Category: Psych Rock

New Video: Brighton Psych Act Wax Machine Releases a Gorgeous and Mind-Bending Animated Visual for “Shade”

Led by its Brazilian-born founder Lau Ro (vocals, guitar), who spent time living in Italy and England, along with Isobel Jones (vocals, flute) and Toma Sapir (drums), the Brighton, UK-based psych rock act Wax Machine draws heavily from its founder’s international’s upbringing. With a handful of EPs under their collective belts, the band has developed a reputation for drawing from a number of disparate genres and styles.  The Brighton-based act’s forthcoming Go Kurosawa-produced album Earthsong of Silence will further cement the Brighton-based act’s growing reputation for a genre-defying, anachronistic sound, as the album reportedly finds the band incorporating elements of spiritual jazz, krautrock. tropicalia and library music filtered through a psychedelic lens.

Slated for a March 20, 2020 release through Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records, Earthsong of Silence continues where “Mind Palace,” off their last EP, Mind Palace left them — exploring English psych folk but while also touching upon the sunny tranquility of West Coast psych. As the band’s Lau Ro says in press notes, the album thematically “is an exploration into paradoxes, meditation and magic, predicated on the underlying idea of becoming one with nature and in harmony with the environment.”

“Shade” Earthsong of Silence’s latest single is a lysergic and seamless synthesis of Nick Drake-like folk, Haight-Ashbury-era grooves and vibes, Brazilian tropicalia-like breeziness and free-flowing jazz-tinged improvisation that manages to sound decidedly anachronistic — as though it could have been released sometime between 1967-1969 or so. The song — to me, at least — manages to evoke an easygoing summer afternoon, observing nature under the influence of hallucinogens.

The recently released animated video for “Shade” is fittingly mind-altering: in the background the viewer will see leaves fluttering in the wind, the rippling of water. But superimposed over that are gorgeous line animations of the band performing the song, with equally hallucinogenic imagery.

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New Video: Kill Your Boyfriend’s Horror Movie-Inspired Visuals for “Elizabeth”

Since their formation back in 2011, the Venice, Italy-based industrial psych act Kill Your Boyfriend, comprised of Matteo Scarpa (vocals, guitar) and Antonio Angeli (drums), have developed a cold and sinister sound that manages to be simultaneously atmospheric and pummeling. Or as the Italian duo described in an interview, their sound is “a killer that came in the night, violent and cold.”

Over the past few years, the Venice-based industrial psych act has released a handful of singles and an album, which allowed them to tour across the European Union with the likes of Zola Jesus, The KVB, Civil Civic and Zu among others. Adding to a growing profile, the members of Kill Your Boyfriend have shared a stage with JOVM mainstays Preoccupations and they played Manchester‘s The Psych Rising Festival alongside Gnod and The Telescopes.

Officially released today through Depths Records, the duo’s latest single “Elizabeth” is a chilly track that finds them further honing their sound as it features elements of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails-like industrial rock, A Place to Bury Strangers and Sisters of Mercy-like noisey shoegaze centered around a motorik groove, Angeli’s mathematically precise four-on-the-floor drumming and Scarpa’s desperate and anguish-filled howls. 

Hot on the heels of the single’s release, the recently released classic Italian horror movie-inspired, Blau!-directed video follows a woman whose obsession with her lover gradually leads her to a world of madness and feverish hallucinations, which feature the members of Kill Your Boyfriend menacing her. The woman’s obsession and hallucinations eventually creates an ironic and horrifyingly tragic ending — of which she can never escape. 

 

Brian Collins is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the creative mastermind behind the rising, indie recording project Hurt Valley. With Hurt Valley, Collins crafts shambling and rollicking songs that sound heavily indebted to AM Radio rock, as they frequently feature elements of folk and psych rock — and while sounding as though it were released in 1967, “Apartment Houses,” off Collins soon-to-be-released Hurt Valley debut, Glacial Pace, the shimmering track is centered around a sense of being lost and lonely in an unfamiliar and new place. And yet, the song’s narrator finds a way to push onward.

I’m writing this post in a Starbucks, looking at the snow out  of the window and I’m reminded of my recent trip to Montreal. And as soon as I landed atMontreal-Trudeau International Airport, I was aware of the fact that I was yet again in a strange, unfamiliar place where no one really knew me — and where I didn’t speak or comprehend the language. But I’ve always managed to push onward and thrive. So as you can imagine, the song hits a real personal spot at the moment.

 

 

 

 

Since their formation back in 2011, the Venice, Italy-based industrial psych act Kill Your Boyfriend, comprised of Matteo Scarpa (vocals, guitar) and Antonio Angeli (drums), have developed a cold and sinister sound that manages to be simultaneously atmospheric and pummeling. Or as the Italian duo described in an interview, their sound is “a killer that came in the night, violent and cold.”

