KUNZITE — RATATTAT‘s Mike Stroud and Hawaii and Oregon-based Agustin White — can trace their origins to each of the project’s individual members occasionally crossing each others paths while admiring each other’s work: When Stroud was busy touring with RATATAT, White when on a spiritual journey that found him exploring yoga, meditation and psychedelics. Throughout their friendship, the duo had been looking to do something together — and KUNZITE allowed the duo the ability to merge their mind and missions with a sound that blends psychedelia with beat-heavy electronic production and live, organic instrumentation.
The duo’s debut effort, 2018’s Birds Don’t Fly was written and recorded mostly through email. But their forthcoming sophomore album VISUALS, which will be released through Lowly/Wilder Records on August 29, 2021 sees the duo writing and recording material together — in the same space and at the same time. During the recording process, the duo realized that they sounded best when they harmonized. Interestingly, VISUALS‘ third single “FROSTY” saw the duo changing things up a bit with KUNZITE’s Stroud takes cup lead vocal duties. Sonically, the track is a summery/beach friendly jam centered around a trippy and cosmic groove, easy-going bass line, shimmering synths and Stroud’s laid-back vocals.
VISUALS‘ fourth and latest single “LEMON SWAYZE” was recorded between Stroud’s upstate New York barn-based studio and White’s Oregon-based domed shaped studio. Sonically, the track is a decidedly dance floor friendly jam, centered around rapid-fire, four-on-the-floor, buzzing guitars, a sinuous, motorik groove and a rousingly anthemic, euphoria-inducing hook — with a playful nod at Cyndi Lauper. As the story goes while recording the song Agustin stood in the middle of his Oregon-based domed studio and felt a channel of energy through the line that came through the studio, and began singing the first thing that came out of his mouth — which are heard on the final track.
“‘LEMON SWAYZE’ was created with the mission of bringing listeners to their feet, dancing in exaltation while on a crazy joyride,” the members of KUNZITE explain. “The track’s title was inspired by a vision Agustin had of lemons as spaceships, induced by the consumption of a favorite cannabis strain, Lemon Cake.”