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You can find anything on Craigslist. A couch, an apartment, even band members. That's how the members of Astronaut, an up-and-coming New York rock band, found each other.

Astronaut is unsigned, and the New York indie-rock scene is nothing if not volatile. They attribue their success thus far to their faithful fan base, whose devotion has lead to many sold-out shows at clubs like Pianos, and spots on college radio playlists across the country.

The band released their first EP, "Evolve," in November. Money is always the big problem in any independent effort, but with a little help from their friends (and a lot of work with Pro-Tools software in Djemal's basement) Astronaut was able to put together their first release relatively cheaply.

"We were lucky enough to get other people involved in the project who support the independent musician ... we got some good deals on post production: mixing and mastering the record," said Djemal.

—Emily Hulme - amNewYork

On January 9, the Kings Of A&R website posted a review of astronaut, calling the band an "undeniably intelligent & versatile Brit-pop/post-punk/alternative hybrid." This was followed by a feature interview which ran on March 20. - Kings Of A&R

Celestial beings be warned, we have an appreciation for rock that’s hard to categorize. While it seems the majority of bands these days in the Lower East Side are trying very hard to pretend they’re from Manchester, (yes, even accents to boot), these guys are a breath of much needed fresh air. They have the arpeggiated guitar rhythms down, a kick-ass rhythm section, have cool sounding vocals, and rock out in all the appropriate times when the song calls for it. Basically, we’re going to start drinking now..." - New York Press

Radiohead... without the bends. - Village Voice

If this band was from the UK instead of New York City, they would be big already. Self-described, their sound is a "brit-pop/post-punk/ alternative hybrid." They're already getting attention from top press like the Kings of A&R. Check out their EP, Evolve, at and see for yourself. If you like British bands, you'll want to give these guys a try. And the best part is, they're playing shows in your own backyard!

—By Joelle - Planet Verge


astronaut discography: Evolve

Includes six tracks and one bonus track available online.

astronaut‘s music can also be found on Urban Noise - Traffic Vol. 1, a compilation CD featuring six other NYC-based bands, which enjoyed CMJ chart success earlier this year.

XM Radio Unsigned features astronaut regularly. The band has been listed in the top 10 in the Futures section of XM's R>A>D>A>R Report. Their songs have also made the R>A>D>A>R Report's top 20 Most Played list.

Among other radio successes, Q104.3 FM in NYC spun songs on the Sunday evening show "Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke," as well as featured astronaut on their website's "Local Spotlight" section.

On June 27, 2004, astronaut was featured on the Campus Buzz show on WSOU 89.5 FM, Seton Hall's radio station, from 8-9pm for an interview with Scott Puglisi, Evolve EP and concert ticket giveaways, and live performance by the band.

The band is currently hard at work at their currently untitled three song EP.



Blasting on to the New York music scene in early 2003, astronaut, with its wistful melodies, strong vocals, and complementary rhythms, is making its mark locally and nationally with a growing fan base and critical acclaim for its songs. Since astronaut sold out Pianos at their debut show in March 2003, they continue to pack houses, performing at such NYC landmarks as the Knitting Factory, CBGB, Mercury Lounge, Galapagos, Crash Mansion, and Bowery Ballroom.

The astronaut crew includes Brooke Hoffine (vocals), Uri Djemal (guitar), Shane Koss (keyboard/bass), and Hari Ganglberger (drums). These spacemen (and spacewoman) grew up all over the world, from Austria to Alabama, and their equally wide-ranging musical backgrounds and interests have enabled them to create a sound that is of the New York scene, but wholly shaped by a wealth of influences. As the Kings Of A&R put it, astronaut is an "undeniably intelligent & versatile Brit-pop/post-punk/alternative hybrid likened to Radiohead, Coldplay, U2, Elliot Smith, Interpol, etc." astronaut, in its first incarnation, released a six-track EP titled Evolve in November of 2003 which was well-received by critics and fans alike. Evolve's sales on CD Baby and via other outlets have been steadily increasing ever since. Tracks are now available on online music services such as iTunes, and Musicmatch as well. Several of their songs have also been placed on newtork and cabe T.V.

Maxim Online's Tony McMenamin says of Evolve: "...the album’s opener, typifies the band’s anthemic and melody-driven sound. Careening from frenetic crescendos to desolate lows."

For information on radioplay see discography below.