Category: Psych Rock

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Flamingods Release a Lysergic and Feverish Visual for “Olympia”

Over the better part of this year, I’ve written a bit about the acclaimed multi-continental-based psych rock act Flamingods, and as as you may recall, the band’s Bahraini-born founder and frontman, Kamal Rasool has traveled widely to collect rare and unique instruments from Tanzania, The Amazon and elsewhere. When Rasool relocated to London to study music, he recruited a few friends from Bahrain and London to start a band, including the members of the band’s current lineup — Karthik Poduval, Sam Rowe and Charles Prest. Their first live show together was a highly praised, attention-grabbing set during 2010’s ATP Festival, which quickly led to a national profile.

Building upon a growing profile, the members of Flamingods quickly released two EPs, 2010’s Sun and 2011’s Away. 2013’s full-length debut Sun was a reimagining of the material off the EP of the same name that featured “Quesso,” a collaboration with Ponytail‘s Dustin Wong on lead guitar. Around the time of Sun’s release, the British government enacted new visa laws, which forced Rasool to return to Bahrain after finishing school. He then moved to Dubai, where he worked for an independent magazine and coffee shop. And although at that point, the members of the band were rising on different continents and unable to play together, they managed to find a way to continue working on new material, which would eventually become their critically applauded sophomore album, Hyperborea, an album that established a globe-spanning take on psychedelia that the band has dubbed “Exotic Psychedelia.”

During the release of Hyperborea, Prest relocated to Dubai to work closely with Rasool. Shortly after Prest’s relocation, the band began working on their third full-length album, 2016’s Majesty, an album that was largely inspired by the likes of Les Baxter, Tito Puente, Arthur Lyman and others. The album was released to generally mixed reviews, but it was championed by BBC Radio 6‘s Gilles Peterson and Lauren Laverne, who both invited the band to record live sessions. With Rasool and Prest able to return to the UK, the band was finally able to extensively across the UK and the European Union to support the album, including sets at Green Man Festival, End of the Road Festival, and Fusion Festival.

In February 2017, the band signed with Moshi Moshi Records,who released that year’s Kewali EP. The band toured to support the effort, which included their SXSW debut. The band also released a remix album of  Majesty that featured remixes of album material by Ibibio Sound Machine, Meridian Brothers and Oasis‘ Andy Bell. They also released a Dan Carey-produced live version of “Hyperborea.”

The band’s fourth album Levitation was released earlier this year, and the album was largely inspired by the disco, funk and psychedelic sounds out of the Middle East and South Asia in the ’70s — but filtered through mysticism, positivity and sun-drenched imagery. More importantly, the Levitation recording sessions found the band living and working together on the same continent for the first time in about four years. And as a result. the album’s material may arguably be the most unified effort they’ve written and released to date. 

The album’s first single “Marigold” was a trippy bit of psych rock centered around a motorik groove, shimmering and arpeggiated synths delivered with a Brit Pop-like swagger. Interestingly, the album’s second single, album opening track “Paradise Drive” continues in a fairly similar vein as its predecessor, complete with a motorik groove, shimmering and arpeggiated synths — but the song may arguably bear the most uncanny resemblance to Evil Heat-era Primal Scream of the entire album.  Interestingly, the album’s latest single is the breezy, Sgt. Pepper-like “Olympia.” Centered around fluttering synths, fuzzy and distorted guitars, a propulsive rhythm section and Rasool’s dreamy vocals the track is a seamless and brightly colored synthesis of 60s psychedelia and Brit Pop. 

