[25 June 2014]
PopMatters Assistant Editor
The operative word in the band name “We Were Astronauts” is “were”, for the Boston rock quartet that bears the appellation sounds firmly rooted to the earth. Such is definitely the case for “Keep It Together,” a track off of their upcoming recording Artificial Light, which following a successful Kickstarter campaign was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Warren Huart. Rooted in the country-tinged classic rock of groups like .38 Special, “Keep It Together” is as ideal a summer road trip radio tune as there could be.
The song’s driving engines are its two guitar tracks, one playing chords and the other a simple lick that keep a steady momentum, one that keeps the song well paced as it approaches its chorus. Somewhat humorously, the song ends halfway before it can finish the main refrain; while each chorus ends with, “Until then, I gotta keep it together,” the conclusion omits those last three words. On the whole, there’s nothing “Keep It Together” is doing that numerous classic rock outfits haven’t done, but in not ending on the tonic, it throws an easy if surprising curveball at the listener’s expectations. Of course, the primary reason that the abrupt ending lands the way it does is because the chorus of the song soars so strongly before it. For that reason, “Keep It Together” would be just as cozy as any other 2014 summer rock tune on anyone’s road trip mix.
Artificial Light is set for a September 9th release date.