Tag Archives: Aster More

First Time’s the Charm for Aster More

Aster More

You can’t talk about Aster More, the Philadelphia-based six piece dreamy shoegaze band starting to make waves in the city’s music scene, without talking about their origin as part of this past year’s First Time’s The Charm show. The event, which featured eighteen bands playing their first show ever, was created in order to promote the idea that music should not be closed off to marginalized people or to those who have never played in a band before.

The first Philadelphia iteration of the event (similar events happen in cities around the U.S. and overseas, including Portland, New Orleans and London) was in 2013, leading to the formation of bands like See-Through Girls and Marge; its ethos in Philly is very much a result of a larger, intentional cultural shift over the past decade to make Philadelphia’s DIY scene a lot more inclusive and diverse. Carolyn Haynes, Aster More’s guitarist, singer, and saxophonist—just on one song, “Dream Sequence”, but still!—has also been playing music in Philly for a number of years, most notably in Ghost Gum and the underappreciated Catnaps. Haynes reflected on that general shift while discussing Aster More’s place in the city: “I think Philly is really good at checking itself. … I think we’re pretty good about saying to someone else, ‘Hey you can’t be doing this, this isn’t cool.’ I think that opens it up to be able to have something like First Time’s the Charm and have it be so popular.”

That self-awareness and intentionality in actions is important. According to Aster More’s keyboardist and singer Kristine Eng, while the event translates anywhere, “It’s cool that it’s a Philly thing, because it’s good to see that Philadelphia is making strides towards bringing minorities to the front. I think it’s important that our music scene thinks about that and is trying to make a place for that.”

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