Today, St. Louis synth-pop trio Starwolf return with a groovy cut called “Make You Mine,” premiering below. It’s the band’s third single of 2020 following “Bad Feeling” and “Real Love,” and it will appear on their forthcoming Asto Lobo EP, out next month.
“‘Make You Mine’ was the last song that we wrote for the EP, and it barely made the cut,” guitarist / keyboardist / bassist Max Sauer tells American Songwriter over email. “The song went through several iterations (including a ballad version) before we settled on the final version. I was listening to ‘Estrelar’ by Marcos Valle, which ended up inspiring ‘Make You Mine’ to head more in a funk direction.”
The track may have been inspired by Valle’s 1982 hit single, but it also calls to mind some of the funk-leaning fare on Video Age’s latest album, Pleasure Line. Vocalist Chris Rhein credits veteran indie producer / engineer Jason Kingsland for setting Starwolf down this path in the first place.
“We worked with Jason Kingsland for the first time back in 2016, and he had a strong influence in helping to define our sound,” explains Rhein. “He and Zach Pyles helped us jump into the world of analog synthesizers, which changed everything for us. It was also really beneficial for us to have Jason weigh in on compositional ideas and give a fresh perspective on songwriting in general.”
“For this EP, Astro Lobo, we were forced to work with Jason remotely due to Covid,” adds drummer / keyboardist Tim Moore. “We were nervous to work on the record remotely at first, but it ended up being a super positive experience for us, sending production ideas back and forth with Jason,” Moore continues. “It also led to Jason recruiting his friend Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie, Black Crowes, Empire of the Sun) to play bass on our song ‘Bad Feeling’ while in quarantine. Jason also recruited another one of our past collaborators, Zach Pyles, to co-produce some of the EP. We were heavily influenced by retro funk bands from the 70’s and 80’s (Kleeer, Pasteur Lappe) that didn’t get the recognition they deserved.”
Astro Lobo is out October 16 via Moon Castle Records.