The one takeaway we can all agree with is that 2020 as a year has been full of the unknown. With concerts on the few, shutdowns in various cities and tours on the back burner; so much of music’s future is up in the air. While albums that were slotted to be released this year primarily have, how you deal with adversity can shape and define who you are as an artist. For Houston’s Astragal it was a year to figure out how to navigate themselves as people and as artists. That reaction to the unknown was one of the many reasons we spoke to Jimmy Bent from the band for our podcast Self Released Songs.
Born in a seemingly normal suburban household, Bent spent time with a dad who was a Dead Head and a mom who was a bluegrass musician. Learning violin at an early age and attending a special school for it, when high school rolled around his transition to guitar was an easy one that helped define how he interacted with music in the future.
The transition to guitar was an easy one after an electro-pop group came and went. Playing in multiple projects and honing his skill set, Bent became well known in the music scene for his stage presence and the emo based sounds the bands he was in created. However after a chance couple of run ins with a guy who would become the drummer for Astragal, and an ad placed in Craigslist, the band went from unknowns to new favorites as quickly as they formed. Writing songs as soon as they practiced, releasing a shoegaze toned E.P. with EP, the band’s live shows only cemented a future in music.
But growth is where the band’s heart lies which may explain how they removed the shoegaze sound in favor of a more post punk ideology. With Spilt and EP II following, the band’s sound has evolved throughout it all while they’ve gotten to know and understand one another better through the process. Now with a new release Astragal: Live at Satellite Bar out and a full length waiting for a day when they can properly tour around it, the band is back writing and contemplating what’s next. After COVID-19 indefinitely pushed back the album’s release and the East Coast tour to promote it, the band is steadily writing and recording while realizing that the time off has insured that they’re growing together and not apart.
The music of Astragal is available to purchase on Bandcamp or physically through Wallflower Records. It can be streamed on all streaming sites as well. The episode of Self Released Songs can be streamed on this website or wherever you stream podcasts.
Image Credits: Photo by Derek Rathbun.