Tag: Elephant Stone

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Stonefield Returns with a Decidedly Psych Rock-Inspired New Single

Over the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the Darraweit Guim, Australia-based sibling psych rock quartet Stonefield, and as you’d recall the Australian band comprised of Amy (drums, lead vocals), Hannah (guitar), Sarah (keys) and Holly Findlay (bass) began playing together when they were extremely young — the youngest member was seven while the oldest was 15. And as the story goes, the eldest sister Amy recorded their first song “Foreign Lover” for a school project, and then reportedly entered the song into Triple J’s national, unsigned band competition for youngsters Unearthed High as an afterthought. Much to her and her sisters’ surprise, the band wound up winning the contest, and within an incredibly short period of time after their Unearthed High win, the Findlay sisters had two singles receiving regular airplay on Australian radio and an invitation to play at Glastonbury Festival.

Since their attention-grabbing Unearthed High win, the Australian sibling quartet has been incredibly prolific as they’ve written, recorded and released two EPs, their self-titled full-length debut, their sophomore album As Above So Below and their third album Far From Earth through King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Flightless Records earlier this year. Stonefield is currently on a North American tour to support both their recently released 7 inch and their third album that will include stops at Desert Daze, Toronto’s Night Owl Fest, Mexico City’s Hipnosis Festival and a special NYC area show at Baby’s All Right to celebrate the release of the “Through the Storm” 7 inch, a single that finds the Australian sibling and and JOVM mainstays cementing their reputation as one of the world’s hardest bands, while pushing their sound towards a new direction — doom metal with hints of 60s psych rock in a way that brings Black Sabbath, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains to mind.

Interestingly, Far From Earth’s latest single “In The Eve” is  slow-burning, hypnotizing song that may arguably be the most decidedly 60s psych rock-inspired song centered around a propulsive and sinuous bass line, shimmering guitar lines, Amy Findlay’s ethereal vocals and a gently unfurling yet song structure — and sonically speaking, the song brings to mind JOVM mainstays Sleepy Sun, Secret Colours, and Elephant Stone but with a clean yet sensual sheen. The recently released video is equally hypnotic while visually drawing from 60s psych rock as it features the Findlay Sisters dressed entirely in white, wandering in a prototypically British field — and in some way it hints at some menacing ritual about to go down.

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New Video: Psych Rock Supergroup MIEN Release Sinuous, Hand-Painted, Animated Visuals for Album Single “Earth Moon”

Comprised of The Black Angels‘ Alex Mass (vocals, samples, loops), The Horrors‘ Tom Furse (keys, programming), Elephant Stone‘s Rishi Dhir (bass, sitar, keys) and The Earlies‘ John-Mark Lapham (keys, samples, programming), the indie All-Star supergroup and side project MIEN can trace its origins to roughly 2004, when Rishi Dhir, who was playing sitar and bass with a previous band on a SXSW bill with The Brian Jonestown Massacre had a chance encounter with The Black Angels’ Alex Mass. Dihr also had a chance encounter with The Earlies, who he would similarly collaborate and share a stage with. Interestingly, Mass, Dihr and Lapham bonded over a mutual love and appreciation of The Association‘s “Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin;” in fact, upon learning that Lapham had a deep desire to cover it, they all began the slow process of putting together the version they’d always dreamt of. Unfortunately, while that never came to fruition, it created the collaborative and creative sparks that would become MIEN.

In 2012, Dihr was playing bass with The Black Angels, and at the time they were sharing bills with The Horrors, whose Skying was on heavy rotation for him. Dihr made the acquaintance of Tom Furse, and they made a pact to work together on something in the future. As a quartet, the members of MIEN made another pass at covering The Association but coincidentally around the same time, there was a Lapham demo, based around a Beastie Boys sample that eventually became the murky and hallucinatory “Black Habit,” the first single off the band’s self-titled debut.

The album’s second and latest single “Earth Moon” continues on a similar ambient and kaleidoscopic vibe; however, the song finds the act pairing propulsive yet atmospheric electronics with shimmering sitar — and while being as menacing as its predecessor, sonically it’s a perfect amalgamation of Directions to See a Ghost-era The Black Angels and Elephant Stone. 

