Category: Psych Rock

Comprised of Rishi Dihr (lead vocals, sitar, bass), Jean-Gabriel Lambert (drums, backing vocals), and Miles Dupire (drums, backing vocals), Montreal, QC-based psych rock trio Elephant Stone have developed a national profile across their native Canada, as well as a profile Stateside for a vintage psych rock sound reminiscent of  The Beatles, The Kinks and others, as it the Canadian trio’s material employed elements of traditional Eastern instrumentation — i.e., the sitar — with Western songwriting. And as a result, over the past few years, Elephant Stone has become a JOVM mainstay artist.

The 2014 release of the Canadian trio’s third full-length effort, The Three Poisons, revealed a band that was in the process of a major change in sonic direction. Unlike the band’s first two albums, the material on Three Poisons pushed sitar to the background — and when it was employed, it was mainly to add texture and color. Now, if you were frequenting this site towards the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about “The Devil’s Shelter,” a song that featured a guest spot from The Black Angels‘ Alex Maas. The members of Elephant Stone pair tense, undulating synths, shimmering sitar and guitar chords, and propulsive rhythm with Dihr’s vocals for the song’s verses and Maas’ vocals to craft a song that feels (and sounds) ominous and murky, while channelling The Black Angels “Don’t Play With Guns.”

The Montreal-based trio’s latest single “Where I’m Going” continues where the trio’s experimentation left off — while suggesting that the band’s newest sonic direction has been inspired by the likes of Primal Scream (in particular, I think of “Autobahn 66” and
Detroit”  as Dihr’s ethereal cooing with shimmering guitar chords, a tight and propulsive, motorik groove, four-on-the-floor drumming and layers of shimmering and undulating synths in what may arguably be the most dance-floor ready songs that they’ve released to date — all while remaining as psychedelic as ever. Interestingly, the band have been working on their fourth full-length effort, and if the last two singles they’ve released are indicative of its sound, the members of Elephant Stone are set to push their sound — and in turn, psych rock — in new directions.

The band will be on tour throughout March, and it includes an NYC date. Check out the tour dates below.

 

ELEPHANT STONE TOUR DATES
03/10 Toronto ON – Sneaky Dee’s (Tickets)
03/11  Indianapolis IN – Joyful Noise (Tickets)
03/12  Little Rock AR – Vino’s (Tickets)
03/14  Austin TX – SXSW
03/18  Memphis TN – Hi-Tone (Tickets)
03/19  Cincinnati OH – MOTR (Info)
03/20  Brooklyn NY – Baby’s All Right (Tickets)
04/14  Montreal QC – La Sala Rossa (Tickets)
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As I’ve mentioned on this site a number of times, the Internet really has proven to be a wonderful place to discover both new music and extremely rare, lost music — and with an increasing ease. Just think about it, the technology that brings this site into your home has contributed to a wild proliferation of independent labels across the world, equally competing against the major conglomerates for your ears, attention and money. And interestingly enough, smaller, independent artists have been much more willing (and able) to take the sort of risks that their larger, monied rivals wouldn’t and couldn’t — i.e., attempting to re-introduce artists, whose work was so wildly ahead its time that audiences at the the time just couldn’t accept it — and yet fill in a musical gap, or seem so current that it was impossible to figure how it was missed; attempting to reintroduce regionally favored artists from a time when hit songs in Milwaukee were often different than hit songs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Des Moines, Minneapolis or New York.

Of course, before the Internet, bulletin boards and social media, much of this material was only known to cultish and dedicated insiders, who would spend their time seeking and collecting long-lost and long-forgotten albums, often hoarding them in private collections or selling them at collector’s shows. The Internet and blogosphere have democratized the process, allowing the average listener and fan a chance to listen and to love some of these long-forgotten wonders. Unsurprisingly, there’s money that can be made from discovering long lost material, and it often results in labels and bloggers mining beloved and influential genres to exhaustion through endless compilations of certain genres — in particular psych rock, AM rock, doo wop, singer/songwriter folk, funk, soul and a few others come to mind.

Now, strangely enough up until last year, there hadn’t been many proto-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations when the Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA-based distributor Permanent Records released a compilation of incredibly rare singles from the 60s and 70s on Brown Acid: The First Trip. With the help of Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi spent time not just collecting and compiling the singles on the compilation, they also spent a great deal of time tracking down the songs creators, often bands who haven’t been together in over 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the entire process.  As Barresi explained in press notes for the first compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge 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.“ And by having the artists participate it can give the songs and the artists a real second chance at success, if not some kind of attention.

Barresi and Hall have complied a second volume of rare proto-metal and pre-stoner rock from the 60s and 70s, Brown Acid: The  Second Trip, which is slated (fittingly enough) for release on April 20. The Second Trip‘s first single, Ash’s “Midnight Witch” manages to sound as though it drew from Mountain‘s “Mississippi Queen,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and early Black Sabbath as layers of huge, sludgy and bluesy power chords are paired with a driving rhythm and soulful vocals. And while being forceful, the song manages to possess a trippy feel — and in some way the song nods at material that has been released by a number of contemporary bands including Ecstatic Vision and others.

