astral planes

astral planes


The Astral Planes sound is a gentle embrace, filtered through Scandinavian melancholy. Dedicated use of Rickenbacker instruments signals an undying love for the pure pop sounds of decades past, propelled by a reliable backbeat straight out of the Motor City.


The humble beginnings of the Astral Planes can be traced to a fine summer day in 2003 when Bjorn Bernhardtz, a native of Sweden, met Cyrus Khazai, a native of Chicago, on a tennis court. The two discovered a shared interest in the purest pop music from the '60s through '80s. After writing songs together for several months, they recruited drummer Jamie Winne and bassist Chris Ahrens, both natives of Michigan.

The band's sound is vast, not unlike the great expanse of Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. Astral strains of Rickenbackers jingle-jangle over the reliable rhythms of Detroit and meandering bass lines of a two-lane scenic drive. Meanwhile, the Swedish son Bernhardtz charts a spatial niche of human experience as he ponders the resolution of a Major 9th chord.

A flurry of activity in 2005 included gigs at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen, Subterranean, Andersonville's Midsommarfest and a brief studio stop to record the Bayside EP. Following an extended baby-related hiatus in 2006, the astral planes began work on a debut LP. The self-titled effort was recorded entirely in the friendly confines of guitarist Khazai’s North Park residence. After putting the finishing touches on their debut CD at B-Side Audio with Neal Ostrovsky, the band returned to the stage in the fall of 2007 with new bassist Greg Bonsignore. 2008 finds the band climbing to a comfortable cruising altitude as we invite you to fly with us, enjoy the ride and deplane with the hazy warmth of a drink-filled transcontinental flight.


astral planes s/t CD
released December 2007
10 tracks
radio airplay on WLUW Chicago 88.7 FM

Bayside CD EP
released May 2005
5 tracks
"Darkest Rooms" played on WLUW Chicago 88.7 FM

Set List

typical 45 min. set list includes a choice selection of 10 original songs from the following:

Darkest Rooms, Anything You Want, Save Your Life, Better Days, Outside My Window, Things They Say, Nevermore, Crystal Consultant, Cyprus Sands, Life Like Mine, Northern Lights, Quicksand and our show closer Antiworlds.