Extranauts – 'The Alchemist'

Boasting a breadth of influences, earworm worthy hooks, and catchy funk-fuelled melodies in aplenty, the long awaited release of ‘The Alchemist’ marks just one small step for Extranauts, and one giant leap into a vibrant, technicolour universe of sounds to come…

Taking inspiration from ‘60s psychedelia just as much as it does dance music, the band’s debut long-player sees Extranauts wearing their influences proudly on their sleeves. Funnelling a rich amalgam of genres, styles and sounds into thirteen tracks, the album swings from retro-tinted indie-rock cuts like “Uptight” and the twangy “Liquidator”, to more kaleidoscopic moments like the dancefloor anthem 'Everybody In The Nite'', “Lazarus”, and the jangling, groove-laden “The New Age Of Innocence”. 

Having started out under the moniker The Dead Heavys, Extranauts have attracted praise from the likes of XFM’s Eddy Temple Morris, The Enemy’s Tom Clarke, Jon McClure from Reverend and the Makers and Louder Than War’s John Robb, who enthused: “[the band] could easily grab the attention of a stadium full of fans or the charts’'.

While initially taking inspiration from late ‘60s psych-pop and mod groups like The Small Faces and The Kinks, it was a shared passion for indie-electronic crossover acts that would become crucial to Extranauts’ melting-pot sound. As lead singer and songwriter Keith O’Neill explains:

“We were heavily influenced by Krautrock bands like Neu & Can and that kind of relentless motorik beat but with a lot more melody and emotion on top. New Order have always been a big influence in how they can meld the danceable track with a melancholic track so that was also a big touchpoint”

Finding a fan in Creation Records founder Alan McGee who discovered them in their remote hideaway in Waterford, Ireland, before the pandemic; buoyed by his support, the sextet spent the interim years putting the finishing touches to what would become Extranauts’ debut album.

The album was produced by Jagz Kooner (Primal Scream, Kasabian, Andrew Weatherall), who was able to capture the band’s immense live energy in dazzling technicolour.