The Los Angeles based music collective Astronauts of Antiquity (Feat Deploi) have been impressing many in the indie music scene thanks to their well-written musical landscapes, incisive lyrical bent, and a skill for fusing seemingly disparate elements into a coherent and fresh whole. Vocalist India, guitarist B. Rhyan, and their production collaborator Ivica have enlisted the aid of rapper Deploi for their latest single, “Paradise”, a melodic and scathing denunciation of the modern world’s ills. Make no mistake, however, that this isn’t strictly some unentertaining and bile-streaked screed against nefarious forces. There’s plenty of that in “Paradise”, beginning with its darkly sarcastic title, but Astronauts of Antiquity and Deploi alike bring additional qualities to bear. The track’s melodic strengths, particularly when India dominates the vocals, are considerable and its fat bass-anchored groove gives the song added sonic gravitas. The production qualities are superb and polish the track to a high sheen.
The track’s structure alternates between Deploi’s passages and choruses sang by India and heavily treated in post production. Deploi’s rapping style never betrays much emotion, but he deftly navigates through some tricky wordplay and incorporates phrasing that clearly conveys the song’s message in a rhythmic, highly musical fashion. The choruses begin with straight vocals, but post-production effects skew India’s voice until it becomes increasingly shrill, a reflection of bloated appetites and a manic descent into worldwide psychosis. Few may write about it, but the theatricality Astronauts of Antiquity bring to their songwriting is an enormous reason for its success. Their musical and vocal performances alike provide auditory embodiment for the lyrical content that is sure to garner considerable attention.
The lyrical content is accessible without ever growing too colloquial, but yet retains enough linguistic dexterity and eloquence to elevate it far above the typical rap/pop music minimalism and dreck. It’s a sharply barbed attack on various forces working within our global society and peppered with enough dark humor that the track never sinks too deeply into pure rant. Deploi’s bouncing verbal attack practically creates an alternative tempo working at counterpoint against the backbeat and unobtrusive synthesizer lines. The song never overstays its welcome despite its relative intricate subject matter and maintains a laser focus throughout that helps strengthen the overall presentation. Moreover, the track’s progression makes sense in the way that each movement sounds inevitable, unfolding in a very satisfying fashion.
Astronauts of Antiquity Feat Deploi) aren’t peddling rehashed pop or rap glorifying bling, sexual prowess, or some tough guy persona. Instead, Astronauts of Antiquity are engaging themselves with the issues of the age in a way that provokes thought while still providing a memorable musical experience for listeners. India, B. Rhyan, Ivica, and guest star Deploi are powerful performers and share a sympathetic artistic vision that makes “Paradise” one of the year’s hardest hitting singles.