Over the past few years, the Venice-based industrial psych act has released a handful of singles and an album, which allowed them to tour across the European Union with the likes of Zola Jesus, The KVB, Civil Civic and Zu among others. Adding to a growing profile, the members of Kill Your Boyfriend have shared a stage with JOVM mainstays Preoccupations and they played Manchester‘s The Psych Rising Festival alongside Gnod and The Telescopes.

Officially released today through Depths Records, the duo’s latest single “Elizabeth” is a chilly track that finds them further honing their sound as it features elements of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails-like industrial rock,A Place to Bury Strangers and Sisters of Mercy-like noisey shoegaze centered around a motorik groove, Angeli’s mathematically precise four-on-the-floor drumming and Scarpa’s desperate and anguish-filled howls. The B side is a remix by Preoccupations’ Daniel Christiansen, retains Scarpa’s vocals and Angeli’s four-on-the-floor drumming but while adding a muscular. industrial clang and clatter to the proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: All Them Witches Releases a Hallucinogenic and Menacing Visual for “1X1”

I’m currently writing this at the bar/restaurant at the gorgeous Hotel Monville in downtown Montreal, Quebec, drinking coffee and having an amazing breakfast. (So far, the food I’ve had has been amazing — but more on that later because I haven’t had poutine yet.)  Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past week or so, you’d recall that I’m in town for the M for Montreal Festival. I’ll be posting as much as I can — and if I’m bleary eyed and exhausted, so be it. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. 

So let’s get to the business at hand, right? 

After the release of last year’s critically applauded album ATW, the Nashville-based psych rock act All Them Witches went through a massive lineup change, which has resulted in the band’s most pared down lineup in their entire history — Charles Michael Parks, Jr (bass, vocals), Ben McLeod (guitar, vocals) and Robby Staebler (drums, vocals). And although it’s stereotypically expected for a bands with pared down lineups to release more restrained and even quieter work, All Them Witches’ latest standalone single, the self-produced “1X1” finds the band employing a muscular, prog rock-like leaning sound, complete with scorching guitars, thunderous drumming, distorted vocals and enormous arena rock friendly hooks.  Interestingly, the track may arguably be one of the heaviest of the band’s growing catalog.

Directed, filmed and edited by the band’s Robby Staebler, the recently released video for “1X1” features starring roles by the entire band and a cameo from Sons of Anarchy’s Drea de Matteo in a hallucinogenic and menacing occult world reminiscent of Soundgarden. 

Live Footage: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard on Live on KEXP

The genre-defying Aussie psych rock act and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released five albums in a wildly prolific burst in 2017 — with each album managing to be in a completely different genre and style. Naturally, such a feat helped to cement the band’s reputation for being restlessly prolific and experimental. So for a band known for being like clockwork when it comes to releasing new material, last year’s lack of new material sticks out as anomaly. However, in fairness to the members of the band, they spent part of last year on a busy world tour that featured a headlining set at Desert Daze and three-sold out nights at Brooklyn Steel, one of the larger venues they had played at the time in the States — until their Rumsey Playfield show with Stonefield and Orb back in August. 

This year finds the acclaimed and wildly prolific Aussie psych rock at speeding up the pace. Earlier this year, they released the boogie blues-tinged Fishing for Fishes and in August, they released their second album of the year and their 15th album overall, Infest the Rats’ Nest. Now, as you may recall, Infest the Rats Nest featured what may arguably be the most pared down lineup of their entire creative output: the band’s creative mastermind Stu McKenzie (vocals, guitar, bass), Joey Walker (guitar, bass), and Michael Cavanaugh (drums) with the band’s remaining members busy with prior commitments.  The reduced lineup allowed the band to focus on crafting together arrangements with a pummeling and feral ferocity inspired by McKenzie’s long-held love of thrash metal — in particular, Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Rammstein.

King Gizzard’s 15th album, sonically and thematically is a radical and unexpected departure from its most immediate predecessor: the album’s material may arguably be the darkest and bleakest efforts they’ve released to date, as the band seethes with disgust and contempt over the human race’s myopia, stupidity and greed. At its core, is the acknowledgement that we’re all blindly marching lockstep to our annihilation —  and maybe we deserve it. 

During the band’s last North American tour, they stopped by KEXP to record a live session, which featured material off Infest the Rats Nest that included the Black Sabbath-like “Mars for the Rich,” the pummeling Slayer-like “Venusian 1,” “Venusian 2,” and “Hell” and the Ride the Lighting-era Metallica-like “Perihelion.” The live footage is not just a taste of their amazing live show, it’s a reminder that King Gizzard may be one of the best indie bands in the world — their dexterous musicianship allows the band the versatility to play anything with a self-assuredness and pitch-perfect accuracy. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Elephant Stone Releases a Mind-Bending Animated Visual for “Hollow World”

Montreal-based, Polaris Music Prize-nominated, JOVM mainstays Elephant Stone is led by its creative mastermind Rishi Dhir (vocals, bass, sitar) and nature’s longtime collaborators Miles Dupire (drums) and Gab Lambert (guitar) — and since their formation back in 2009, the band has released five critically applauded full-length albums and have toured extensively across North America and Europe. The Canadian psych rock act has also received airplay on US college and non-commercial radio, as well as Canadian commercial radio. During that same time, the band has developed a reputation for a unique sound that meshes elements of classic psych rock. Hindustani classic music and pop. 

