Divine Astronaut are an alternative electronic duo from North America, who play an eclectic mix of downtempo, trip hop and Bristol inspired electronica. The duo consists of singer/composer Livvy Holland and Producer Moonhead.
You describe your sound as night-time music, what does it mean?
The music we make feels nocturnal in the sense that I feel you should be holding a martini or a glass of wine while listening to it. It feels mature and adult. That Bristol sound and vibe is a big influence on us, I think because the bands who have that sound are true pioneers in developing and crafting their sound. As in Portishead recording their debut album and then printing the individual tracks to vinyl and then recording those tracks. There is just a sound to it that is so hard to replicate, which makes it incredibly original.
How do you see underground music in Eastern Europe?
The music scene in Eastern Europe is incredibly supportive of each other, and outsiders.
We were in a music store in Bucharest looking for some instruments, when a guy approached and asked us where we were from etc. Turns out this guy, Vlad Ilicevici, has an awesome band called Orkid that plays amazing venues all over Romania and beyond, and also created a music community called Stray Lights in which he hosts shows for local band to perform. He invited us to play shows with him and his band and Stray Lights and through this invitation, we met incredibly artistic and talented bands including Second Wave, Stonelight, Day Day, Nuante and Zammorian to name a few. All these bands are incredibly hard working and talented, and are playing their own eclectic styles.
They do not copy western acts like we do, their influences run deeper and we were totally in awe of the talent and synergy these bands have. And everyone in these bands are just fantastic people also, who embraced us and were gracious enough to share their stages with us. We feel truly grateful for that opportunity, especially at that time, as we were reeling from unscrupulous mooks stealing money and trying to steal our music from us. It was healing to play, and we thank Vlad from Orkid first and foremost for that opportunity.
What about electronic / trip-hop in the current musical soundscape?
While the genre is less ubiquitous than in the 90’s, it still can be heard in many places. As with all music genres and styles, it’s cyclical. There’s an 80’s nostalgia currently because of shows like Stranger Things and the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, so it would make sense that the 90’s will make a comeback also considering how powerful that musical timescape was.
This current stale and narcissistic music landscape will run its course as it has done before, and people will yearn for quality and substance, not just flashy cars and egocentric lyrics and banal music.
What’s your opinion about our current post-modern lives?
It’s an interesting question. I feel we failed by legitimizing the platforms. They should have stayed as places where you say stupid things and share silly thoughts and no one should pay it any mind, but we legitimized the platforms without requiring licenses to drive. People can be drunk, high or whatever and share the worst things online with little to no consequence.
The platforms are obviously becoming way too significant and that creates distrust and disconnection. That being said, the platforms have been instrumental in galvanizing the people for social injustice issues, which is a great use of the platforms. I think they should be used for social injustice, charity, cute kitty and doggy vids and education!
Some advice on fighting dark voices inside our heads?
I think acceptance is huge. Allowing the voices to have their say, realizing it is merely one or more points of view, and realizing the voices are merely an echo. Being selective about the takeaway from the subject matter the voices convey can be handy too, spinning the narrative to serve self. Hacking ones mind to believe the voices are there to help, regardless of content. Controlling the influx of information in ways that work positively.
Why did you choose to shoot the “Voices” video at Dracula’s Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania?
We made the trip to Bran Castle with the intent to shoot a music video, but we didn’t know for which song, hence the shots within the castle and on the grounds have no lip movement to the song. We didn’t want to dictate which song because the environment was very special. It was only later that we felt Voices worked for the visuals, as other songs we had just didn’t really fit the vibe of the footage.
We try to work that way a lot, intuit what the music wants without being too heady or overtly religious about it. Just get out of the way of the process and not try to control every single aspect of it. To be honest, we thought the castle would look a little more gothic with more stone and dungeon, but it’s more like a Tudor style mansion.
Still cool though, we had fun filming there. A little challenging to make it seem deserted considering there were a shit ton of tourists there that day.
Photos from their social