Premiere: Astrologer, ‘Legerdemain (R)’


Unsurprisingly with music inspired by emotional peaks and valleys, there’s a good bit of sonic whiplash throughout Astrologer’s twin EPs, “Legerdemain.” Originally conceived as a single album, the release was halved, with “Legerdemain (L)” arriving late last year. “Legerdemain (R),” premiering here, is out Friday, and the results are officially in: The thrills far outweigh the spills.

To refresh the memory, Astrologer is the project of current Arizona resident Drew Cline, the singer-songwriter and guitarist who releases music on L.A.-based Lolipop Records and who is joined on the recent releases by former Germ Don Bolles, Lolipop head honcho Wyatt Blair and Candy Caballero. In between the EPs, Astrologer released a single for the numerology-minded back in February.

“Legerdemain (R)” jumps from thoroughly likable bubblegum (“ABC Gum”) to noise-pop to Ramones-style punk (“Bon Mot”) to wistful ’70s mopery (“Goodbye Blue,” and is that a recorder?). Then there’s “Acid Trish,” which can only be described as classic power-pop interrupted by epic freakout.

As Cline points out, there were several life and world events that contributed to the eclectic sounds on the EP — not to mention Blair’s influence.

“Both EPs were influenced heavily by the death of my father, and the disintegration of my relationship with the mother of my son, Julian,” he says. “By the time we began recording, the world had been plunged into the woes of a left-field pandemic. My personal grief and fear for the future informed every part of these recordings. At the time, I didn’t know if I wanted to make music anymore, and even if I did, I was unsure I would ever get another chance.

“With all that in mind, Wyatt Blair and I seized upon any and every idea we had: every recording trick, every type of song we’d like to make. We followed every whim and tried everything I wanted to, just in case I wouldn’t make another record. That’s why it feels a bit schizophrenic in it’s approach. Its our mixtape. Sometime during the recording of the second half, the EP we are releasing today, I met Candy Caballero and fell in love. Some of that sunshine and joy made it into this second set of songs. It is a set of songs that carry a bit more warmth and romance than the first EP, which was more deeply connected with grief.

“Making ‘Legerdemain Right’ was a manic experience.”

And, upon its official release on Friday, a shared one.

||| Stream: “Legerdemain (R)”

lolipoprecords · ASTROLOGER – “Legerdemain (R)”

||| Also: Watch the video for “Détente”

||| Also: Stream “Legerdemain (L)” in its entirety

||| Previously: “2/22/2022 (Affirmations)”