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NPR Music

Duster, 'Retrograde'

Duster's music is hazy and atmospheric, the kind of fuzzed-out indie rock that seems like a natural soundtrack to watching a star explode in slow motion. The band released some music at the turn of the millennium, then went into hibernation without much fanfare, leaving its output to be discovered and rediscovered by waves of passionate space cadets like a secret transmission. In 2019, much of its catalog started being reissued by Numero Group; the band also released a new self-titled album later that year.

Today, Duster surprise-released another record of new music, called Together. "Retrograde," its second track, distills the essential elements of Duster's sound into a minimalist framework: a drum machine's steady rhythm; a melodic bassline; fuzzy guitar riffs that come into focus, then fade away. Its lyrics fit the mood, too: stars emerging from a dark sky; a moonlit path; friends who are waiting for you. Despite the song's lowkey mood, its final line approaches hopefulness: "It's not too late to change your mind and play in retrograde / to be someone / to be someone like you."

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