The Synth and Guitar of Astral Skulls Is From Another Planet

An outer planetary music project just landed in Melbourne.

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Dec 23 2014, 8:58am

Kurt Eckardt is the sole driver/operator of Astral Skulls, an outer plantery guitar and synth vehicle that has landed in Melbourne via Brisbane.

Kurt’s just dropped a double a-side digital single "In The Sky" / "This Party Bites", and a video for "In The Sky", the lead single from his upcoming debut album Mystery Loves Company, which is basically Chat Roulette accompanied by a downer post punk soundtrack.

Not many artist pages on the Triple J Unearthed site name Pell Mell, Scattered Order and Lakes as influences but then Kurt doesn’t seem to be your typical artist. We caught up with him to find out more.

Noisey: Who are those people and what are they doing?
Kurt Eckardt: The video features some friends and future friends of mine. I approached them with a simple brief: just make a webcam or smartphone video starting with the sentence "You know I wish I could stay here..." In order of appearance, Chloe Slarks (an artist and comedian from Sydney), Hon Boey (who I was in a band with called Say Cheese and Die), Grace Anderson (who is an amazing musician from Melbourne), Me, Kalindy Williams (who I am in a band with called Heat Wave and also takes photos and makes clothes), and on the shitter is Marcus Whale (from Collarbones, Black Vanilla and Scissor Lock).

Where is "here"?
I'd like to say that it's ambiguous on purpose, but I actually don't know. There's often an outer space theme to my stuff, so that's probably on my mind most of the time, but that would be more relating to where I'm going to. The idea of the video was that everyone's concept of 'here' would be different, so I knew some individual stories would come up.

Your vocal delivery is quite flat. Is this deliberate? Who do you think you sound like?
I guess it's deliberate, yeah. I mean, I play around with other ways of singing when I'm writing, but this is just what Astral Skulls sounds like now I think. There are a couple of more shouty and raucous songs on the album that I'm working on, but it's still a bit droll and nonchalant. I've been compared to Peter Escott from the Native Cats, but I don't think I'm even in the same ballpark as that genius.

You recently moved from Brisbane to Melbourne. How is Melbourne treating you?
I live in Preston. It's amazing. When I first moved down I went on lots of adventures, there's kind of an endless to-do list down here. Actually to be honest, I haven't left the house in ages. If I did though, yeah, Melbourne would be really cool.

"Mystery Loves Company" is due March 2015.