New York indie electronic/pop artist Car Astor discusses what led her to start singing, her evolution as a musician, her latest single Girlfriend and what’s next for her
By Emily May
New York indie-pop musician Car Astor found her calling for music from an early age. Formerly known as SEE, she recently changed her name to Car Astor after reflecting on the growth and challenges she has experienced as an artist over the past year. Starting out playing drums at the age of 13, she later transitioned into a singer out of necessity, stating that all of the singers in her previous bands weren’t all that great. Out of frustration she gave it a shot and found that she had unlocked a talent she didn’t know she had, an ethereal voice that perfectly blends subtlety and power and has drawn comparisons to The Sunday’s Harriet Wheeler. Influenced by bands such as Neil Young, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Stevie Nicks, No Doubt, Paramore and Avril Lavigne, she turned heads with the song “Green Line Killer” from her debut EP Ties in 2016. Her musical breakthrough came with the release of her song “Potions” which had over 6.5 million views on YouTube and 800k streams on Spotify. With a steady focus on writing and recording, she plans to release plenty of new music in the coming months! She recently released her latest single “Girlfriend”, as well as an accompanying video that she directed herself. She describes “Girlfriend” as the most upbeat and danceable song she’s recorded so far and promises more upbeat songs to follow. She has without a doubt made her mark in the electronic music scene and shows no signs of slowing down. I think it’s safe to say that she has a bright future ahead of her! You can follow Car Astor and stay up-to-date with all upcoming music and tour dates, as well as stream and purchase her music via the following links. Check out her video for “Girlfriend” below, as well as a link to her brand new song “Don’t Stop, Don’t Speak”!
Blue Elan Records artist page– https://www.blueelan.
You started out at the age of 13 playing drums, later transitioning to singing. What sparked your interest in the drums rather then a different instrument? Who are some of your favorite drummers? Were there any in particular that influenced you from a young age?
I just had this pull to them from a very young age. I think if you’re a musician and have that interest from birth, rhythm is the easiest thing to first distinguish, so you’re naturally drawn to it! I find that many songwriters I know were first drummers and I think it may be for that reason. My favorite drummers growing up were Darren King and Zac Farro! Listening to both of them really taught me so much and influenced a ton about my style of playing and just understanding percussion in general.
You started singing out of necessity when the singers in the band you were in weren’t that good. Did you find that singing came naturally to you or did it take some time for you to find your voice, so to speak?
Honestly I think I always knew I could sing, but I am naturally extremely shy so it was really hard for me to come out of my shell and actually do it. The second I got the guts to do it, it came so easily it actually shocked me. Obviously my voice has developed and changed for the better over the years, but I never felt a struggle to be on pitch etc.
You have mentioned not usually talking about your feelings but do write songs about love. What draws you to that type of song?
I find that the only time I really talk about my feelings are in songs! I’m very reserved with who I let into my personal life and rarely confide in people, but ironically I will say everything I’m thinking in my lyrics and the whole world can listen to it anyway! I find that love is the most powerful feeling in the world, and there are so many layers to explore within every relationship and heartbreak so it’s impossible for me to not be drawn to that for inspiration again and again. I could write dozens of songs about the same situation but from all different angles.
You have expressed a love for ballads and have said it’s your favorite kind of song. What do you love about ballads and what are some of your favorites?
The emotion is what draws me to them. I absolutely LOVE upbeat pop songs and grungy rock songs too, but ballads to me are when people really let loose and are so honest. My favorite ballad of all time is “Lover You Should Have Come Over” By Jeff Buckley.
You recently released your song Girlfriend. What can you tell me about the inspiration behind the song? You have described it as probably the most upbeat and dancey song you have ever recorded. Do you see yourself doing more upbeat songs like this going forward?
So the inspiration behind this song came from me falling for someone while they were in a relationship with someone else. I suppose it became a sort of love triangle, because this person and I became very close and clearly had feelings for each other. Definitely complicated, and I wrote this song during an angry moment where I was fed up with feeling like I was being used. I definitely have more upbeat stuff that I’ve been working on! I’m super excited about it – but of course still have chiller songs as well.
What can you tell me about the idea/inspiration behind the video for “Girlfriend”? It’s a really cool video! I read that you directed it yourself (your first time directing!) and teamed up with Five Towers to bring the concept to life. How did you come to work with them? What did you learn about directing and making a video from the experience?
Yes was my first time directing! The concept is related the feelings I had in this situation – you see me in this “cage” unable to escape while I interact and am kind of taunted by this person. Me and the person never actually touch, but it’s always nearly there, and in the end they always pull away. We also see them in the cage with me, but also free from it. Essentially it’s like they had the control and I couldn’t escape because of my feelings.
What inspired you to give away a one of a kind handwritten lyric sheet to celebrate the release of “Girlfriend”? How was the response? Do you have plans to do more things like this for future releases?
I just like doing little things for the people that support me! I think people were excited about it and it gives them an opportunity to connect with me on a more personal level. Yes! I have a lot of future plans.
You released your first EP ‘Ties’ two years ago. How do you feel that you have evolved as an artist since then?
Wow I have definitely changed entirely as a person. Not only with the name change, but musically I think I have grown so much and really learned to be a better lyricist, songwriter, and singer – and that will all be apparent in the future releases. I also have been through way more personally now, and therefore have a lot more to write about. I’m excited to really start releasing everything I’ve been working on.
You’ve shared the stage with bands such as July Talk, Blue October and Callum Scott. Who are some artists going forward that you you would love to perform with?
I would love to tour with Now Now, Grimes, Paramore, Royal Blood – the list could go on!
You recently did an intimate, acoustic session for the Underwater Sunshine Festival that was recorded at the NYC apartment of Adam Duritz! What was that experience like?
I did! Playing acoustically / stripped down is always such a blast for me and something that I love doing. The team there was wonderful to work with and Adam was very kind to me. I was grateful to have the opportunity to play for everyone.
You were invited to open for She Wants Revenge in Philly last month, as well as for Flint Eastwood in NYC. How exciting is it for you to be catching the attention of such great bands? Do you have any other fun shows coming up?
Both of those shows were really such a blast. It’s been really nice knowing that people are connecting with the new music! I’m thrilled that both of them felt like I would be a good fit on the bill. I’m playing a co-headline show on Dec. 23rd at Mercury Lounge with Roan Yellowthorn. Super stoked about that one!
What’s next for you?
I’m really planning out my next few releases because I do have finished music! Apart from that, I’m constantly writing and recording both in my home studio and with my producer Walt in NJ. Just creating all day every day.