The new single from the Brooklyn alt-rock trio offers a taste of the “sonic dream” the band will be serving up on their forthcoming debut album Khwab
There’s an ideal time and place to watch a music video—and then there’s 6 pm on a Thursday at a Macaroni Grill inside the Orlando airport.
Unusual and unsuitable setting aside, I was psyched to check out the video for Minaxi’s “Stargazer”—the first single off the upcoming debut LP from “Brooklyn’s favourite shoegaze band”—which had landed in my inbox at some point between EWR and MCO.
So, Hudson News-sourced headphones in jack (and MG garlic bread in mouth), I hit play, and to the sheer bewilderment—and probably horror—of every nearby traveler and TSA agent in the crowded terminal, proceeded to do what one does when they hear a song like “Stargazer.”
That is, simply, jam the fuck out.
My first impression of “Stargazer” was that it reminds me of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight.” That’s not to say that it sounds like 1995 (not that there’s anything wrong with that); it’s that it offers the same sort of striking intro that grabs, and keeps, your attention long before the lyrics make their appearance. And they don’t, in “Stargazer,” until the ~1:35 mark, at which point I’d made the premature assumption that the song was purely instrumental and was already totally stoked on it—a true testament to the music itself.
Fortunately, when the vocals do arrive, delivered by Shrenik Ganatra—
“I refuse to believe
all that I am told
I’m a creature
of my own thoughts…”
—they’re a very welcome addition, combining with the singer’s guitar, Liam Christian’s bass and the drums of Andrew Coral (who has since been replaced in the band by Steve Carlin) to create a memorable five-minute ride that truly epitomizes the band’s self-described “guitar-driven ‘wall-of-sound.'”
Beyond being a damn good song, the single is a success in the sense that it’s effectively whet my appetite for more Minaxi—a sonic craving I’m looking forward to satisfying this Wednesday at Alphaville and again on March 13, when the band’s debut studio album Khwab (named for a Hindi/Urdu word meaning “dream”) is unleashed on the world.
Until then, I’m happy to listen to “Stargazer”—which is available on all major streaming platforms January 17th—and honored to premiere the music video, featuring the silhouettes of Shrenik and Liam plus some sweet static and psychedelic visuals, to accompany it here:
And because everyone loves some behind-the-scenes action—and it’s always better to hear straight from the band—Shrenik was kind enough to share the story behind the video via email:
“‘Stargazer’ is the first single from our debut studio album [and] a song about self-respect. This performance of the song (sans the overdubs) was recorded in one take without a click track. The video for ‘Stargazer’ came about on a windy, thunderous night. It honestly wasn’t even planned. Liam and I were playing some of our songs on the acoustic guitar on our rooftop and I just happened to film the process on my iPhone. We ended up liking the result, so we used it as the primary footage for the video. The overlays were shot in 2016 over a few hours, as part of my graduate thesis. It never made the cut back then but I saved it anyway. In hindsight, it was probably meant for the video as it flows seamlessly throughout.”
Check out “Stargazer” for yourself to determine the accuracy of my (admittedly prosecco-fueled) assessment—and, more importantly, to treat yourself to a seriously rad song and video.
As for me, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the release of Khwab (produced by Patrick Hunt and Shrenik himself), which—for consistency’s sake—I plan to enjoy in a setting as bizarre as that airport Macaroni Grill…
Anyone know if there’s an Olive Garden at LaGuardia?
Feature image (provided by the band): Allison Jacobs