Directed by Andrea Mae, the recently released video for “Olympia” is a lysergic fever dream, featuring the members of the band having wild visions while in a sauna. “For this video, I was inspired by the ghosts that haunt each of us human beings. I chose to have one of these as a central character of the narrative and to give it a place filled with light, positivity, or perhaps a touch of humour,” Mae explains. “The sauna was an addition to this concept because it is purifying place, a room where you are in company and in a state of peace. I wanted something that looked like a modern day psychedelic cartoon, but mixed with some vintage, experimental footage to try and create a hybrid that looks part 60’s and part now.”​

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I’ve written quite a bit about the Bay Area-based avant-garde free rock/psych rock collective Dire Wolves over the years, and although the act has gone through a number of significant lineup changes, the act — Jeffrey Alexander (guitar, synths), who has also had stints running Secret Eye Records and as a member of Jackie O’ Motherfucker and Black Forest Black Sea; Georgia Carbone (vocals); Brian Lucas (bass); Faun Fables‘ Sheila Bosco (drums, piano); Village of Spaces‘ Arjun Mendiratta (violin) and Spires that in the Sunset Rise’s Taralie Peterson (sax) — has a long-held reputation for crafting deeply hypnotic, lysergic music and for being incredibly prolific, releasing over a dozen albums since their formation back in 2008.

Now, as you may recall, the Bay Area-based band’s soon-to-be released album Grow Towards the Light is slated for a June 28, 2019 release through Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, and the album, which is their fourth official album also marks the band’s first album with Carbone contributing vocals — typically Carbone singing in her own invented language. Thematically, the album as the band’s Jeffrey Alexander explains in press notes, “tries to express the interconnectedness of all things.” “Spacetime Rider,” which I wrote about a few weeks ago was an expansive and free-flowing jam centered around shimmering guitars, a motorik groove, slashing bursts of violin and Carbone’s Nico-like wailing. And while recalling early Velvet Undergound, the track had a patient, painterly air.

Interestingly, Grow Towards the Light‘s latest single “Discordant Angels” is a slow-burning and hypnotic dirge centered around shimmering violin, a gypsy-like rhythm and Carbone’s ethereal wailing. The song finds the band effortlessly meshing elements of classical music, psych rock and folk in a way that’s simultaneously trippy, haunting and unsettling.

 

With the release of the first two singles “Shambhala” and “Darts,” the up-and-coming Dublin, Ireland-based experimental rock/psych rock sextet Fat Pablo quickly emerged into their homeland’s busy music scene, essentially carving a new musical niche for themselves with a sound that some have described as recalling Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Grizzly Bear.

Fat Pablo’s latest single “Ganki” is a gauzy and woozy bit of psychedelia centered around a propulsive bass line, layers of shimmering guitars within an expansive song structure that finds the band carefully walking a tightrope between anthemic urgency and slow-burning pensiveness in a way that reminds me of JOVM mainstays Caveman. “Ganki took a good while for us to write. We went back to the drawing board a few times with this one as it was tough to merge the urgency at the beginning of the song with the mellowness of the latter half,” the band explains in press notes. “We think we’ve found a nice balance where you get the best of both worlds. We try not to act as a one trick pony, but rather an acre of unicorns.”

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Here Lies Man Releases a Cinematic and Lysergic Single

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite  bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based JOVM mainstays Here Lies Man, and as you may recall, the act which was founded by Marcos Garcia and Geoff Man has received attention across the blogosphere for a sound that seamlessly bridges Fela Kuti Afrobeat grooves with classic Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin-era, power chord-fueled rock.  

The Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstay’s sophomore album, last year’s You Will Know Nothing found the band refining and expanding their sound. “We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs. Tony Iommi’s innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song,” the band’s Marcos Garcia explained in press notes. “We are talking the same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi, it was the blues, for us to comes directly from Africa.” The album also found the band focusing on writing catchier, much more anthemic songs with thematically conceptualized lyrics focusing on states of being and consciousness. Additionally, they aimed for slicker production values than its predecessor. “We wanted to go deeper with the sonic experience. Even though it sounds more hi-fi than the first record, it was important that it didn’t sound too polished,” Garcia added. 

