Category: Psych Rock

New Video: Montreal’s Mort Rose Releases a Trippy DIY Visual for Twangy “Je dois savoir”

Since their formation back in 2016, the Montreal-based psych rock act Mort Rose has established a sound that’s deeply indebted to the sounds of the late 60s — but with a personal yet very modern touch. Goodbye Cowboys, the Montreal psych rockers psych rock sophomore album is slated for a September 10, 2021 release, and the album reportedly sees the act further embracing all things psychedelia.

In the lead up to the album’s release, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s singles:

“Money,” a mid-tempo, trippy song featuring shimmering sitar, guitar, dreamily sung verses, multi-part harmonized choruses and rousingly anthemic hooks before a “Baba O’Riley” meets bluegrass coda. But underneath the tune-out and lift-off vibes, the song is a satirical take on money and cryptocurrency that says “invest all of your money into some crypto and forget the world’s problems. Get rich at all costs, y’all!” 
“On part au soleil,” a song that continues a run of 60s inspired psych rock, featuring dreamily sung verses and choruses, fuzzy power chord-driven riffage and soaring soloing that’s meant to get the listener to tune out and lift off into the stratosphere.

Goodbye Cowboys third and latest single “Je dois savoir is a twangy, country rock take on psych rock that may remind some listeners of a wild mix of The Beach Boys, Exile on Main Street era Rolling Stones, The Byrds and even inner Journey Out era Psychic Ills but with a mischievous, shit-stirring air, an infectious hook and some scorching soloing.

e recently released video for follows the band on a promotional photo shoot in which the members of the band dress up as a hippie cowboys in the countryside. We also see intimate footage of the band in the studio working on the album. There’s also somme fittingly appropriate kaleidoscopic imagery and playful superimpositions that features the individual members of the band riding an exotic animal.

New Video: Toronto’s Hot Garbage Release a Trippy and Menacing Visual for Anthemic, New Ripper “Sometimes I Go Down”

Toronto-based psych outfit Hot Garbage — Alex Carlevaris (lead vocals, guitar), Juliana Carlevaris (bass, vocals), Dylan Gamble (keys, synths) and Mark Henin (drums) — will be releasing their Graham Walsh-produced full-length debut RIDE through beloved Montreal-based label Mothland on October 29, 2021.

Coming hot on the heels of some extensive North American touring including opening for Ty Segall, Meatbodies, L.A. Witch and JJUUJJUU, as well as stops at LEVITATION and Sled Island Festivals, the Graham Walsh-produced RIDE was recorded mostly live off the floor at Palace Sound and Basketball 4 Life Studios to to better capture the band’s raw energy, developed and honed from relentless touring. Sonically, the 33 minute album, which also features a guest spot from Kali Horse’s Sam Maloney on percussion, reportedly sees the Toronto psych rockers meshing core elements of 60s and 70s psych music, post punk and desert rock but while also speeding through motorik krautrock, nodding at surf rock and flirting with garage rock paired with otherworldly textures. Thematically and lyrically the album’s material tackles the afterlife, depression and freedom — but also rejoices in soft mantras and uplifting verses. The end result is an album’s worth of material that simultaneously evokes dread, beauty, wonder, horror and mystery.

RIDE’s first single “Sometimes I Go Down” is metallic mesh of psych rock, post punk and kraut rock featuring scorching guitar fuzz, thunderous drumming, droning and glistening organ, boy-girl vocal harmonizing and a relentless motorik groove paired with enormous hooks. While the band mentions that the song draws influence from Sonic Youth, Wand, L.A. Witch and Kikagaku Moyo, I also hear hints of Directions To See a Ghost era Black Angels.

Hot Garbage’s Alex Carlevaris says of the new single “It’s okay to feel down sometimes and need space. We as people have to accept that, allow that and have a healthy and realistic idea about having shitty days, feeling like shit and still loving ourselves. Also recognizing that others around us may need it and being patient with people.”

Directed by William Suarez, the recently released video features the members of Hot Garbage getting on the phone to make or receive phone calls using a four-way split screen. Whether or they’re actually speaking to each other in a four way call is up to you but you’ll notice that each of the characters is acting a little off — perhaps because something is after them? A mysterious black clad figure suddenly appears and each character disappears — that is until the end when the tarot card playing woman shows the figure the card she just pulled out during her reading. Trippy.

