In a world laced with sepia-tinged memories and whimsical dreams, China Aster bloomed amidst the tranquil scenery of Guernsey’s Channel Island in 2011 as the musical duo of Joshua Moore and Oliver Marson. Youthful passions brought them together, but it’s been Joshua’s fingertips that have lately been tracing the lines of their melodies, culminating in the soul-stirring single, 2022’s “If I Could Dance.”
Now, blending earnest 80s synthpop with European Utopian philosophy, China Aster tackles big feelings and rationalism in equal measure on their torch song, “Reason,” a ballad that becomes a love song about reason itself. Moore, with a mind colored by the palettes of fine-art and the deep queries of philosophy, often wanders through the labyrinthine corridors of Utopian musings inspired by luminaries like Karl Marx, Ernst Bloch, and Nikolai Fyodorov, as well as Herman Melville.
“The track defies cliches about the irrationality of love and the cold abstraction of logic, celebrating instead a relationship between passion and rationality,” Moore explains. “I was listening to a lot of Enya and Kirin J Callinan during the writing process, which might explain the synth-compositions and intense vocals here.”
In the world China Aster sculpts, melodies shimmer with the brilliance of vivid daydreams. Their compositions radiate hope and optimism, serving as a beacon in a tumultuous world. The music is an intertwining narrative that mirrors the fervour of political change and the mystery of science fiction.
Drawing inspiration from Ultravox, the electro heartbeat of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, the profound depths of Massive Attack, and contemporaries Grimes and Perfume Genius, China Aster’s lyrics are laced with topical wit and cheeky sarcasm that wink knowingly at the listener.
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