Sonically, the material was composed with music theory in mind — interludes between songs were written and recorded with them specifically being 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the tempo of the song proceeding it. “The reason it breaks down to 2 over 3 or 3 over 4 is that everything in the music rhythmically corresponds to a set of mathematical algorithms known as the clave. The clave is an ancient organizing rhythmic principle developed in Africa,” Here Lies Man’s Geoff Mann explains in press notes. 

Slated for an August 16, 2019 release through RidingEasy Records, the forthcoming mini-album No Ground to Walk Upon finds the band continuing the aesthetic they’ve developed through their first two albums but conceptually the material is essentially the soundtrack to an imaginary movie with each song being the score for a key scene of that movie. The mini-album’s swaggering and strutting, first single “Clad in Silver”  is centered around buzzing power chords, propulsive Afro-Caribbean rhythms and punchily delivered lyrics within an expansive, hallucinogenic song structure. As the band explains in press notes, the mini-album’s lead single “is the soundtrack snippet of a  journey to the imaginary place called home, which can never be arrived at. With every step, the character imagines getting closer, bu it is a hallucination that fades in and out of perception.” 

New Video: Ian Ferguson Releases a Trippy and Lo-Fi Tribute to Godzilla-like Movies in Visual for “Tyrants Waltz”

Late last month, I wrote about singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ian Ferguson, and as you may recall Ferguson is a high-school dropout from a one stoplight town outside of Nashville, who started his music career in earnest when he formed and broke up his high school band Kingston Springs just as they were on the verge of a success; in fact, the band had a major label deal on the table, when he decided to walk away from the band.  

Ferguson can trace the origins of his solo career to when he accidentally locked himself in his mother’s basement. I was in my basement, working on some demos,” Ferguson recalls in press notes. “I hadn’t put this idea of ‘making a record’ together in my mind just yet. And there was this faulty door at the top of the stairs that would lock itself and you had to have a key to get out, which of course I didn’t have. I’m messing around when all of the sudden I hear it shut. To this day, I’m not sure what happened. It might’ve been my dachshund Hannah or just some crazy occurrence. I was home alone at the time so I started to freak out, but eventually decided to make the best of it. I had this old HP computer from the 90’s down there and I just went to town.” The end result is the Nashville area-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s forthcoming solo debut, State of Gold.

Slated for a July 26, 2019 release through County Fair Records, Ferguson’s debut effort was self-engineered with the up-and-coming singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performing all the album’s instrumentation and arrangements. With no formal training as an engineer, self-recording and self-mixing were initially challenges. ““I ended up teaching myself how to record and mix records, using some goofy computer software. I actually mixed the record on that old HP computer from the 90’s using a very impractical way of recording that involved burning 16 CDs for each song. It took me a long time to make the record, but after I got ripped off $1k from an audio engineer for a mix that didn’t sound right, I knew I had to take it on myself and I hope you can hear the love in the labor,” Ferguson says in press notes.

Because of his wild-eyed falsetto, use of layered vocal harmonies, greasy guitars and conversational lyricism, Ferguson’s sound has gained comparisons to the likes of Ty Segall, The Nude Party, David Bowie, Marc Bolan/T. Rex and psychedelic era Beatles — and as a result, some of his fans include a who’s who of contemporary Nashville-based acts including Alabama Shakes and JOVM mainstay Ron Gallo among others. Interestingly, album single “Worried Walk” is a shuffling bit of psych blues that made it rather easy to understand why early comparisons to Marc Bolan’s work are so uncannily spot; in fact, the song sounds as though it could have been released on just abut any T. Rex album. However, the song possesses just enough Southern twang to give it a mischievously deceptive, anachronistic quality.  

