As their name might imply, THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR are somehow less of a band than they are a many-legged, ever-evolving, constantly moving party machine. Since beaming into popular consciousness back in 2008 with Fruit—a debut album responsible for producing the unstoppable, globally ubiquitous “Around the Bend” and “The Golden Age” singles—the band have toured the world, proving themselves to be one of the most unorthodox and uniquely original live bands on the planet. Unlike so many of their Scandinavian contemporaries—bands that often attack pop music with an almost surgical precision—The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s vision of pop music is a much more kaleidoscopic, free-wheeling affair—a symphonic collision of big pop hooks, soaring horn sections, retro-synth flourishes, and epic beats. Inspired by everything from Blaxploitation soundtracks to Primal Scream to old reruns of Dynasty, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour evolved from a bedroom recording project between friends into a psychedelic big band of the future.
Now, nearly two years since the release of their debut album, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour return with Out of Frequency—an album that pulses with the same everything-but-the-kitchen-sink vibrancy that made their debut so auspicious. Nearly a year in the making, the album represents the next logical step in the musical partnership of founding members Lars Iversen and Mette Lindberg. Having expanded the band into a kind of revolving friend collective for touring purposes, the two eventually decamped back to their native Copenhagen to begin solidifying the musical ideas that had been bubbling up after so many long months on the road. Working from Iversen’s studio–itself a veritable museum of collected instruments and vintage gear—the two began assembling a collection of songs that would become a kind of imaginary soundtrack to what one might imagine is the world’s most over-the-top spy film.
“We didn’t want to bore people with our private diaries, “ says Iversen, “We wanted to make music with a truly filmic quality—songs that feature characters that aren’t necessarily us. Songs with bad guys, heroes, and lovers.”
To create the fifteen tracks on Out of Frequency, Iversen and Lindberg spent the better part of a year assembling songs and playing with different sounds, basking in the freedom of having no set agenda other than pleasing themselves. Taking cues from classic big bands, psychedelic Danish children’s TV shows from the 70s, and old Parliament records, Lindberg and Iversen slowly perfected their own version of pop noir—music that manages the clever trick of sounding somehow classic and futuristic at the same time. With Lars taking on the role as producer longtime friends and collaborators from Copenhagen filtered through the studio to record—laying down layers of horns and a variety of percussion. Eventually they assembled over twenty new tracks, from which Out of Frequency was born.
The resulting album is a cosmic confluence of styles and moods. Bringing to mind everyone from Nancy Sinatra to Beck, Out of Frequency is a thing of glorious messiness—a mix of horn-filled arm wavers (debut single “Major”, party banger “Heart Attack”) to psych-pop freakouts that would have done Pizzicato Five proud (“Fantasy Friend Forever”). “When it Comes to Us” is equal parts dance-floor bombast and 60’s girl group swagger buoyed aloft by Lindberg’s impish vocals, while “Theme from 45 Eugenia” and “Out of Frequency” are the most funk-tastic things the band has ever recorded. The record itself might represent one long sonic adventure, but every track manages to be single-worthy on its very own.
For Lindberg and Iversen—two friends who have been playing music together for nearly a decade—the band is an always-evolving entity. The two might be the core masterminds behind the band, but they insist that the band is not—nor has it ever been—a duo. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour has become a traveling collective of friends that, much like their music, defies traditional definition. The current touring incarnation of the band includes six people—including two horn players—all of whom have a predilection for swapping instruments at a moment’s notice. For Lindberg—the self-proclaimed empress of the band–the joys and occasional pains of making music with The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are akin to eating something delicious. "It's like choosing an ice cream, I just can't pick only two flavors. I want to taste all of them. That’s how it feels with our music as well. We get to play with all the flavors.”