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 — was initially surged as a solo recording project with Gisbourne writing, recording, producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut EP, which he released when he was 15. When Gisborne was 17, he released his sophomore EP, 2019’s Love Everything, Love Everyone. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Speciality Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.
Gisborne’s work with Velvet Starlings has also caught the attention of The Kinks‘ Dave Davies and acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, who count themselves as fans of the project, as well as the BBC. Adding to a growing profile, Gisborne won Milwaukee Summerfest’s 2019 Emerging Stage competition, which has led to a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021.
Velvet Starlings highly-anticipated full-length debut Technicolour Shakedown is slated for an August 27, 2021 release through Sound x 3 /AWAL/The Orchard with a vinyl release in the States by Kitten Robot. Much like his previously released material Gisborne wrote, produced, engineered and mixed Technicolour Shakedown — in the middle of his living room as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the album’s material draws influence from a number of various sources including 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, Christian Gisborne adds “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.”
After completing the album’s material, Gisborne recruited the Poling Brothers to help flesh out the band’s live sound. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer met the Poling Brothers while waiting on line outside of a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. After realizing that they all shared a mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, they found themselves setting up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Although Gisborne had long hired session and touring musicians, with his friendship with the Poling Brothers growing deeper, he recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his full-time bandmates.
Technicolour Shakedown‘s first single “Back Of The Train” is a swaggering and rousingly anthemic, psych rock stomp centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous yet murky drums paired with Gisborne’s guttural howls that sounds as though it could have been released in 1964 or 2008 — or yesterday. As Gisborne told Flood Magazine: “The song 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.”
Directed by Megan Blanchard, the recently release video for “Back Of The Train” is one part classic Hitchcockian chase meets The French Connection, one part psychedelic trip and one part 120 Minutes MTV-inspired video.