State of Gold’s latest single is “Tyrants Waltz,” a shuffling and bluesy waltz that’s one part Sgt, Pepper-era Beatles, one part The Band and one part Southern rock, centered around an arrangement featuring twinkling keys, jangling guitars, a lysergic guitar solo and a soaring hook. “Tyrants can exist in many forms, under different guises. Sometimes they’re obvious and sometimes they surprise you,” the up-and-coming Nashville area-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist explains in press notes. “Often times, they seem to represent the exact thing they’re working to dismantle. I wrote this song years ago, before the current state of affairs. However, seeing as how the song represents the disconnect between the masses and those in power, it seems more relevant now than back then.” 

Directed, edited and animated by Pam Detrich, the recently released video for “Tyrants Waltz” features edited footage from knock-off, Godzilla-like monster movies. Just like the real Godzilla monsters, the knock-offs destroy everything in their paths through fire, lasers and stomping everything to bits — and oddly, everything occurs in almost exact time to the accompanying music before ending in feedback and static, with the monsters seemingly laughing in triumph. 

Last month, I wrote about the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based psych rock quartet Possum, and as you may recall the band, which is comprised of Brandon Bak (guitar, vocals), Tobin Hopwood (guitar), Patrick Lefler (bass) and Bradley Thibodeau (drums) met within their hometown’s psych rock and garage rock scenes. The members of the band bonded over their mutual love and appreciation of acts like of CAN, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti and Ty Segall — but the end result is a sound that can be loosely described as a fusion of garage rock, krautrock, psych rock and ethno jazz, complete with rapid tempo and time signature change, hypnotic riffs and chugging, motorik grooves.

Live, their shows are an immersive experience in which the band pairs high energy performances and trippy sounds with lysergic visual projections by The Oscillitarium. And as a result of their live show, the members of Possum have shared stages with the likes of the aforementioned Ty Segall, All Them Witches, Shannon and The Clams, Bombino, L.A. Witch and Chad VanGaalen.

Interestingly, the Canadian psych rockers have maintained a steadfast and ardent DIY ethos in which they’ve independently recorded, mixed and produced their material using old analog tape machines — and they’ve packaged their music themselves. In fact, Possum’s full-length debut, Space Grade Assembly, which is slated for release later this month continues the band’s DIY ethos with the material recorded almost entirely live and mixed by the band’s Brandon Bak and Tobin Hopwood. Album single “The Hills” was an expansive and heady mix of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin power chord-fueled riffing, thunderous drumming, Afrobeat and Latin-tinged percussion that found the band’s production nodding at shoegaze, classic psych rock and krautrock simultaneously.

Clocking in at a little over eight minutes, “Worms Hollow,” Space Grade Assembly‘s latest single is a mind-altering and expansive track that’s one part 60s inspired garage psych, one part motorik groove-driven krautrock and one part space rock centered around a focused and urgent performance.

Possum is currently on a lengthy North American tour. Check out the remaining tour dates below.

Tour Dates
June 7 – Chicago, IL (Emporium)
June 8 – Kansas City, MI (TBA)
June 9 – Denver, CO (Second City Music Collective)
June 11 – San Francisco, CA (Knockout Lounge)
June 13 – Portland, OR (Post 134)
June 14 – Seattle, WA (Clock Out Lounge)
June 16 – Vancouver, BC (Static Jupiter)
June 17 – Victoria, BC (Copper House)
June 18 – Nanaimo, BC (Nanaimo Bar)
June 19 – Kelowna. BC (Fernando’s)
June 20 – Kamloops, BC (Blue Grotto)
June 21/22/23 – Calgary, AB (Sled Island Muisc Festival)
June 24 – Regina, SK (TA Vinyl and Fashion)
June 25 – Winnepeg, MB (Handsome Daughter)
June 26 – Minneapolis, MN (Terminal Bar)
June 27 – Milwaukee, WI (Cactus Club)
June 28 – Detroit, MI (Kelly’s Bar)

New Video: JOVM Mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Release Insane Visual for Thrash Metal Ripper “Self-Immolate”

Over the course of 2017, the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock septet and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard released five albums — with each album being in a completely different genre and style from its predecessor, further cementing the band’s reputation for being restlessly experimental and prolific.   

