One of the Astro Children manifestations is dream pop, which is best represented on Proteus by "Gaze" and "Jamie Knows". The latter is one of my favorites -- cryptic references to something going down tonight and someone being asked to help the narrator fall, wrapped in sweet vocals and delicious guitar chords. I seek to eventually play the album without repeating the song; I'm not to that point yet.
Several of the tracks, including "Nora Barnacle" and "Eden", reveal a harder, more overtly dark side to the band. In "Eden", Millie appears to speak to a former lover. And while admitting that she succumbed to a fallacy, admonishes him for being dark, grim and mean. The arrangement supports the lyrics with a mix of textures and tempos.
"Shoe" is an aggressive rant against those that would bully smaller people, but could be applied more broadly to power differentials in other settings. "Big Muff (Strikes Again)" finds the narrator admitting difficulty in refraining from uttering "bad things", but ultimately declaring:
Trying out some new curses,
They taste good on my tongue
And I use them to hurt you
Astro Children are a band that ignore the rules. And they stand as proof that talent plus audacity can bring big rewards.
Proteus was recorded at The Attic in Dunedin by Adrian Ng (member of Trick Mammoth with Millie and Sam Valentine of Males). It is available now via New Zealand label MUZAI, and can be downloaded at the Bandcamp link below for "name your price".
Muzai Records site for Proteus