The recently released video for “Earth Moon” features the sinuous and undulating, hand-painted animation of Rochester, NY-based visual artist and musician Mike Turzanski. As MIEN’S John Mark Lapham says in press notes “I’ve admired Mike Turzanski’s artwork since around 2011 when he did some work for a project I was working on at the time called The Revival Hour. Mike is a Rochester, NY based artist and musician that creates these surreal and oftentimes nightmarish worlds through his art. (I’ve been looking for ways to work with him again ever since he had me and a friend of mine dunked in a cold lake in Rochester spitting pink goo out of our mouths for a photography project… don’t ask…) When it came time to find an artist to create a video for Earth Moon, he was the first person I thought of. I knew he had done a lot painting and sketches, but wasn’t sure he ever tackled a completely animated video production. When I asked him if he’d be interested, he jumped on it and within a few weeks we got a fully formed hand painted video! Mike’s an amazing artist and we’re honored to have his hands all over MIEN. I’m looking forward to our next collaboration (though hopefully not in a freezing lake this time…)”

“The vision for “Earth Moon”’s video was first presented to me with the visual inspiration of early 70s animations. These vintage videos have the distinct look and feel of something completely hand made,” Mark Turzanski explains of the video concept in press notes. “Looping psychedelic visuals in a very raw form felt like the best approach. Each frame was hand drawn and scanned in to produce the analog and physical look. Taking this older cel animation frame by frame technique was very consuming but well worth the result.  “Earth Moon” is a song that makes you feel like your body is a rippling wave in space. I wanted to create a video that would only add to this feeling.”

New Audio: Indie Rock Supergroup MIEN Return with a Shimmering and Menacing New Single

Comprised of The Black Angels‘ Alex Mass (vocals, samples, loops), The Horrors‘ Tom Furse (keys, programming), Elephant Stone‘s Rishi Dhir (bass, sitar, keys) and The Earlies‘ John-Mark Lapham (keys, samples, programming), the indie All-Star supergroup and side project MIEN can trace its origins to roughly 2004, when Rishi Dhir, who was playing sitar and bass with a previous band on a SXSW bill with The Brian Jonestown Massacre had a chance encounter with The Black Angels’ Alex Mass. Dihr also had a chance encounter with The Earlies, who he would similarly collaborate and share a stage with. Interestingly, Mass, Dihr and Lapham bonded over a mutual love and appreciation of The Association‘s “Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin;” in fact, upon learning that Lapham had a deep desire to cover it, they all began the slow process of putting together the version they’d always dreamt of. Unfortunately, while that never came to fruition, it created the collaborative and creative sparks that would become MIEN.

In 2012, Dihr was playing bass with The Black Angels, and at the time they were sharing bills with The Horrors, whose Skying was on heavy rotation for him. Dihr made the acquaintance of Tom Furse, and they made a pact to work together on something in the future. As a quartet, the members of MIEN made another pass at covering The Association but coincidentally around the same time, there was a Lapham demo, based around a Beastie Boys sample that eventually became the murky and hallucinatory “Black Habit,” the first single off the band’s self-titled debut. 

The album’s second and latest single “Earth Moon” continues on a similar ambient and kaleidoscopic vibe; however, the song finds the act pairing propulsive yet atmospheric electronics with shimmering sitar — and while being as menacing as its predecessor, it’s oddly enough the most Black Angels-like song they’ve released to date. 

New Video: Indie Rock, All-Star, Super Group MIEN Release Trippy and Menacing Visuals of “Black Habit”

Comprised of The Black Angels’ Alex Mass (vocals, samples, loops), The Horrors’ Tom Furse (keys, programming), Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir (bass, sitar, keys) and The Earlies’ John-Mark Lapham (keys, samples, programming), the indie All-Star supergroup and side project MIEN can trace its origins to roughly 2004, when Rishi Dhir, who was playing sitar and bass with a previous band on a SXSW bill with The Brian Jonestown Massacre had a chance encounter with The Black Angels’ Alex Mass. Dihr also had a chance encounter with The Earlies, who he would similarly collaborate and share a stage with. Interestingly, Mass, Dihr and Lapham bonded over a mutual love and appreciation of The Association’s “Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin;” in fact, upon learning that Lapham had a deep desire to cover it, they all began the slow process of putting together the version they’d always dreamt of. Unfortunately, while that never came to fruition, it created the collaborative and creative sparks that would become MIEN. 