For a band that has been as wildly productive and prolific as the Melbourne-based JOVM mainstays, not releasing new music last year was extremely odd; however, they were busy with other things, including — a relentless tour schedule that featured a headlining set at Desert Daze and three sold out-dates at Brooklyn Steel, the largest venue they’ve played in the States to date. Additionally, the band re-issued their first five albums on vinyl for the first time ever, and it created such a frenzied demand that the Flightless Records website crashed from the traffic.

Now, as you may recall, the band released their 14th album Fishing for Fishies earlier this year, and the album found the band creating a sonic world in which the organic meets the automated; where the rustic meets the robotic; where the past and future collide in the beautiful present with the band crafting material that’s essentially boogie blues that struts, shimmies and stomps through several different moods and terrains. “We tried to make a blues record,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it – or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation.”

Interestingly, the acclaimed Aussie JOVM mainstays have written, recorded and released a couple of standalone tracks that simply don’t fit on their most recent album because they’re on a completely different tack — one of those tracks is the thrash metal ripper “Self Immolate” which finds the band piling power chord riff upon riff upon riff, thunderous drumming and McKenzie taking on a growling vocal delivery reminiscent of Slayer’s Tom Araya and Sepultura’s Max Cavalera. Interestingly, the track is a reminder that they’re not dabbling dilettantes when it comes to thrash and thrash metal — and that they can pummel eardrums with the best of them. 

Directed by frequent visual collaborator John Angus Stewart, the recently released video for “Self-Immolate” sees the members of the band burnt alive in a Satanic ritual in the middle of nowhere. 

Comprised of Jack McEwan, Luke Parish, Danny Caddy and Luke Reynolds, the Perth, Australia-based quartet Psychedelic Porn Crumpets quickly developed a reputation in their native Australia for crafting enormous riff-based psych rock. Earlier this year, the members of the Perth-based psych rock outfit made their Stateside debut — and they managed to kick ass and take names with a series of acclaimed SXSW sets.

Building upon a rapidly growing international profile, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ latest album And Now For The Whatchamacalit is slated for release on Friday, and the album is reportedly a culmination of the experiences they’ve lived while on the road — and a gradual refinement and evolution of the band’s sound. Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Hymn For A Droid” will further cement the band’s growing reputation for crafting riff-based psych rock as the song is centered around arena rock friendly riffs and a motorik groove within an expansive song structure. Play it as loud as possible and rock out hard, friends.

“This track reminds me of a Rhino at full charge,” the band’s Jack McEwan explains in press notes. “I was absolutely cranking it while recording. Pretty sure my housemates didn’t get a lot of sleep the week this was being crafted. The lyrics were based on the end of a relationship, those months you’re questioning where your life will end up and if you’re making the right decisions. You’re almost robotic, ticking along like a drone that repeats the same lines over and over in your head, and then you go out with your mates for the first time in ages, take a bunch of thought juice and everything makes more sense. . I wanted the chorus to come out of nowhere like an instant realisation, confusing at first and then the next time you hear it all becomes way clearer.”

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Dire Wolves Release an Expansive and Mesmerizing New Single Paired with Trippy Visuals

Over the past two years or so, I’ve written a bit about the Bay Area-based avant-garde free rock/psych rock collective Dire Wolves, and although the act has gone through a number of lineup changes, the act which is currently comprised of founding member Jeffrey Alexander (guitar, synths), who has also had stints running Secret Eye Records and as a member of Jackie O’ Motherfucker and Black Forest Black Sea; Georgia Carbone (vocals); Brian Lucas (bass); Faun Fables’ Sheila Bosco (drums, piano); Village of Spaces’ Arjun Mendiratta (violin) and Spires that in the Sunset Rise’s Taralie Peterson (sax), the act has a long-held reputation for crafting lysergic and hypnotic music — and for being incredibly prolific, releasing over a dozen efforts since their formation back in 2008. 

