All Songs Considered Blog
4:07 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

First Watch: Astro, 'Colombo'

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:46 pm

Astro belongs to Chile's fantastic wave of modern musical exports, alongside rapper Ana Tijoux, pop singer Alex Andwandter and indie-folk singer Gepe, among others. Yet Astro stands apart from its contemporaries: Tijoux, Gepe and even Andwandter are inspired by Chile's folk tradition and serious social issues, while the band heads in a different direction with its fun, irreverent lyrics and synth-heavy sound.

Influenced by MGMT, Animal Collective and Passion Pit — and celebrating a goofy back-to-nature aesthetic — Astro's members are having a blast, and their joy is infectious. While they stand out in an increasingly politicized Latin music landscape, they offer a refreshing break from all that brow-furrowing music. They're the endearing friend who crashes the serious get-together in the hope of a good time, seeking a distraction from how bad things have gotten. Besides, in times of trouble, dancing like there's nothing wrong is not only a necessity; it's an act of defiance.

In the new video for "Colombo," Astro's infectious joy is on display, as is its well-documented love of Chile's stunning natural landscapes: The video was shot in the breathtaking Chilean Andes. It feels like a throwback to films like Jim Henson's Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, and the way Astro's members describe it could come straight out of a Henson film screenplay. Here's lead singer Andres Nusser, via email:

"The video is the story of a sacred object made of quartz, which we call 'Colombo.' This object has been stolen by the creatures of the night and must be recovered by the creatures, who are commandeered telepathically by Cosmo. Once they recover 'Colombo,' the creatures of the light make a procession and place it in the altar it belongs."

The film was directed by Carlos Rincones, who has worked with Robert Rodríguez, Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth.

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