Category: Psych Rock

New Video: Ether Feather Releases a Surreal Italian Thriller-Inspired Visual for Expansive Album Single “New Abyss”

Ether Feather is a Los Angeles-based trio featuring an acclaimed and highly-regarded collection of musicians: the band’s creative mastermind Dylan Ryan (vocals, drums) has played with the likes of Man Man, Cursive, Red Kraoyla and others; Tim Young (guitar) is currently a member of the Late Late Show with James Corden house band with extensive experience as a session player, playing with the likes of Todd Rundgren, Mike Patton and Fiona Apple; and JOVM mainstay Sylvia Black, an acclaimed solo artist, who has collaborated with Telepopmusik, Lydia Lunch, The Black-Eyed Peas and others.

The Los Angeles-based trio can trace its origins to a previous project, which featured Ryan and Young, SAND, which released two albums.  “By the time I started writing the third SAND record, it became clear the music was shifting from the Mahavishnu-esque, mid 70’s-fusion to more part-oriented structures and the songs seemed to want vocals,” Ryan says of the gradual shift from SAND to Ether Feather. Encouraged by engineer Andrew Murdock, the members of Ether Feather fully embraced the stylistic shift and recorded their debut EP, 2017’s Other Memory.  “Ether Feather is definitely a band where we can try weirder stuff and stretch out creatively in ways that may not be appropriate in other musical situations,” Ryan adds. “We can mix and blend aesthetics and make hard turns. Tim was in the Pacific Northwest during the first wave of grunge and brings something very different from me to the table, having come up in the late 90’s Chicago No Wave/Free Jazz/Metal scene.”

After touring to support the EP with the likes of Cursive and Minus the Bear, the members of Ether Feather further honed their sound — with the result being their recently released full-length debut Devil – Shadowless – Hand. Last month, I wrote about “Cayenne,” a track that was one part desert/stoner rock, one part alt rock, one part grunge rock as it was centered around a dream-like melody for its verse, sludgy power chords during its anthemic hook and a guitar solo that recalls Pearl Jam‘s Evenflow. “New Abyss,” the album’s latest single is an trippy and expansive track that’s one part free-flowing jazz fusion, one part prog rock, and one part psych rock freakout — and while revealing some extraordinary musicianship and a telepathic sort of simpatico, the song will further cement the act’s genre-defying sound and approach. Written and directed by Matt Hewitt, the recently released video for “New Abyss” stars the band in a surreal, feverish, Italian thriller-inspired visual full of paranoiac dread, dopplegangers, and unease. 

Advertisements

New Audio: Permanent Records and RidingEasy Records Release a Groovy Blues-Tinged Pysch Rock Number off the Forthcoming Ninth Edition of Brown Acid Compilation

Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records’ collaboration on their continuing series of proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilations have become a biannual feature throughout this site’s nine-plus year history. Each individual edition of the series is based around RidingEasy Records’ founder Daniel Hall’s and Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi’s extensive, painstaking research and curation — with Hall and Barresi spending a great deal of time tracking down songs’ creators, most often bands that haven’t written, played or recored together in 30 or 40 years, and then encouraging them to take part in the compilation process. As Permanent Records’ Barresi has explained in press notes for each of previous editions of the compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been hits given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.”

Having the original artists participate as much as possible in the compilation can give the artists and their songs, a real second chance at the attention and success that they missed. Plus, these songs can help fill in the gaps within the larger picture of what was going on in and around regional and national underground music scenes during the 60s and 70s. Continuing upon the critical and commercial success of its first eight editions of the Brown Acid compilation, RidingEasy Records and Permanent will be releasing Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip on Halloween. Naturally, the ninth edition finds Barressi and Hall managing to deep even digger into a very deep well of obscure material written and recorded during the 60s and 70s. The ninth edition of Brown Acid’s first single is Fiberglass Vegetables’ funky blues-tinged, psych rock strut “Pain,” a track that nods at Steppenwolf, The Animals, The 13th Floor Elevators and others, complete with an infectious, arena rock friendly hook. 

Stockholm, Sweden-based indie act Phogg quickly emerged into the Swedish psych rock scene with the release of last year’s full-length debut Slices, which helped the band establish a sound that’s been compared to Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. And in their native Sweden, they’ve received airplay on Sweden’s P3, and praise from the likes of HYMN, Nordik Simit and Born Music Online among others.

