Gamma Star - Cosmic Trash

January 10, 2022

On January 1st, 2022, cosmic trash began ripping through the atmosphere… (Okay, settle down… it’ll all work out…). Heart thumping and daring, the new album “Cosmic Trash”, brainchild of Atlanta, Georgia native Dylan Hansen has flavors from the past and present. The Cars, The Kinks, and David Bowie, are just a sample of Hansen’s old-school influences (and to me I swear I picked up on The Who mixed in there). Modern influences include Spoon, Beck, Wilco, and The Hives. “I try to be influenced by everything. Films, books, science articles, evening news, friends just talking at a party… If it strikes something in me, I write it down. It all feels human to me and since that’s the target audience I’m inclined to jot a note or two.

I first met Dylan back in 2014 when he was the drummer, vocalist, and songwriter with trio Kick the Robot. “I learned so much about everything with that outfit.  I think without those friendships I wouldn’t be playing music at all. Jess and Dan taught me so much. They have Incredible ears for melody and harmony. I always felt I needed to bring my best just to keep up with them because they were so good at what they did.

Personally for me, the sound of KTR truly captured my imagination for one, and in fact, they received an in concert shout out from Sir Elton John, toured with Collective Soul (I actually personally saw Ed Roland perform wearing a “KTR” t-shirt), and even now, several years after going their own separate ways they still pull in over 20,000 listeners a month on Spotify. “When the guys wanted to hang up the ole’ technicolor garb I was devastated.  But life happens and they had to move forward to what they felt was calling to them.  They’re your best friends, so you respect that and carry on as best you can.

As difficult as the breakup was, it was foundational to Dylan’s development as an artist. “I found myself in a strange spot from there. A drummer with no band and a limited skill set for anything other than music. It didn’t go well, I kept breaking like some sort of junky. I found myself writing in this disjointed and compartmentalized fashion that felt very foreign. It helped; it was cathartic, so I kept going until I had a lot of material that made me feel good.  It’s stupid, but most of the material is written intentionally to be villainous. I needed a safe space to be aggressive and call out the emotional bullshit I felt as a human and not feel guilty about it.

His brand-new album self-released under the name “Gamma Star” is edgy and experimental. It fills the soundscape and constantly takes you in directions you don’t expect. “For some of this record I didn’t even own my own electric guitar yet, I had to borrow things and teach myself while I had It. It was very difficult, hundreds of takes to get good at the part and then perform it properly was exhausting. The thing is, I knew what I wanted to hear, and minimizing the editing to feel the performance was important to me.” It paid off. With a sound that is unmistakably unique – Gamma Star is a performance that takes you on a journey from the first to last note.

Although a defining aspect of the album, the production is certainly not drum-centered. With vocals that hit you diagonally, and have filters, pans, and doubles in places – the lyrics are intelligent and meaningful. The guitars come at you from a time when guitars meant something, and the synths – well… I did mention The Who. “I went and did this record backwards and tracked drums last.  Being primarily a drummer, this was a bit counterintuitive, I guess. By the time I got to the studio to track the real drums, we decided to layer the sounds together and do a hybrid thing with it. It ended up becoming an identifying part of the sound of the record, I think.

Dylan’s father Gerry Hansen was also critical to the development of the album. “Co-mixing and Co-producing with him one-on-one was a huge privilege that taught me so much about production. He also lent his drumming on a good portion of the tracks as well which really brought new life to the tracks I had been working on for so long.” He also credits Dustin Williams who tracked bass on half the record.  “He’s an amazing player and I’m always so fortunate to get to play with him. He helped me write the track ‘One of Us’ from the record too. I had the general idea put together, but he came in with this great bass line that immediately spawned the rest of the song for me”.  

And Hansen has no plans of slowing down now. He’s already heading back into the studio for his second album. “I have about 9 tracks structured out … It’s a bit of a conceptual idea that I’m writing around actually.  It’s darker material but I’m excited to share it because it feels important”. He’s also toying around with the idea of getting a band together and performing live again. “People keep asking me for it and I feel grateful that I’m wanted in that space again.

One thing is for sure - this album solidifies Dylan Hansen as a multi-instrumentalist and lead man. My personal top three tracks on the album are Pretty Veins, Lost It, and Pull Your Hair. But there isn’t a loser in the space debris. It’s a major move forward in his creative portfolio and you are sure to love it, stream it, and add it to your own playlists.

If you haven’t already done so, please follow Dylan’s “Gamma Star” and be sure to listen to the full album on Spotify. You will also enjoy his absolute brain-teasing lyric video “Lost It” feature below, so check it out and give him a subscribe there as well to catch his future releases and to show him your support!

Also be sure to check out “Fresh Indie" and our "Artist Pick" Spotify playlists to support Dylan and our other great artists, and make sure you follow the playlists below to discover incredible new music every day.

Reach out to Gamma Star

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Written with love by Joe. "Lost It" has been added to our "Fresh Indie" and "Artist Pick" playlists on Spotify and will start to play on the radio.


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