With how strong the influence of music from the eighties has been over the years, it is not much of a surprise when people release new music that contains a style that truly feels like something that would have been around several decades ago. One band that is currently creating music with an undeniable “eighties” feel to their music is the Florida-based band known as Astari Nite.
Mychael Ghost (Vocals), Howard Melnick (Guitars) and Illia Tulloch (Drums) make up the lineup for Astari Nite. This trio combines elements of Darkwave (a darker form or New Wave music), with Post-Punk elements. With the sound and style of the two genres combining together, what is produced from the band is a style that easily would have been right at home on radio formats as well as college radio stations back in the eighties. Having already released one EP (Dreams of Majesty) in 2017, the band has returned with a new full-length release a year later called Midnight Conversations.
Midnight Conversations from Astari Nite begins with the track Sunday Queen. After the track begins with the sound of feedback, the band launches into a song that immediately brings to mind the sound and feel of music of a band much like Joy Division. In fact, the driving feel of the keyboard-based music produced by the band could easily have been from Joy Division. And when Mychael Ghost’s vocals enter the picture, the American band of Astari Nite takes on a strong English vibe.
The feel of the music changes with the next track. While the song of Unfulfilled Promise still contains a strong keyboard presence, the mood of the music darkens. The New Wave feel from Sunday Queen is a replaced with a feel that is much closer to a Gothic approach, musically. While the darker feel of the music comes out on this track, the quick pace of the music seems to keep the track from becoming too dark. What is produced is a track that brings to mind the music of the band Exotic Birds, a Cleveland-based band that would give a certain musician by the name of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame his start.
With the track of I Am Nothing, Astari Nite brings back a strong English New Wave feel to the music while singer Mychael Ghost’s vocals once again add a strong British vibe. With this track, Ghost seems to be channeling David Bowie as the vocals sound very much like they would have come from him. And given the New Wave feel of the music and Bowie’s New Wave/Glam Rock beginnings, Ghost’s voice fits rather well with this track. The song contains a strong driving feel to the music which, once again, contains a dark ambiance to it.
One of the more unusual tracks on the album from Astari Nite was not written by the band. It was back in 1985 that the American band Til Tuesday created their track Voices Carry. Having made it up the charts to Number 8, the track would go on to win Video of the Year on MTV. For the version by Astari Nite, the band’s Darkwave influences seem to work well as the newer, darker sound gives the track’s lyrics about an illicit affair even more weight than the original version of the song. Voices Carry turns out to be one of the strongest moments on the Midnight Conversations release.
After the track Voices Carry, the music takes on a slightly different feel. That is because the first five songs have a different person producing the music and a different person mastering the music than the final four tracks. And while the difference in feel to the first five tracks compared to the final four tracks is quite noticeable, especially when the final four tracks end up being quite a bit clearer in quality, the different feel in the quality does not take away from the talent of Mychael Ghost, Howard Melnick and Illia Tulloch. The band stays consistent throughout the album and creates a strong release that both fans of New Wave/Darkwave music and even darker styles will find enjoyable from beginning to end.