ASTR began when Silverman and Pallin met in a Manhattan yoga class. Sharing a shared love of 90s hip-hop and R&B. After spending time writing music and trying out different styles they landed on ASTR, a style they’ve described as fun, but dark and uneasy. “We're more of the after-party to some crazy rave near the Black Sea, and we're the closing act,” Silverman said of their sound.
Initially the identities of ASTR were kept secret, but snowballing success on The Hype Machine and a viral cover of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” which racked up well more than a million streams across YouTube, Soundcloud and others.
In January 2014, ASTR released “Varsity,” a six-song EP bolstered by the single “Operate.” In April, “Operate” was re-released as remixes by The-Drum and Chainsmokers.