New Video: Milan’s The Gluts Return with a Furious, New Ripper

Milan-based punk rock outfit The Gluts — Claudia Cesana (bass/vocals), Bruno Bassi (drums) and Nicolò Campana (vocals, synths) and Marco Campana (guitar) — derive their name from an age-old term often used to denote unsold, surplus goods. For the Milanese quartert, they’ve taken it to symbolically express a surplus of energy, much like the energy that has long driven their own work. Interestingly, since the band’s formation, the Milanese punks have established and honed an explosive and psychedelic-leaning take on noise and thrash punk with the release of their first three albums, 2014’s Warsaw, 2017’s Estasi and 2019’s Dengue Fever Hypnotic Trip. 

de Wit-produced fourth album Ungrateful Heart is slated for an October 8, 2021 release through Fuzz Club. Reportedly, the album sees the Italian quartet making a decided sonic departure from their previously released work. Ungrateful Heart’s material is deeply indebted to 70s punk, 80s hardcore and post punk — in particular, Fugazi, Gang of Four, Sex Pistols, Public Image, Ltd. and the Campana brothers’ obsession with Italian and American hardcore punk.

Recorded over a tireless week in which the band and their producer essentially lived and worked side-by-side in the studio around the clock, the Ungrateful Heart sessions were fueled by a forceful intensity and uncompromising fierceness. “Bob’s contribution to this album was essential. He pushed us beyond our limits. It was difficult, we can’t hide it, but it really was worth it,” the members of The Gluts say in press notes. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about album track “Love Me Do Again,” a slick and uncanny synthesis of Never Mind the Bollocks-era Sex Pistols and Mission of Burma rooted in unadulterated hedonism. Written by the band’s Bruno Bassi while in pandemic-related lockdown, the song was “inspired by the different versions of the myth of Dionysus (the Greek god of wine, pleasure, madness and frenzied ecstasy) and an unexpected excitement caused by imagining how great it would be to be all together again,” the band explains.

Heart’s latest single, “Mashilla” is a furious and muscular aural assault featuring scorching and angular riffage, thunderous drumming and vocal cord ripping howling. And while indebted to 70s punk and 80s hardcore, the song is centered around an alternating grunge rock-like song structure featuring hypnotic verses and ferocious mosh-pit starting choruses.

Continuing their ongoing collaboration with Brace Beltempo, the recently released video is a stylish and frenetically shot visual featuring the members of the band performing the song in an abandoned office space, along with some hallucinogenic sequences during the song’s hypnotic passages.

Emmanuel Alias is a French-born, Montreal-based singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, dilettante and polymath whose musical career has managed to go through about four different paths before he started his eponymous psych rock project ALIAS. After spending 9 years studying jazz at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory in Aix-en-Provence, France, Alias relocated to Quebec in 2014. Landing at job at XS Music, Alias worked with Jean-Phi Gonclaves on composing music for HBO’s Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, ICI Télé’s Une autre histoire, Hubert et Fanny and Cerebrum et Mon fils, Mariloup Wolfe’s feature film Jouliks and for a number of Cirque du Soleil productions.

Since 2017, Alias hs also worked for Musique Nomade, where he produced multidisciplinary Oji-Crie’ and Mi’gmaq artist Anachnid‘s DREAMWEAVER, which was nominated for an Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la video (ADISQ) Award and long-listed for the Polaris Prize. The French-born, Montreal-based artist also produced singles by Q-052, Annie Sama, Chances, iskwē and Beyries‘ “Out of Touch,” off her recent album Encounter. Additionally, he’s the musical and stage director of Anachnid concerts — and he’s accompanied Beyries on stage a few times.

Simultaneously, the French-born, Montreal-based singer/songwriter, composer and producer has a had host of different projects to accommodate his need and desire to explore different genres releasing punk, hip-hop and ambient material under different monikers — until settling on his latest, eponymous project Alias, a psych rock inspired project that finds him crafting songs centered around wild, hallucinogenic stories that include the personification of dogs, dementia, the Wild West, killers, loneliness, space exploration. The whole affair sounds as though it could have been released decades ago — and as though it were released yesterday.

Alias’ debut EP It’s Not Funny So Stop Smilin’ was released last week through Simone Records. The EP’s latest single “Why Don’t You Wanna Dance” is a trippy and modern take on classic psych rock and glam rock featuring fuzzy power chords, soaring organ, twinkling synth arpeggios and a chugging, motorik groove paired with an age old tale of rejection, humiliation and paranoia that should feel familiar to the outcasts and weirdos amongst us.