In 2012, Dihr was playing bass with The Black Angels, and at the time they were sharing bills with The Horrors, whose Skying was on heavy rotation for him. Dihr made the acquaintance of Tom Furse, and they made a pact to work together on something in the future. Now, as a quartet, they made another pass at covering The Association but coincidentally, there was a Lapham demo, originally based around a Beastie Boys sample that eventually became “Black Habit,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut. Interestingly, MIEN’s sound as you’ll hear on “Black Habit” manages to be a seamless synthesis of the sounds and work of each of the individual members long-term, major projects, the song finds them exploring ambient sounds paired with motorik-like grooves; but underneath is a feverish and hallucinatory vibe that manages to evoke the unsettling paranoia of our Fake News/everything is going to hell in a hand basket world. 

Naturally, the accompanying visuals are equally trippy — drawing from 60s psychedelia but with the same paranoia at its core. 

New Video: Real Gone Music to Re-Issue a Two Critically Successful Paisley Underground-era Albums

Founded in 1981 as The Sidewalks by founding members and college roommates Matt Piucci (guitar, vocals) and David Roback (guitar ,vocals) Rain Parade expanded to a quintet with the addition of Roback’s brother Steven (bass, vocals), Will Glenn (keys, violin) and then Eddie Kalwa (drums). And with the release of their debut single “What She’s Done to Your Mind” in 1982, the members of Rain Parade quickly established themselves within Los Angeles’ Paisley Underground psych rock scene in the early 80s, a scene which also included The Bangles, one of the more famous and commercially successful bands of the entire scene.

Building on the attention they started to receive, the members of the quintet released their debut effort 1983’s Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, an album that renowned music critic Jim DeRogatis would later write in Turn on Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock that “Emergency Third Rail Power Trip is not only the best album from any of the Paisley Underground bands, it ranks with the best psychedelic rock efforts from any era,” as the band’s sound was largely inspired by The Byrds, early Pink Floyd, and others, but with dark and introspective themes.

Shortly after Rain Parade’s debut, David Roback left the band to form a new band Opal, and the band continued as a quartet, releasing 1984’s mini-LP Explosions in the Glass Palace, an album which NME would later praise for its “mind-meltingly beautiful guitar sounds, employed sparingly and dynamically amid dark, dizzy tales of murder, madness and drug paranoia.”

Eddie Kalwa left the band after the release of “You Are My Friend” and was repalced by Marc Marcum (drums) and John Thoman (guitar, vocals) was recruited to fill out the band’s second lineup, just as they were signed to Island Records. The reconstituted quintet released two more albums — Beyond The Sunset, a live album recorded in Japan and 1985’s Crashing Dream before breaking up. And unsurprisingly, the various members of the band went on to other creative pursuits with David Roback later forming Mazzy Star with Hope Sandoval.

In 2012, members of Rain Parade’s original lineup, Matt Piucci, Steven Roback and John Thoman, along with Mark Hanley, Alec Palao and Gil Ray, formerly of Game Theory played a reunion/comeback gig at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco and that lineup played a number of live shows over the next two years, before Gil Ray’s departure due to cancer. Stephan Junca replaced Ray, who died earlier this year.

Almost 35 years after their initial releases, Real Gone Music will be re-issuing Rain Parade’s seminal and critically applauded first two efforts — Emergency Third Rail Power Trip and Explosions in the Glass Palace both digitally and on CD, with “Look Both Ways,” a track that was cut from the original Stateside release. Remastered by SonicVision’s Mike Milchner and approved by the band’s Matt Piucci and Steve Roback, the remastered re-issue is the first remastering of both efforts since they were initially released on CD back in the early 90s. And along with that the re-ssiue will include expanded liner notes from Paisley Underground critic and history Pat Thomas based on interviews and reminisces from the band’s founding members.

The re-issue’s first single is the jangling and anthemic “This Can’t Be Today,” a track that manages to be anachronistic — while we may know that the band was inspired by 60s psych rock, and it was released in the early 80s, it feels as though it could have been recently released by a contemporary act — i.e. Elephant Stone and others; however, its served with a sobering reminder of the fact that for every Susanna Hoff and The Bangles, there are countless bands, who receive some relative level of success before quickly disappearing. Should Rain Parade have been bigger? Perhaps but the re-issue is a key document of what was going on in the Paisley Underground scene. 