Slated for a June 28, 2019 release through Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, the Bay Area’s forthcoming album Grow Towards the Light is officially the band’s fourth full-length album, and the album marks the first, full-length effort with Carbone contributing vocals — typically with Carbone signing in her own invented language. The album as the band’s Jeffrey Alexander explains in press notes “thematically tries to express the ‘interconnectedness of all things.” 

Clocking in at a little over 10 minutes, the album’s latest single “Spacetime Rider” is a expansive and free-flowing jam centered around shimmering guitars, a motorik groove. slashing bursts of violin and Carbone’s ethereal, Nico-like wailing. And while bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Velvet Undergound, the track will further cement the JOVM mainstays reputation for mesmerizing and trippy jams with a painterly air; but along with that, the track possesses a cosmic glow — the sort of glow you’d see traveling across the spacetime continuum.

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ian Ferguson is a high-school dropout from a one stoplight town outside of Nashville, who started his music career in earnest when he formed and broke up his high school band Kingston Springs just as they were on the verge of a success; in fact, the band had a major label deal on the table, when he decided to walk away from the band.

Interestingly, his solo career can trace its origins to when he accidentally locked himself in his mother’s basement. “I was in my basement, working on some demos,” Ferguson recalls in press notes. “I hadn’t put this idea of ‘making a record’ together in my mind just yet. And there was this faulty door at the top of the stairs that would lock itself and you had to have a key to get out, which of course I didn’t have. I’m messing around when all of the sudden I hear it shut. To this day, I’m not sure what happened. It might’ve been my dachshund Hannah or just some crazy occurrence. I was home alone at the time so I started to freak out, but eventually decided to make the best of it. I had this old HP computer from the 90’s down there and I just went to town.” The end result is Ferguson’s forthcoming solo debut, State of Gold.

Slated for a July 26, 2019 release through County Fair Records, Ferguson’s debut effort was self-engineered with the up-and-coming singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performing all the album’s instrumentation and arrangements. With no formal training as an engineer, self-recording and self-mixing were initially challenges. ““I ended up teaching myself how to record and mix records, using some goofy computer softwares. I actually mixed the record on that old HP computer from the 90’s using a very impractical way of recording that involved burning 16 CDs for each song. It took me a long time to make the record, but after I got ripped off $1k from an audio engineer for a mix that didn’t sound right, I knew I had to take it on myself and I hope you can hear the love in the labor,” Ferguson says in press notes.

Because of his wild-eyed falsetto, use of layered vocal harmonies, greasy guitars and conversational lyricism, Ferguson’s sound has gained comparisons to the likes of Ty Segall, The Nude Party, David Bowie, Marc Bolan/T. Rex and psychedelic era Beatles — and as a result, some of his fans include a who’s who of contemporary Nashville-based acts including Alabama Shakes and JOVM mainstay Ron Gallo among others.  Of course, when you check out State of Gold‘s latest single, the shuffling psych blues “Worried Walk,” you’ll clearly understand why the comparisons to Marc Bolan are so uncannily apt, as the song sounds as though it could have been released on almost any T. Rex album. However, the song possesses just enough Southern twang to give it a mischievously deceptive anachronistic quality that belies the deliberate and loving attention to craft at its core.

“Worried Walk is a song about that feeling when you’re aware you are having an emotional and mental meltdown,” Ferguson explains in press notes. “It’s about that feeling when your mind takes off, all on its own. You try taking a walk to calm yourself down but you find yourself thinking more and more and continuing in a downward spiral.”

Ferguson will be embarking on a short tour to support his solo debut that will include an August 14, 2019 stop at Union Pool. Check out the tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES

7/26 – Nashville, TN @ Grimey’s – Album Release in-store

8/2 –  Charlotte, NC @ River Jam https://usnwc.org/ian-ferguson/

8/14 – New York, NY @ Union Pool https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1864586