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Performer is super excited to be premiering the new track “Burn Baby Burn” by the Atlanta indie/electro/pop duo star-splitter – taken from their new “Afterglow” maxi-single, out today!
Star-gazing requires looking up, not down – an act that is a little out of the ordinary for the average human tethered to an iPhone. But, as their name implies, Atlanta-based electronic indie-pop duo star-splitter is clearly an exception to this rule. The duo, comprised of Andi Rogers (Night Driving in Small Towns, andi.) and Torin Degnats (The Well Reds), is fully committed to the difficult work of gazing upward and outward, operating outside the confines of the ordinary.
The duo met fortuitously, when Degnats began drumming for Rogers’ indie rock band, Night Driving in Small Towns, who have received nods from Rolling Stone & NPR and have opened for indie-press darlings like Fruitbats, Death Vessel, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, Lera Lynn, and Natalie Prass. At the time, Degnats was busy touring with a variety of bands, including The Well Reds, who have toured the country multiple times, playing with heavy hitters like Daughtry, Hot Chelle Rae, Parachute, and Minus the Bear. Over time, though, they realized there was new and different work to be done, so they decided to form a side project where they could carve out the new vision they had in mind.
Although Rogers and Degnats have been in dozens of bands during their lifetimes, they have never before explored this specific aural space. The duo’s first three-song maxi-single, “Afterglow,” is space-inspired, synth-driven soundscapes with a depth and width that sweep forward and backward, while accenting that twinkle, just barely audible, in the distance. “I wanted to highlight less common textures and ranges in Andi’s voice,” Degnats says, “sometimes angular, sometimes rhythmic, with a juxtaposition between pop melodies and more quirky vocal parts… But always returning to, and revolving around, the theme of space and time.”
“Afterglow” is only the beginning of star-splitter’s realized vision – a vision that is, as Degnats suggests, very consciously focused on and around the concept of space. “It wasn’t intentional at first,” Rogers says, “But once I started writing the lyrics, all of these space images kept coming up: first images from outer space, like comets, and then all these images of the types of emotional and physical space that exist between two people, which can eventually drive them apart.” Rogers, a Ph.D. Poetry candidate at Georgia State University, had been working on poems about the Apollo missions at the time, as well as reading poet Tracy K. Smith’s Life on Mars, which details Smith’s relationship with her father, who worked on the Hubble Space telescope. Later, when Rogers and Degnats were looking for names for their new act, the idea of space stayed with them. After much deliberation, they chose a name which originates from Robert Frost’s poem “The Star-Splitter.” “You know Orion always comes up sideways,” the poem opens, spoken in the conversational cadence of its main character, a failed New England farmer who burns his house down for the insurance settlement in order to buy a telescope, which he then dubs the Star-Splitter. “I aim to make my lyrics conversational like Frost’s speakers are” Rogers says. “That approach, coupled with the open-endedness of the concept of space, really opens the content up for a variety of interpretations.”
Rogers and Degnats have an undeniably easy connection, both in person and in their music. Given their busy schedules, it would have been easy for them to discuss the possibility of a collaboration without ever following through; at the time, the two were wrapped up in a variety of other projects – Rogers was recording for her solo project (andi.) and traveling across Europe, while Degnats was touring the country with The Well Reds – but, sensing something exciting was in the works, they made the time to work together. Rogers recalls their first conversations about the project as innocent. “We started by talking about different bands we were listening to at the time, “Rogers says, “then began to discuss the possibility of a themed project. Torin worked up some songs and sent them over, and it was like fireworks went off inside my head. The lyrics were finished within a matter of days.”
The “gunpowder,” if you will, having been lit, the duo are currently working on new songs, which they hope to release in the very near future. “We’re excited to see what comes next,” Rogers adds. “And, to quote my favorite line from Frost’s ‘The Star-Splitter,’ ‘The best thing that we’re put here for’s to see.’”
Pre-order the “Afterglow” maxi-single: https://starsplittermusic.bandcamp.com/releases