Starfarer (U.S.A.) – Spaced Out (2020)

Starfarer’s “Spaced Out” is a bit of a novel oddity to me. The cover artwork (also by Starfarer) is self-aware and well-crafted. It doesn’t just channel one period of American culture—it channels two. The overall color scheme and style has a sensibility that reminds me of late sixties Haight-Ashbury hippie culture. This is combined with a Saturn-faced astronaut standing in a purple and green haze overlooking some far-flung galaxy. This could have easily been on the cover of Heavy Metal magazine in the late seventies. It also would look stunning on a vinyl sleeve.

The overall vibe of “Spaced Out” made me feel like I was entering the mind of an astronaut who has seen every weird thing the universe has to offer. So where does one go from there? Well, according to our hero, Starfarer, it’s time to experience the final frontier in an entirely different way—high as fuck. The first time I listened to “Spaced Out” I remember giggling uncontrollably at the sample that plays at the beginning of “Lift Off!” It features a dude taking a long bong hit with spacey Darksynth vibes playing behind it. This took me completely off-guard. It was wonderful and entertaining. It helped break the ice, which made me enjoy the music even more.

Musically, “Spaced Out” reminds me of doomy southern stoner rock combined with dark synthwave. Starfarer does this successfully by creating a cultural amalgam with his music—just like the cover artwork. “Spaced Out” serves up some heavy bass tones throughout but they don’t overpower the spacey arpeggios and astral sounding synth leads. The sound quality is clear and enjoyable, but there’s also a certain analog “grit” that makes this different from most Synthwave. If you can imagine what Saint Vitus or Down (NOLA) would sound like if they played darksynth it probably would sound a lot like “Spaced Out.” Overall, I really dig this EP. “Spaced Out” is well worth the time if you have an ear for slow heavy space jams with an extra helping of DOOM.

That’s one small step for man…one giant spliff for mankind.

RECCOMMENED FOR: Spacetokers who like their darksynth southern, doomy, and instrumental.

Stand-out tracks: “One Way Trip” (best track)!, “Spacetoker,” and “Spaced-Out.”

Album Color Profile #3E2723:

You can find all things Starfarer at https://starfarer.bandcamp.com/

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