La Belle Epoque is the forthcoming the full-length debut effort from the Austin, TX-based quartet of HeadShy. Comprised of Reese Beeman and James Adkisson (former members of the Southwestern psych rock act, 7% Solution), journeyman drummer Wayne Duncan, and Lisa Lipkin, a singer/songwriter who is the daughter of jazz musician father and an opera singer mother, the band’s debut effort is actually one of the most interesting concept albums I’ve come across in some time. 

Based around the aging perfumer and central character, Giuseppe Baldini, in Patrick Suskind’s acclaimed 1985 novel, Das Perfumthe album takes a cue from the fictional fragrance maker’s theory on the intertwining of sound and scent, by essentially being three separate and distinct EPs informed by Baldini’s theory, which goes as follows: 

“Just like a musical chord, a perfume chord contains four essences or notes, carefully selected for their harmonic affinity. Each perfume contains three chords: the head, the heart and the base, necessitating 12 notes in all. The head chord contains the first impression, lasting a few minutes before giving way to the heart chord, the theme of the perfume, lasting several hours. Finally, the base chord, the trail of the perfume, lasting several days. Mind you, the Egyptians believed that one can only create a truly original perfume by adding an extra note, one final essence that will ring out and dominate the others … ”

“Coma” is the first single off the album, and the first single off “The Heart Chord.” And sonically, the track is a moody slow-burning, almost noir-ish blues song that manages to have a lingering, uneasy sense of horror, underpinned by eerie keyboard chords.