 

 

New Video: Sky Ferreira and Primal Scream Team Up for the Shimmering, Dance Floor-Ready Single “Where The Light Gets In”

http://cache.vevo.com/assets/html/embed.html?video=GBBGB1500163&autoplay=0 Currently comprised of Bobby Gillespie (vocals), Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (keys), Simone Butler (bass), Darrin Mooney (drums) and Barrie Cadogan (guitar), the Glasgow, Scotland-based quintet Primal Scream can trace their origins back to […]

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few weeks, you may recall that I’ve written about the Italian-Icelandic alt rock/shoegazer trio, My Cruel Goro. Comprised of Andrea Marashi (vocals, guitar and programming), Andrea Marcellini (bass) and Tommaso Adanti (drums) the trio received international attention for a sound that possessed elements of 70s Brit rock, punk, shoegaze and 90s alt rock. “Clash,” the single (and video) I wrote about a few weeks ago consisted of anthemic and shout along worthy hooks, thunderous drumming, layers of buzzing guitars fed through distortion and effects pedals, and shouted lyrics, which gives the song a punk rock energy. It’s a familiar and radio-friendly formula but the Italian/Icelandic band do so with a clean, hyper modern sheen and an infectious energy.

“Lost E” is the latest single off the band’s sophomore EP continues on their winning formula — anthemic and shout along worthy hooks paired with thundering drumming; however, in this case, the guitar work is much more abrasive and harder hitting, which gives the song a harder, 90s alt rock feel, as though the band were drawing influence from Nirvana, My Vitriol, Foo Fighters and others.

 

While the States and the rest of the Western world was in the height of “Flower Power,” “The Age of Aquarius,” were protesting for civil rights for people of color and women and against the Vietnam War in 1967, Nigeria descended into a bloody civil war. The rock scene that developed during the bloodshed and destruction would eventually help heal and unite the country, propagate a new ideal of the Modern Nigerian, and perhaps most important for us, help propel Fela Kuti to stardom once the conflict ended in 1970.

Wake Up You!, a compilation that Now-Again Records will be releasing as a two volume book with companion CDs and vinyl, featuring research from renowned musicologist Uchenna Ikonne and an incredible array of never-seen photos that will tell the stories of some of Nigeria’s long-forgotten but best rock bands — bands that specialized in a sound that meshed funk, psych rock and rock in a way that was unique and particularly Nigerian, while being remarkably familiar to Western ears. And on Volume 1 single Ify Jerry Krusade’s “Everybody Likes Something Good,” you’ll hear a sound that’s heavily indebted to James Brown, Jefferson Airplane, Booker T and the MGs and several other things as heavily wah-wah pedaled guitar, soaring organ chords, sinuous and throbbing bass lines, layers of percussion are paired with call and response vocals but what also makes this single and the compilation so important is that sonically the material manages to nod towards Fela Kuti’s early releases; so in many ways, this single and the rest of the compilation will likely fill in the gaps for audiophiles everywhere while introducing new listeners to some of the funkiest stuff out of the late 1960s you’d ever hear.

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps best known for this time spent in New England-based psych rock band MMOSS, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Doug Tuttle had developed a reputation as a artist of his own right with the release of his solo debut, an effort that had been praised for possessing a jittery, love-lorn anxiety paired with Tuttle’s dexterous guitar work and his carefully crafted psychedelic-tinged pop. Tuttle’s forthcoming sophomore effort, It Calls On Me, slated for a February 26 release through renowned indie label Trouble In Mind Records will further cement the New Hampshire-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s reputation for crafted psych pop while revealing a subtle yet marked change in sonic direction as the material is dreamier and more ethereal, as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single and album title track “It Calls On Me.” Thanks to some impressive guitar licks played through a variety of effects pedals, paired with cymbal-led propulsive percussion, an equally propulsive bass line, Tuttle’s lilting and cooed vocals, the song sounds as though it could have been released sometime between 1963-1969 as the guitar solo reminds me quite a bit of Robby Kreiger’s expressive and expansive solo in The Doors‘ “Light My Fire,” while the song manages to be subtly modern as it channels contemporary acts such as Raccoon Fighter.

Tuttle and his touring band will play a number of dates throughout February and March to support the new album and it includes a stop in Brooklyn. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates

2/17: Detroit, MI –  Marble Bar
2/18: Chicago, IL – The Owl #
2/19: Cleveland, OH – Happy Dog #
2/20: Cincinnati, OH – The Comet #
2/21: Nashville, TN- East Room #
2/22: Atlanta, GA- 529 #
2/23: Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
2/24: Richmond, VA – TBA
2/25: Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
2/26: Providence, RI – AS220 ^
2/27: Boston, MA – Lillypad ^
2/28: Portsmouth, NH – 3S Artspace ^
# – w/ Paperhead
^ – w/ Herbcraft