Four years in the making, Junior Astronomers’ new album is well worth the wait

By Lane Claffee 

June 7, 2017

It’s been a busy few years for Junior Astronomers. Recently, they’ve supported acts for big names in indie-rock like Modest Mouse and Manchester Orchestra, signed to Charlotte’s Refresh Records, and announced on the stacked bill for Afropunk in Brooklyn, New York this year. Perhaps what has kept them the busiest is spending the last four years recording and perfecting the follow-up to their 2013 album, Dead Nostalgia. This upcoming full-length album titled, Body Language, isn’t a reinvention of Junior Astronomers. Instead, it’s an evolution; an encapsulation of all the best qualities of the band, and undoubtedly their most cohesive work so far.

(L to R) Colin Watts, Phillip Wheeler, Elias Pittman, and Terrence Richard. Photo by Nicki Rohloff

“Even though this is our second album, it feels like a first album because we really focused on making eleven songs that flow and compliment each other,” said frontman Terrence Richard. Body Language tells a story involving love, growth, and ultimately embracing the inevitable problems the two can cause. The record starts off with the catchy “Body Language Pt. 2,” a last scene of sorts in relation to the theme, giving the listener a vivid taste of what’s on the way, before really delving into the album’s narrative on the second track, “That’s Why.” Two and a half minutes of fierce pop, name-dropping artists like Amy Winehouse and Marvin Gaye as being “right,” in a way that spits at the stark societal conventions surrounding school and career paths, instead telling to them: “keep your pretty books /  I’ll keep my pretty words /  When you get your job I hope you love it / cause someone’s gotta wake up at 6.” Sonically, the album shows a perfect balance of infectious indie-rock with some intricate, Television-esque lead guitar work, especially on tracks like the anthemic, lovesick “Laid Out,” and the intimate, confessional “Mood Ring.”

(L to R) Elias Pittman, Phillip Wheeler, Terrence Richard, Colin Watts. Photo by Nicki Rohloff

Overall, the album has been, more or less, four years in the making. Over this time, the band has worked with established professionals such as Mike Pepe, who recorded Taking Back Sunday’s 2016 album, Tidal Wave, and Mitch Easter, known for his work with Wilco, Ben Folds Five, and Dinosaur Jr. The album was remastered by Dan Millice, who has worked with artists ranging from A$AP Rocky to Townes Van Zandt. It’s safe to say that they took their time with this release. Richard says they’ve worked harder on these songs than any other collection of songs before, and it shows. Body Language shows their growth as a band at the best point in their career. So, if you’re asking if the album was worth the wait…yes, you bet it was.

Listen to “That’s Why” and “Pyramid Party” from the new album Body Language.

Listen to the full album via Spotify.

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