“Aggressively soft. Softly progressive.”
This is what Lilac Kings describes themselves when you look at their About page on Facebook. However, I didn’t initially find them on Facebook. Instead, from a recent email newsletter from their record label, We Are Triumphant.
A pop-punk band from the US, Lilac Kings released “Astral Straits” yesterday to promote their upcoming album Desolation Desperation. As someone who has been a fan of the pop-punk genre since high school, “Astral Straits” is a well-crafted pop-punk piece that I really enjoyed. Why? Read further to find out.
Search the Stars For New Earth
“Astral Straits” starts off what Lilac Kings describe themselves: aggressively soft. However, it isn’t too aggressive as the piece starts off with a softer sound. This is where the vocalist sings the first verse with a smooth tone. A high-pitched guitar plays a supporting melody along with the mellow hard-rock bass.
The tone shifts from the soft sound to an aggressive one by the chorus. But, don’t take it the wrong way: the vigorous energy from the vocalist and instruments brings a new perspective. You can hear it mostly in the vocals as he opens up the first line with a scream-o pitch. Then, he slides down to a soothing, high-pitch tenor tone by the end. I love how the singer employs the vocals during the chorus, I think his execution is well done. My friend says that the vocals remind her of Sleeping With Sirens, but I am reminded of a 2000s pop-punk band that I can’t put my finger on.
Check out the ending of “Astral Straits” as it a blend of the vocalist’s tenor vocals and scream-o — the screaming you hear in the background. But, don’t discount scream-o as being a bad thing: it actually adds depth and a harmonious contrast to the higher-pitched main vocals.
Terra Forms New Beginnings
What kind of message do you get when listening to the song’s lyrics?
Whenever I initially listened to “Astral Straits”, I feel like it is filled with metaphors about new beginnings. My hypothesis is based on the bits and pieces found within the song: “Terra forms new beginnings” and “Search the stars for new Earth”. We have to form new paths and start new beginnings by taking risks; it is hard, but we have to at least try. Could this be the true message behind “Astral Straits”?
However, my hypothesis was wrong. In truth, the song is about survival. According to a recent tweet on the band’s Twitter account, the lyrics are written in a perspective that Earth has reached its limit in sustaining human life. The song reflects on the feelings of desperation that one may have as well as the options of living one must face if such a crisis arises.
What Do You Think?
Lilac Kings’ “Astral Straits” is a wonderfully crafted pop-punk song that will please both old-time pop-punk fans as well as those who aren’t familiar with it. With talented vocals, an interesting mixture of sci-fi and wise advice, and a great melody, “Astral Straits” will be sure inspires others to pursue their own new beginnings.
Check out “Astral Straits” below and let me know what you think in the comments below!
About the Artist
According to their Facebook:
Lilac Kings formed as an idea in late 2016. After branding ideas and songs were in place, the band went into the studio and put out the single “Shiver” in January 2017. The band then went on to release their debut EP What Brings Us Back on November 3rd, 2017 under We Are Triumphant Records’ banner.
On November 2nd, 2018, the band dropped their fresh new single “Don’t Pretend” which has been met with tremendous positivity and has landed itself on several notable Spotify playlists including “The Scene” and “New Punk Tracks”. Following this successful release, Lilac Kings put out an emotional yet tactful and compelling full-length record titled Goodnight which has multiple tracks across multiple curated playlists.
The band is set to tour through the states throughout 2020 to promote their new album Desolation Desperation.
You can follow the band on: