In the new single “Armadas of the Milky Way,” electronic outfit Elektragaaz are intent on making progressive rock aesthetics the centerpiece of the composition, and to me, they did an especially good job in this provocative hybrid effort. There’s not a lot of spacing in the arrangement here, but if you’re looking for something that feels larger than life and more suggestively expressive than what the standard in pop music is calling for nowadays, “Armadas of the Milky Way” might be just the sort of neo-psychedelic fever dream missing from your late summer playlist. I was impressed with it the first time I sat down with this song, and it’s held up quite well in every listening session since.

The instrumentation in this mix benefits from a strong tone, akin to what I would normally expect out of a live show exclusively, but it’s presented in a much cleaner fashion here. It’s obvious that Elektragaaz isn’t trying to corrupt the connection they’ve got with the audience when they’re performing straight from the heart, and in leaving the bulky frills a lot of other bands would have worked into this arrangement on the sidelines, they’re undoubtedly making it easier for us to appreciate all of the detail in this performance for what it really contributes to the big picture. “Armadas of the Milky Way” might be an ambitious project to be a single, but it’s also one of the few concept works that I’ve witnessed come full circle in the last couple of years.

This percussion gets a little pushy in a few key moments, but it’s meant to when the band hands the lead componentry over the beat. There’s no essential melodic element that controls the narrative of this track, but when the drums are nudging the narrative forth, there’s no debating who is in charge of everything transpiring between the different instruments. Some have compared the Elektragaaz formula to what Pink Floyd did towards the peak of their career together, but I think this is different largely because these players are putting the indulgences of prog rock on hold in the name of celebrating the vast, in-depth storytelling that made the genre what it was once upon a time. This isn’t a bastardization of the style, but an evolved form that wouldn’t have been possible in years prior.

“Armadas of the Milky Way” is undeniably quite the multilayered offering, and if you haven’t heard the music of Elektragaaz before, it might catch you just a bit off guard. That being said, this is an act that is worthy of the buzz they’ve been collecting in their highly competitive scene, and to those who weren’t sure about the staying power of crossover works in 2022, this could be the recording to convince you of their legitimacy once and for all. Overall, Elektragaaz is continuing to leave a very impressive shadow with all of the work they’re doing in the studio, and I can see their reputation getting even stronger in the wake of this most recent release’s success.

Garth Thomas