Judging a record by its cover is always a risky proposition, but in the case of Deastro’s Keepers, an exception can be made. Keepers’ laser-eyed celestial feline — a creation of Bay Area-based artist Jesse Balmer — is a mish-mash of sci-fi, fantasy, and comic-book tropes informed by an unerringly earnest enthusiasm: a perfect analog to Randolph Chabot’s joyful, intergalactic electro-pop.
Culled from the best of Chabot’s home-recorded output over the last decade, Keepers is a loose best-of – a tour through the many worlds of Deastro. The record opens with “Michael, the Lone Archer of the North Shore,” a swift, achingly lovely slice of shoegaze pop in the M83 mold, with Chabot’s plaintive tenor rising up from beneath the swirl of pianos and synthesized strings. For “The Shaded Forests,” the broken-hearted introvert of “Michael” shape-shifts into a confident frontman, stuttering “I t-t-t-told you, we’re gonna be fine” over a peppy electro-rock beat; “Child of Mine, Son of God” is an exquisitely composed nylon-string folk ballad; “The Goodman of the House” stars a Morrissey-style crooner, dancing around a killer ‘70s-style electric piano riff.
All of this genre-hopping — shy synth-pop to instrumental robot-rock, whisper-soft ballads to sky-high anthems — would be nothing if not for Chabot’s deliriously fizzy production and soft-focus melodies. Keepers is like that three-eyed space cat: a strange amalgamation of an artist’s various obsessions, disjointed but held together by sheer force of will, coming from humble origins but belying grand ambitions of beauty, positivity, and imagination.
Although Randolph Chabot’s music has always glowed with positivity, it took an adolescent epiphany to bring his alter-ego, Deastro, into the light of day. By age 17, Chabot says, “I...check out Deastro's page and other releases