New Video: Montreal’s Mort Rose Releases an Expansive and Trippy Single and Visual

Founded back in 2016, the Montreal-based psych rock act Mort Rose has established a sound heavily influenced by and indebted to the sounds of the late 60s — but with a personal and modern touch. The band’s sophomore album Goodbye Cowboys is slated for a September 10, 2021 release, and the album reportedly finds the Montreal-based act further embracing all things psychedelia.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Money,” a mid-tempo, trippy song featuring shimmering sitar, guitar, dreamily sung verses, multi-part harmonized choruses and rousingly anthemic hooks before a “Baba O’Rileyf” meets bluegrass coda. But underneath the tune-out and lift-off vibes, the song is a satirical take on money and cryptocurrency that says “invest all of your money into some crypto and forget the world’s problems. Get rich at all costs, y’all!”

Goodbye Cowboys’ latest single., the expansive, “On part au soleil,” is centered around dreamily sung verses and choruses, fuzzy power chord-driven riffage, soaring soloing and dreamily sung choruses and verses before closing out with a gentle fade out. While featuring esoteric lyrics, the song continues a run of 60s inspired psych rock meant to get the listener to tune out and lift off into the stratosphere. So sit back, close your eyes, vibe out, and soar above the unending shittitness of our world for a few minutes. Trust me, you’ll need it.

Much like its predecessor, the recently released video for “On part au soleil,” is a decidedly DIY affair that mixes childlike animation, playful superimpositions and cheap effects — all to a hallucinogenic effect.

New Audio: The Theory of Why Releases an Expansive Mosh Pit Ripper

Currently split between Seattle and DC, The Theory of Why — Anton Kropp (guitar, bass) and Julia Nova (vocals) — features two seasoned DC indie rock and punk rock scene vets. I’ve covered music in some fashion for over 15 years — 11 just with this site — and typically when band members move across the country there’s two general responses: the band splits up — or they embrace the distance.

Citing Earth, Stereolab, YOB, Julie Doiron, and a eclectic series of other acts as influences, the members of Theory of Why have come up with a unique sound and approach fueled by their experiences in DC’s scene.

2021 has been a busy year for the duo: Earlier this year, they released the Path Of The Heart EP and they’ve followed that up with their recently released full-length effort Pomegranate. Pomegranate’s latest single, the expansive album title track “Pomegranate (Denial)” is mosh pit ripper centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and euphoria-inducing hooks. But much like The Mallard’s Finding Meaning in Deference, “Pomegranate” is fueled by an underlying sneering frustration and unease, inspired by the past 17 months of our collective hell.

New Video: The Gluts Take Us on a Hedonistic Glimpse of Ancient Rome

Rising Milan-based act The Gluts — Claudia Cesana (bass/vocals), Bruno Bassi (drums) and Nicolò Campana (vocals, synths) and Marco Campana (guitar) — derive their name from a term used to denote unsold goods and symbolically expresses a surplus of energy like the one that drives their work. Since their formation, the rising Italian quartet have established and honed an explosive psychedelic-take on noise through the release of their first three albums, 2014’s Warsaw, 2017’s Estasi and 2019’s Dengue Fever Hypnotic Trip.

The Gluts’ Bob de Wit-produced fourth album Ungrateful Heart is slated for an October 8, 2021 released through Fuzz Club and the album reportedly finds the Italian psych rockers making a decided sonic departure from with the material being rooted in a sound indebted to 70s punk, 80s hardcore and post punk — in particular, Fugazi, Gang of Four, Sex Pistols, Public Image, Ltd. and the Campana brothers’ obsessive with Italian and American hardcore punk. Recorded over a tireless week in which the band and their producer essentially lived and worked side-by-side in the studio around the clock, the Ungrateful Heart sessions were fueled by a forceful intensity and uncompromising fierceness. “Bob’s contribution to this album was essential. He pushed us beyond our limits. It was difficult, we can’t hide it, but it really was worth it,” the members of The Gluts say in press notes.

Ungrateful Heart’s latest single “Love Me Do Again” offers listeners a real taste of what to expect from the album: slashing and angular attack paired with scorching feedback, atmospheric synths, four-on-the-floor that builds up to a frenzied intensity paired with a snarled, old school punk rock vocal delivery and an enormous hook. The new single is a slick and uncanny mesh of Never Mind the Bollocks-era Sex Pistols and Mission of Burma — rooted in unadulterated hedonism. Written by the band’s Bruno Bassi while in lockdown, “Love Me Do Again” was “inspired by the different versions of the myth of Dionysus (the Greek god of wine, pleasure, madness and frenzied ecstasy) and an unexpected excitement caused by imagining how great it would be to be all together again. At the end of the song our fascination for The Sex Pistols can be felt, since Nico screams like Johnny Rotten.”

