some of Peter Astor’s solo work…
Taken from his debut album “Submarine”, released in 1990, “Your Sun Leaves the Sky” epitomises Astor’s skill at crafting an immaculate production, which effortlessly crosses over into an array of sub-genres. Through the intricate arrangements, “Your Sun Leaves the Sky” tinkles and shimmers in a neo-psychedelic swirl of sun drenched melancholy, pulsated by the stomping beats and twinkles. It’s an impeccable track, whose cello prowls and lingers in the midst of the night, taking a baroque pop excursion.
Taken from the 1991 album “Zoo”, “Street of Lights” embodies Astor’s inner troubadour and talent for songwriting, with observational musings. It’s a breezy, dark, pensive track,whose acoustic riffs are enlivened by the cha cha cha cha cha beats, and dazed by the spaced-out synths. From last orders, to dusk to dawn, “Street of Lights” is tinged with an aloof melancholy whose haunting harmonies, blend into the twilight zones of the track.
Taken from the album “Paradise”, released in 1992, “Guy Fawkes Night” is a folk-psychedelic infused track and its acoustic, clickety clock riffs become inflamed by floating sparks. It’s a pristine production, a diaphanous dance, whose illuminated riffs rocket, stream, flare, sparkle, ripple and nosedive across a sapphire sky. It’s a starry-eyed track, whose lyrics are steeped in wonder, joy and warm sentiments.
Taken from the 1993 “God & Other Stories” album, “Still Wednesday” shimmers and reverberates and dips in an underworld of oceanic ambience, amongst the electric eels and bioluminescent creatures in all their guises. Through the neon riffs and ripples of echo-laden beats, “Still Wednesday” crashes, reflects its light to evade the prying eyes and uses its antenna to pick up the distant frequencies from the sunshine birds flying above. With the vocals residing in distant shores, “Still Wednesday” is a fleeting wave of imagination which evokes feelings of groovy euphoria and escapism into unknown depths.
Taken from 2011 album “Songbox”, “Tree of Birds” is a mesmerising track, whose velvet vocals unravel a deep and sensuous tone likened to Leonard Cohen. It’s an exquisite track, whose translucent flutes flutter aside the beatnik beats and celestial tingles. Along with the space-synths and farfisa fog, “Tree of Birds” floats in the recesses of 60s psychedelic folk, whilst maintaining a breezy understated cool. Through the cascading clarinet, (Keiron Phelan) “Tree of Birds” cascades and floats aside the chanteuse harmonies, migrating towards a moonlit and exotic horizon.
Taken from the album “Spilt Milk”, released on 8th January 2016, “Very Good Lock” stays true to Astor’s past credentials, whilst producing a contemporary and clear-cut sound. Through the primal beats, rotating riffs and vocal delivery, “Very Good Lock” could be a distant cousin of The Velvet Underground and The Jesus and Mary Chain. It’s beautifully dark and its melancholy seeps through the keyholes of the vault, whilst being watersealed by the flowery farfisa. It’s a great track, which taps into the essence of art-rock psychedelia, whilst creating pensive poetry.
- Submarine (Creation, 1990)
- Zoo (Creation, 1991)
- Paradise (Danceteria, 1992, as Peter Astor and the Holy Road)
- God and Other Stories (Danceteria, 1993)
- Hal’s Eggs (Static Caravan, 2005, as Pete Astor)
- Injury Time (Cherry Red, 2006)
- Songbox (Second Language, 2011, as Pete Astor)
- Spilt Milk (Slumberland Records, 2016, as Pete Astor)
- “Walk into the Wind” (Creation, 1990)
- “Chevron” (Creation, 1991)
- “Der Kaiser, Der Dealer und Das Geburtstagskind/Lundi Bleu” (Creation, 1991, split 7-inch with The Times)
- “Almost Falling in Love” (Danceteria, 1992, as Peter Astor and the Holy Road)
- “Disco Lights” (Danceteria, 1993)
- “Mr Music” (Fortuna Pop, 2015)
- “Water Tower” (Tapete, 2017)