— Nashville-based indie alternative rock duo Sad Astronauts have a chemistry that’s so strong, they wrote the dozen tracks for Adult Fears, their debut album, with remarkable speed. Vocalist/keyboardist Flash E. Shepard AKA Kevin Max recalls what it was like to work with guitarist Erick Cole, “The first time we sat down together to start writing for Sad Astronauts, we wrote four songs. Then the next two times he came in, we wrote three songs each time. So we literally wrote the record in about four sessions together. They chose the band name “Sad Astronauts” because they felt like it really mirrored the attitude that everyone seems to share these days, if ever there’s ever been a time to yearn for getting on a spaceship and head to another planet that’s more Utopian, this is surely it. This theme is particularly evident in the track which we are pleased to premiere today, “Sariffina Skies”, which serves as a preview of what was to come with Sad Astronauts.
About the song, the band comments ‘Sariffina Skies is the ultimate feeling of wonder & surrender to love. The psychedelic road of unbridled discovery in a passionate relationship.’
When asked about their debut album Adult Fears out Fall 2021, Sad Astronauts said, “‘When we were faced with the challenges of the epidemic in early 2020, instead of retreating and spinning wheels we decided to create something together that we could identify with and hopefully help others to relate to as well. ‘Adult Fears’ is the sum of our conversations and lived experiences as two friends and musicians grappling with the problems of life and hoping for a better future.”
Shepard and Cole started writing for Adult Fears when COVID-19 pandemic hit, splitting songwriting duties 50/50. After that, the album’s dozen tracks only took Sad Astronauts about a week to record, which they did at multi-instrumentalist/producer John Mark Painter’s studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Painter played bass on the album, as well as serving as a co-producer alongside Shepard and Cole. Drummer Peter Furler completed the lineup for the sessions. Though they’ve brought in other musicians to work on this project, Shepard and Cole are the true duo at the heart of this band.
To differentiate Sad Astronauts from their previous collaborative efforts, Shepard and Cole deliberately changed their writing approach. “My strategy was, if I normally play guitar in a certain way, how can I play something different from that this time?” Cole says. For his part, Shepard stepped back from being the in-charge solo artist, instead focusing on sharing the experience equally with Cole. With Adult Fears complete, Shepard and Cole are embarking on an entirely new phase in their respective music careers, which they each started at an early age. Although they grew up in very different places — Shepard in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Cole in Nashville, Tennessee — they share striking similarities in their backgrounds. Both of them displayed an early talent for music that led their parents to encourage them to begin performing. Both had a musician parent who gave them their first lessons. And both gravitated to alternative rock such as The Smiths and R.E.M. — an aesthetic that serves as a solid foundation for their current work. Now, with Sad Astronauts, Shepard and Cole have taken all of these similar influences and life experiences and their own individual strengths and insights and turned them into something that is utterly unique. This distinctiveness gives Adult Fears a certain timeless quality.
Stay tuned to Sad Astronauts’ socialsbelow for more information on the release of their debut album Adult Fears due out Fall 2021 , as well as upcoming tour dates as the world starts to open back up.
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