Directed by Brace Beltempo, the recently released and gorgeously cinematic visual for “Love Me Do Again” is set in ancient Roman times — but while nodding at Caligula and the anachronistic-style of Sofia Coppola, with characters wearing roller skates. Bassi explains ” “In the video Nico plays the role of Dionysus and Claudia a maenad. Dionysus is the God associated with irrationality and the excess(es) of life and that’s what is behind our own name . . . ”

The Milan-based act will be touring to support the new album with stops across mainland Europe throughout October.

Live Footage: Primal Scream at LEVITATION Festival

ea devised by the members of JOVM mainstay act The Black Angels in the back of a tour van back in 2007: “Let’s invite all of our favorite bands and all of our friends for our version of a music festival.”

The inaugural Austin Psych Fest was in March 2008 — and by popular demand, the festival expanded to a three-day event the following year. Within a relatively short period of time, Austin Psych Fest became an international destination for psych fans across the globe, with the festival featuring lineups that included up-and-comers, cult favorites, legendary and influential acts and a headlining set from the festival’s founders, The Black Angels. A few years ago, the festival was renamed Levitation in honor of Austin psych rock pioneers The 13th Floor Elevators, but in in its almost 15 year run, the festival has helped spark a new, international psych rock movement while inspiring the creation of similar events across the globe, including Levitation Festival events in Chicago, Vancouver, France and a SXSW showcase, as well as other special events in Europe and Latin America.

last year, Levitation Festival’s record label, The Reverberation Appreciation Society announced the launch of a new live album series, Live at LEVITATION. Comprised of material played and recorded throughout the festival’s decade-plus history, the live album series specifically captures and documents key artists in the contemporary psych rock scene. Of course, many of these moments were also important moments of Austin’s live music scene. 

The live series’ first album Kikagaku Moyo — Live at LEVITATION featured two different Kikagaku Moyo sets — their 2014 Levitation Festival set, which was one of the Japanese psych rock act’s first Stateside shows and their return to Levitation back in 2019, during a sold-out Stateside tour, which included a stop at Warsaw that year with Japanese krautrockers Minami Deutsch.
The series’ second album The Black Angels — Live at LEVITATION featured the festival’s founders The Black Angels. The Black Angels live album is comprised of material recorded at Austin Psych Fest 2010, 2011 and 2012, and captures a rare glimpse of the festival’s earlier, more humble days. And of course, for Black Angels fans, like myself, the album features live version of six songs from their first two albums — Passover and Directions to See a Ghost.

e (vocals), Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (keys), Simone Butler (bass) and Darrin Mooney (drums) — have embraced an eclectic and diverse array of styles and sounds from psych pop, degenerate rock ‘n’ roll, euphoric rave and industrial gloom while going through a complicated series of lineup changes that have also included The Stone Roses’ Mani and My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, and the death of beloved guitarist Robert “Throb” Young. They’ve collaborated on material with George Clinton and Kate Moss. And throughout their run, they’ve managed to capture the mood and tone of the UK several times over — while surviving narcotic oblivion and countless personal traumas.

Slated for a November 19, 2021 release through The Reverberation Appreciation Society, Primal Scream — Live at LEVITATION is centered around the British legends’ 2015 LEVITATION set, a career spanning set, which pulled hits from landmark records like Screamadelica, Give Out But Don’t Give Up, XTRMNTR and others. To build up buzz for the album, LEVITATION, The Reverberation Appreciation Society and Primal Scream released two singles off the album: muscular renditions of Give Out But Don’t Give Up track “Jailbird” and XTRMNTR track “Accelerator.” The accompanying live footage serves as a reminder that Primal Scream is one of the best live bands in the entire world.

A/Canada and British and European stores, a Rough Trade vinyl exclusive and a very special American feature as part of the annual Ten Bands One Cause charity initiative. That feature will launch around National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October — and will benefit Red Door Community, where no one faces cancer alone.

New Video: The Trippy Visual For Velvet Starlings’ Anthemic New Ripper “Technicolour Shakedown”

Southern California-based garage rock Velvet Starlings` — wunderkind founding member, singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Gisborne, drummer Foster Poling and bassist Hudson Poling — initially started as a solo recording project with Gisborne writing, recording and producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut, released when Gisborne was just 15. Velvet Starling’s sophomore EP Love Everything, Love Everyone was released in 2019. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Specialty Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.

s 2019 Emerging Stage competition — and as a winner, he and his new bandmates will be playing a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021. The band also recently announced a handful of live dates, which you’ll see below.

engineered the album in the middle of his living room, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the material is influenced by early  Jack White, Thee Oh Sees and Arctic Monkeys while revealing Gisborne’s own take on the sound, which he describes as “beach fuzz psych with a big cheeky nod to the UK Invasion.” He adds “in the gloom and doom of COVID, I found myself reminiscing all the time about the days when we would wait in line for hours to see our favorite bands. The songs on the first album reflect everything i felt I was missing out on.” Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, Gisborne says “I think a Rock ‘n’ Roll renaissance is coming after this crazy year of lock down. We’re hoping that a full front-to-back of Technicolour Shakedown will evoke the feeling you get at a rock ‘n’ roll house party — wherever the listener may find himself.” 

h out the project’s live sound. The collaboration can trace its origins to when Giborne met the Poling while waiting on a line outside a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. Quickly discovering a shared mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, the trio set up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Previously, the Velvet Starlings founder and creative mastermind had long hired session and touring musicians but as his friendship with The Polings growing deeper, Gisborne recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his bandmates.

