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 — initially started as a solo recording project with Gisborne writing, recording and producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut, released when Gisborne was just 15. Velvet Starling’s sophomore EP Love Everything, Love Everyone was released in 2019. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Specialty Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.
Interestingly, Gisborne’s Velvet Starlings work has caught the attention of The Kinks‘ Dave Davies and acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, who count themselves as fans, as well as the BBC. Adding to a growing profile, Gisborne won Milwaukee Summerfest’s 2019 Emerging Stage competition — and as a winner, he and his new bandmates will be playing a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021. The band also recently announced a handful of live dates, which you’ll see below.
The Southern California-based project’s highly anticipated full-length debut Technicolour Shakedown is slated for an August 27, 2021 release release through Sound x 3 /AWAL/The Orchard with a vinyl release in the States by Kitten Robot. Continuing in the vein of his previously released material, Gisborne wrote, produced, engineered the album in the middle of his living room, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the material is influenced by 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, Gisborne says “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 project’s live sound. The collaboration can trace its origins to when Giborne met the Poling while waiting on a line outside a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. Quickly discovering a shared mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, the trio set up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Previously, the Velvet Starlings founder and creative mastermind had long hired session and touring musicians but as his friendship with The Polings growing deeper, Gisborne recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his bandmates.
Last month, I wrote about the swaggering Technicolour Shakedown album single “Back Of The Train.” The rousingly anthemic psych rock stomper was centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drums and Gisborne’s guttural howls. Sounding a though it could have been released in 1964, 2008 or even two weeks ago, the song as the Velvet Starlings founder told Flood Magazine “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.”
Technicolour Shakedown‘s second and latest single, album title track “Technicolour Shakedown” is a garage rock-tinged take on psych rock that will bring The Sonics, The Kinks, The Who, The Drums, The Hives and others to mind with the track being centered around fuzzy power chords, a rousingly anthemic, euphoria-inducing hook, thunderous power chords, blown out drums. The end result is the sort of crowd-pleasing ripper that you can imagine sweaty crowds bouncing up and down to in a darkened, divey club. “The track is an anthemic ode to going out and to live music experience, and colorfully describing the energy of catching your favorite and on the local scene and being packed in a venue like sardines — and loving every minute of it!”
Directed by Megan Blanchard, the recently released video for “Technicolour Shakedown” features the members of the band playing the song in front of psychedelic backgrounds, the band at the beach at golden hour and a wild melange of stock footage. Much like the band itself, it’s a modern take on classic and beloved aesthetic.
7/30/21 – Los Angeles, CA – The Spot tickets
8/1/21 – Costa Mesa, CA – Orange County Fair
8/13/21 – Costa Mesa, CA – Orange County Fair
8/20/21 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory tickets
9/17/21 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest tickets