Now, as you may recall, the Stockholm-based psych rock act’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh is slated for a fall release through Ouyee Bayou Reckords, and the album’s first single was the motorik groove-driven “Three Shirts.” The album’s second and latest single is “Pearls,” a mind altering and expansive track that’s one part explosive psych rock freak out and one part melodic and jangling guitar pop held together by a sinuous and propulsive groove. And unlike its predecessor, it may arguably be the most lysergic of their growing catalog to date.

 

New Video: Acclaimed Psych Rock Act Allah-Las Release a Psychedelic, Animated Visual for Brooding “Polar Onion”

Over the past few years, I’ve written a bit about the acclaimed Los Angeles-based psych rock act Allah-Las, and as you may recall, the act — Matthew Correia (drums), Spencer Dunham (bass), Miles Michaud (vocals, guitar) and Pedrum Siadatian (guitar) — formed back in 2008, and can trace their origins to when three of the band’s four members worked at famed, local record store, Amoeba Music. Since their formation, the members of Allah-Las have released three albums that have helped to firmly establish their sound, which draws heavily from 60s psych rock, surfer rock and garage rock — while thematically inspired by their hometown. 

The acclaimed psych rock band’s fourth album LAHS is slated for an October 11, 2019 release through Mexican Summer Records, and the album, which derives its name from a common misspelling of the band’s name reportedly finds the band crafting material that reveals their growth as songwriters, performers, arrangers and producers. Much of the album’s material focuses on Krautrock-like grooves — with album single “In The Air,” a shimmering and hook-driven track evoking a hazy and lingering lysergic fugue.  LAHS’ latest single is the brooding “Polar Onion.” Centered around shimmering, acoustic guitar, gently padded drumming and plaintive vocals, the song evokes an aching longing while sounding as though it could have been released sometime between 1966-1969. 

The recently released video for “Polar Onion” features super 8 footage the band’s Miles Michaud sent to Mexican Summer designer Bailey Elder, who played around with and altered the textures to create a psychedelic feel. 

New Audio: British Psych Rock Act Temples Releases a Shimmering Lysergic New Single

Currently comprised of founding members James Bagshaw (vocals, guitar) and Tom Walmsley (bass) along with Adam Smith (keys, guitar), the Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK-based indie rock/psych rock act Temples initially began as a home studio-based project back in 2012 featuring two musicians, who had known each other for years from Kettering’s local music scene. 

The duo uploaded four self-produced tracks, which caught the attention of Heavenly Recordings founder and label head Jeff Barrett, who signed the band and agreed to release their debut single “Shelter Song” later that year. Shortly after signing to Heavenly Recordings, Bagshaw and Walmsley recruited Samuel Toms (drums) and Adam Smith to flesh out the band’s live sound — and to complete the band’s first lineup.

Since then the band has released two critically applauded and commercially successful albums — 2014’s Sun Structures, which landed at #7 on the UK Charts and 2017’s Volcano.  Building upon a growing national and international profile, the British indie rock act has made appearances across the UK, European Union and North American festival circuits. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Suede, Mystery Jets, Kasabian and The Vaccines among others — but over the past years, they’ve transitioned into a headlining act that has also made their Stateside national television appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Last year, saw a major lineup change for the acclaimed British indie rock act. Samuel Toms left the band to focus on his solo recording project Secret Fix, and later joined the equally acclaimed Fat White Family. Temples also left their longtime label home Heavenly Recordings and signed with ATO Records, who will be releasing the newly constituted trio’s highly-anticipated third album Hot Motion. 

Slated for a September 27, 2019 release, Hot Motion reportedly finds the band continuing to craft an intricate and nuanced sound — but while digging into a deeper, darker creative well of sorts.  The album’s second and latest single, the shimmering and hook-driven “You’re Either On Something.” And while the track  manages to possess a lysergic and technicolor quality that will bring of Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, Tommy-era The Who and Currents-era Tame Impala to mind, the track hints at something much darker under the surface — perhaps, the relentless and gnawing desire to escape a world that’s become increasingly disappointing and mad. “I’m really proud of ‘Your’e Either On Something’ lyrically because I feel deeply connected with the words — they’re so truthful,” the band’s James Bagshaw says in press notes. “On that track, I can hear influences of stuff that I listened to when I was growing up. There’s almost a nostalgia to that track, even though it’s very forward-looking.” 