2009’s Jace Lasek-produced debut The Seven Seas received a Polaris Music Prize nod and quickly established their boundary-blurring sound. 2010’s follow-up, The Glass Box further expanded upon the sound of The Seven Seas — and building upon a growing profile, the band went on their first North American tour opening for The Brian Jonestown Massacre. 

2013’s third, self-titled album received praise from NPR, BrooklynVegan, Consequence of Sound and a number of other outlets across the blogosphere. Building upon a growing profile, the band toured across Europe and North America as a headliner and as an opener for The Zombies and The Black Angels and a list of others. They also played across the national and international festival circuit, making appearances at Levitation, Best Kept Secret and several more. 

2014’s The Three Poisons was a lyrical exploration of Buddhist themes, largely inspired by The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The album was followed by The Three Poisons remix album, 2015’s ES3PRMX, which featured remixes by The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, The Horrors’ Tom Furse, The Black Angels’ Alex Maas, The Dandy Warhols’ Peter Holstrom and others, 

2016’s Marcus Paquin-produced Ship of Fools was released through Burger Records and the band’s Elephants on Parade Records. The album continued a run of critically applauded material and featured two singles that landed on the Canadian commercial radio charts — “Andromeda” and “Manipulator.” 

Over the past couple of years, Elephant Stone was on an informal hiatus as Dhir went on to further cement his own reputation as a highly-regarded and highly sought-after bassist and guitarist, who has collaborated with an impressive and eclectic array of artists and projects including Beck, the aforementioned Brian Jonestown Massacre. He’s also a member of Acid House Ragas and the psych rock super-group MIEN, which features members of The Horrors and The Black Angels. Additionally, Dhir has worked on remixes of work by The Dream Syndicate, Tahiti 80 and others. 

Interestingly, the Montreal-based JOVM mainstays emerged from their hiatus earlier this year with the release of “Land of Dead,” arguably one of the heaviest songs of their growing catalog. The band’s latest single “Hollow World” is a shimmering return to form of sorts. Indebted to 60s psych rock, the track is centered around shimmering guitars, a sinuous and propulsive bass line. However, Dhir’s vocals are fed through a gentle amount of vocoder and distortion, which is subtle futuristic nod that gives the song a mischievous bit of anachronism. But at its core, is a yearning for something that feels just out of reach. 

“I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment. If social media has taught us anything, it’s that there are a lot of unhappy people out there who are trying to find a way out,” Dhir says in press notes. “They are looking for meaning and something to believe in . . . or nothing to believe in. . . We all want the same thing, but are trying to achieve it in different ways. With this in mind, we wrote and recorded our 6th full-length, Hollow. I set forth writing a song-suite telling of a world of unhappy souls who have lost connection with each other. The storyline touches upon the plundering/poisoning of their home, the elite, demagogues, false idols, the truth as seen by children, and, ultimately, the fight for the survival of their species. “Hollow World” is where it all begins.

“The soul of mankind is dying. We have lost connection with each other and follow the false ego,” the band explains in a statement. “It is a truly hollow existence. We fill this emptiness with more emptiness that the powers that be feed us. We are destroying the planet without thought of how the next generation will have to pay for our crimes… Then… it all ends. A catastrophic event/moment decimates the earth. We go into panic mode…. Goodbye sunshine, hello dark skies, so long clean air, do you care? To be continued…”

The recently released video by Danica Olders is a hallucinogenic and mind-bending animated visual featuring a disembodied and painfully sad face that eventually takes over the world. 

New Audio: All Them Witches Release an Enormous Prog Rock-like Single

After the release of last year’s critically applauded album ATW, the Nashville-based psych rock act All Them Witches went through a massive lineup change, which has resulted in the band’s most pared down lineup in their entire history — Charles Michael Parks, Jr (bass, vocals), Ben McLeod (guitar, vocals) and Robby Staebler (drums, vocals). And although it’s stereotypically expected for a bands with pared down lineups to release more restrained and even quieter work, All Them Witches’ latest standalone single, the self-produced “1X1” finds the band employing a muscular, prog rock-like leaning sound, complete with scorching guitars, thunderous drumming, distorted vocals and enormous arena rock friendly hooks.  Interestingly, the track may arguably be one of the heaviest of the band’s growing catalog.