Deastro: Vermillion Plaza
When Randolph Chabot first began recording his own albums at age 12, he discovered a means of living out his fantasies. Using whatever instrument he could find, Chabot began constructing hyper-emotional dream worlds—teenage symphonies peopled by superheroes, aliens, lost souls, and star-crossed lovers. He’s been zipping through the clouds ever since, streaking the skies as his superhuman alter-ego, Deastro.
The 22-year-old pop prodigy records in the basement of his parents’ house. He’s self-released more than three albums’ worth of songs, drawn all his own album covers, and played countless ecstatic, synth-driven live shows in Detroit’s network of DIY venues. Chabot’s demos eventually found their way to digital-download site eMusic, which released Keeper’s, an exclusive “greatest hits” package that quickly became one of the site’s best-sellers. After Deastro’s elegantly lurching instrumental “Light Powered” appeared on Ghostly Swim (Ghostly’s collaboration with Adult Swim), it was clear that Chabot had found a home for his joyful electronic pop, and Ghostly had found a kindred spirit in Deastro.
Like their hyperactive creator, Deastro’s songs can’t sit still, hopping from swoon-worthy dream pop to gonzo TV theme songs to whisper-soft folk to crunching robot rock. It all rings with Chabot’s insistent, earnest tenor. Chabot grew up on a steady diet of “weird Christian music,” and though he’s since moved on to more secular interests, the glow of positivity emanates from his music’s every crevice. (As Chabot says, “No matter what has happened, no matter how bad things get, we can change it because we’re still here!”) For Deastro’s Moondagger LP, Chabot has expanded his vision to encompass a full band. He still records in his parents’ basement, though, building his dreams with a musical omnivore’s appetite, an artist’s ear, and pure, boundless enthusiasm.
Vermillion Plaza, the second single from Deastro’s full-length debut, Moondagger, miniaturizes the album’s best assets and shoots them out of a cannon. Plucky synth arpeggios, end-of-the-world choruses, joyously careening melody lines-it’s all there! [ioda]