New Video: Allah Las Release a Tongue-in-Cheek Take on “Weekend at Bernie’s”

Formed back in 2008, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based psych rock act Allah-Las — Matthew Correia (drums), Spencer Dunham (bass), Miles Michaud (vocals, guitar) and Pedrum Siadatian (guitar) — can trace their origins to when three of the band’s four members worked at renowned Los Angeles-based record store Amoeba Music. And since their formation, the band has released three albums, which have helped establish their sound, a sound and approach that’s heavily inspired from their hometown and draws heavily from the sounds of the 60s — primarily, psych rock, surfer rock and garage rock.

Slated for an October 11, 2019 release through Mexican Summer Records, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based psych rock’s fourth album LAHS derives its title from a common misspelling of the band’s name. And reportedly, the album finds the venturing into new, exciting sonic territories with the material revealing their growth as songwriters, performers, arrangers and producers — with one of the album’s tracks featuring the band’s Matthew Correia singing in Portuguese. Interestingly. the album’s songs find the band crafting material with a razor-sharp focus on Krautrock-like grooves. In fact, the album’s latest single “In The Air,” is centered around looping and shimmering guitar lines, a motorik-like groove, ethereal vocals and an infectious hook. And as a result, the song feels like a hazy and lysergic dream that lingers long after the hallucinogens have dissipated. 

Directed by Sam Kristofksi and starring Kirin J. Callinan and the members of Allah Las, the recently released video for “In The Air” is a half-baked, tongue-in-cheek version of the 80s film Weekend at Bernie’s that follows the band as they take one of their incapacitated bandmates around town on a series of wild adventures. 

New Audio: Ghost Funk Orchestra Latest Single and Video Evokes the Awkwardness of Having a Crush

Founded and led by composer, arranger and producer Seth Applebaum, the New York-based psych rock act Ghost Funk Orchestra initially began as a lo-fi recording project in 2014. Since their formation, the project has grown into full-fledged, 11 member unit that has become an up-and-coming prescience in the city’s psych rock and soul scenes — and that shouldn’t be surprising, as their sound draws from an eclectic array of sources including salsa, surf rock, Afobeat, stoner rock and others. 

Slated for an August 23, 2019 release through Colemine Records, the up-and-coming soul acts forthcoming full-length debut, A Song For Paul was conceived as a tribute to Applebaum’s late grandfather Paul Anish, a figure, who played an immense role in the Ghost Funk Orchestra founder and bandleader’s life. While the songs reportedly don’t address Paul Anish directly, the creative process for the album and the decisions made during it were meant to convey what Anish’s presence felt like for Seth — a stern yet loving, native New Yorker. For Applebaum, accurately capturing his grandfather’s essence meant expanding the arrangements much further than what he has done in the past, including crafting more comprehensive horn arrangements, as well as working with a string section for the first time in his career. 

A Song For Paul’s latest single “Seven Eight” is an angular and awkwardly lurching song that’s centered around an unusual time signature (7/8 time), a looping Tropicalia-like guitar line, ethereal vocals, an explosive and expressive horn arrangement, which gives the song a quirky yet cinematic air. And while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Radiohead’s “15 Step” and to Gorillaz “5/4,” the song evokes the drunken swoon of having a crush. As the band’s Seth Applebaum explains “Seven Eight is a song about having a crush. When writing the song, we chose an awkward time signature because having a crush will make anyone feel a little awkward.” 

Starring Romi Hanoch, the recently released video for “Seven Eight” relies heavily on found footage from old medical films, liquid light projections from Drippy Eye Projections thrown into a visual that has a decidedly film noir-ish feel. “The music video relies heavily on found footage, specifically pulled from old medical films that depict the beauty and chaos of the human body and its internal functions,” Seth Applebaum explains. “In addition, we were fortunate enough to have our friends at Drippy Eye Projections provide us with some incredible liquid light visuals to further the narrative of chemistry.”