The Astronomers in the clouds with new single ‘Skywalking’

Carter Uslabar, Editor in Chief

The UW Oshkosh pop-music duo, The Astronomers, released their first single of the year, which was met with positive reactions.

The Astronomers, composed of UWO juniors Ben Baker and Michael Stensland, released “Skywalking,” featuring guest vocalist Zach Paradis, on Jan. 29, just ahead of the semester’s start.

“The song is very up to interpretation for the listener,” Stensland said. “We just went for this nostalgic, kind of euphoric feeling for this record.”

The track includes allusions to Star Wars and Batman, and lyrically takes a much more playful approach than The Astronomers’ previous hits such as “Overthinking” and “Love Lasts.”

“I said to Michael, ‘Let’s just write something so weird and go from there,’” Baker said about the lyrics.

Starting from nothing but the guitar loop featured in the song, the duo finished the chorus in one night in early October. They sat on it for a while, further distilling and building up the track.

Baker and Stensland were thinking of who would be a good addition for the song when they turned to Atlanta-based musician Paradis, who featured on The Astronomers’ song “Area 51.”

After finishing the song, next up was filming a music video. With Zach Paradis located in Atlanta and the Astronomers’ home base being Oshkosh, Baker and Stensland made the decision to make the nearly 10-hour drive to Nashville, where they met with Paradis. Within 48 hours, the group drove to Nashville, filmed a music video, and then drove back to Wisconsin.

“When we got back to Oshkosh we were just like, ‘Holy cow, I can’t believe we just did that,’” Baker said.

The music video, produced by Jack Rindahl, is now available to be viewed on YouTube.

On Feb. 26 The Astronomers will drop “You Fucked Up,” their last single to be released before their upcoming EP.

“I think it’s like the happiest spiteful song, with the possible exception of “Fuck You,” by CeeLo Green,” Baker said. “I think people are going to think it’s a really interesting message in such a happy-sounding song.”

Stensland said stylistically, “You Fucked Up” will be like a twin track to their single from September, “Overthinking,” which is dominated by Jacob Collier or Jeremy Zucker-like pop vibes.

After an extensive rearrangement and editing of their tracks, The Astronomers have renamed their upcoming EP from “The 2000s” to “Guess It’s Just Life.” Baker and Stensland said the EP is completed, although at the time of writing it has no official release date.