Last month, I wrote about the swaggering Technicolour Shakedown album single “Back Of The Train.” The rousingly anthemic psych rock stomper was centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drums and Gisborne’s guttural howls. Sounding a though it could have been released in 1964, 2008 or even two weeks ago, the song as the Velvet Starlings founder told Flood Magazine “is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. ‘Back Of The Train’ centers around a sneaky low note 60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He goes on to further describe it as the story “paying dues and making sacrifices while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

thunderous power chords, blown out drums. The end result is the sort of crowd-pleasing ripper that you can imagine sweaty crowds bouncing up and down to in a darkened, divey club. “The track is an anthemic ode to going out and to live music experience, and colorfully describing the energy of catching your favorite and on the local scene and being packed in a venue like sardines — and loving every minute of it!”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Death Valley GIrls Absurd Yet Defiant Visual for “I’m a Man Too”

I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink over the course of the site’s 11+ year history covering Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych rock JOVM mainstays Death Valley Girls. Although the band has gone through a series of lineup changes throughout their history, the band — currently founding duo and primary songwriters Larry Schemel (guitar) and Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar, keys) and a rotating cast of collaborators that includes Alana Amram (bass), Laura Harris (drums), Shannon Lay, members of The Make Up, The Shivas and Moaning, as well as The Flytraps’ Laura Kelsey — can quite literally trace its origins as a sort of safe haven for its founding duo, as they navigated the difficult path of getting clean from hard drugs.

Understandably, for Schemel and Bloomgarden, the band was a kind of rebirth for them, and an outlet for a new — perhaps clearer and cleaner — way of living. Their newfound appreciation for life, inspired a thirst for communal celebration. And their earliest shows wound up taking on a mystical fervor: While their overall aesthetic is influenced by The Manson Family, B movie theatrics and the occult, they paired that with adrenalized swagger, scuzzy garage rock and punk, without the hardened nihilism.

Glow in the Dark was a jittery and jubilant barnburner centered around scuzzy guitar riffle, rousingly anthemic choral hooks and thunderous rhythms. Thematically, the album sees the band reveling in the secret bond held between misfits and outcasts, who openly refused to submit to the crushing weight of “capitalism, classism and elitism” with the album’s songs being a rallying cry to like-minded souls. “Once you realize that money, government, and this whole system is a shitty construct that doesn’t work and stands in the way of our true magical infinite potential, we start to glow,” The Death Valley Girls’ Bloomgarden says about the album. “And we can see everyone that believes ‘cause they glow too!”

Physical copies of Glow in the Dark have been unavailable with the album being out of print since 2016. But thankfully, the good folks at Suicide Squeeze Records will officially re-issue Death Valley Girls’ sophomore album on August 27, 2021: The album will be available on all the digital platforms — and as an initial vinyl pressing limited to 2,000 copies (1,500 on Unite, Multiply, & Conquer splatter vinyl, 500 on Little Ghost tri-color vinyl).

brate the re-issue of Glow in the Dark, the band released a new video for album single “I’m a Man Too.” Centered around enormous and rousingly anthemic shout along worthy hooks, scuzz spattered power chords and a forcefully chugging rhythm section, “I’m a Man Too,” the song is a joyful and defiant anthem that calls for the end of societal ideals of gender and gender roles, pointing out that they’re complete restrictive bullshit.

“What it means to be a man and what we expect from a woman has negatively impacted all our lives. How we treat each other and ourselves shouldn’t be based on society’s ideals of gender!” Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden explains in press notes, “Everyone is a unique combination of feminine and masculine energy. It’s constantly changing. Somebody outside of you telling you how to be yourself is the most ridiculous and harmful thing I can imagine. You are a beautiful combination of many different things. Get to know yourself, be the most authentic you you can be. Label yourself if you wanna, don’t if you don’t, respect yourself and who everyone else is; that’s who they are!”

The recently released video by Cherry and edited by Little Ghost is a surreal and nightmarish makeup tutorial set to the song.