While rushing to catch two different planes, India Weinberg and B. Rhyan slammed into one another in a busy airport. Three years later, they met again after one of Weinberg’s performances. Currently, Weinberg and Rhyan are the married duo that make up Astronauts of Antiquity, a wholly original musical act that is described succinctly as “urban, electro, organica.”
Astronauts of Antiquity’s first album, AOA, was released in 2006. The exotic instrumentals combined with Weinberg’s haunting vocals to create a unique sound that drew its influences from a wide variety of sources-everything from lounge music and jazz to electropop. While the influence of well-known artists like Radiohead, Amy Winehouse and Portishead has clearly affected Astronauts of Antiquity’s sound, their second album Rocket Science for Dummies shows further development of the artists’ individual style.
Rocket Science for Dummies was released in 2008. The songs featured on this album combine half a dozen different styles. Tracks like “Everywhere” and “Breakthrough” show off Weinberg’s ability to apply her voice to a multitude of different vocal styles. The songs that made it onto Rocket Science for Dummies create the overall impression of a portfolio for the band, allowing the listeners to hear their ability to use different styles of music without losing their distinctive sound.
On top of their unique, interesting sound, Astronauts of Antiquity offers something that most modern pop artists can’t-clever, well-written lyrics. The effect produced is impossible to ignore-each song requires multiple listening to break through the multiple dimensions of interests that Weinberg and Rhyan create with their lyrics, vocals and instrumentals. Obviously Weinberg and Rhyan pay special attention to each and every aspect of the music that they perform and produce.
Despite the success that Astronauts of Antiquity has been gaining, it seems doubtful that the group will ever find the commercial success of their influences.
Their ability to utilize different instruments prevents their listeners from getting bored. Their experimentation with different genres makes them a truly interesting group to listen to. However, in some instances, Astronauts of Antiquity sacrifice their appeal in pursuit of some of these creative approaches. While many of their arrangements are refreshing, some of the tracks take time to develop a taste for.
First time listeners should check out the tracks “Miss Caroline”, “Strange Ground” and “Strangest Places” to get a good sample of Astronauts of Antiquity’s range of styles. All of their music can be listened to for free on their Web site, www.astronautsofantiquity.com.