Comprised of Michael Ellis, Ryan Ellis, Lewis McGuinness, Lloyd Shearer, and Benjamin Robinson, the members of Liverpool-based shoegaze quintet The Vryll Society have quickly become JOVM favorites over the better part of the past year for crafting material that initially had been largely inspired by FunkadelicAphrodite’s Child, krautrock and classic shoegaze.

While “Coshh,” the second single off the band’s debut EP Pangea consisted of a tight, motorik-like groove, propulsive, four-on-the-floor drumming, shimmering guitar chords played through layers of reverb and other effects pedals, atmospheric electronics that helped evoke a cosmic sheen and an anthemic hook, Self-Realization,” Pangea‘s third  nodded at  The Verve, as the song structurally twisted, turned and bent at weird and unpredictable angles — with guitar work that also subtly nodded at Nick McCabe’s expansive and expressive sound. The Liverpool-based shoegazers followed those singles with “La Jette,” an ethereal and dreamy single that nodded at contemporary, 6os inspired shoegazers such as  Elephant StoneSleepy Sun, Cool Ghouls and others.

 

The band’s latest single “A Perfect Rhythm” manages to simultaneously be a refinement of their sound and a return to form (of sorts) as the band retains the shimmering guitar chords played through a bit of reverb and effects pedals, a tight, motorik-like groove, a rousingly anthemic hook with a complex, rolling drum pattern, plaintive, falsetto vocals and an expansive song structure fittingly held together by the rhythm section. Interestingly enough while the song reminds me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, the song also reminds me of A Perfect Circle as it it possesses a broodingly Romantic undercurrent.

 

 

Over the past few months, starting around the end of last year, you may recall coming across a couple of posts about Liverpool-based shoegaze quintet The Vryll Society. Comprised of Michael Ellis, Ryan Ellis, Lewis McGuinness, Lloyd Shearer, and Benjamin Robinson, the band was discovered by Alan Willis, the late founder of Deltasonic Records, who noticed potential in the band and guided the quintet through their development as a band and as songwriters. Over the course of the following year, the British shoegaze quintet locked themselves away in their rehearsal space, where they jammed and began writing material that was inspired by FunkadelicAphrodite’s Child, krautrock and classic shoegaze.

Coshh,” the second single off the band’s debut EP Pangea had the Liverpool-based quintet pairing a tight, motorik groove consisting of a wobbling bass line and propulsive four-on-the-floor-like drumming, shimmering guitar chords played through layers of reverb and effects pedals, atmospheric electronics, falsetto vocals, anthemic hooks and a cosmic sheen. “Self-Realization,Pangea‘s third single further cemented the quintet’s growing reputation for shimmering and anthemic shoegaze in an expansive and sprawling song that nodded at  The Verve, as the song structurally twisted, turned and bent at weird and unpredictable angles — with guitar work that also subtly nodded at Nick McCabe’s expansive and expressive sound.

Interestingly, “La Jette,” The Vryll Society’s latest single is a dreamier and ethereal single that hints at the contemporary obsession with the sound of 60s psych rock that sounds as though it draws from the likes of Elephant Stone, Sleepy Sun and others; in other words, shimmering and jangling guitar chords, ethereal vocals and a strutting bass line are paired together in the Liverpool-based quintet’s trippiest, most subdued  and most introspective song to date.

 

 

 

Initially comprised of cousins Jamie Turner (vocals, bass) and Matt Williams (guitar), along with Mike Mutt (organ) and Adrian Macmillan (drums), Perth, Australia-based psych rock quartet The High Learys can trace their origins to when Turner and Williams met Mutt in high school, with the band recruiting Macmillan to finalize the band’s original lineup back in 2011. With the release of a full-length album and a number of singles the Australian psych rock quartet have received praise both across their native Australia and internationally for a sound that had been described as a contemporary take on 60s psych rock, bubblegum pop and large rock that seemed to draw influence from the likes of  The DoorsThe Who Sings My Generation-era The WhoThe Animals, The TurtlesThe Beatles and contemporary acts such as OasisThe Black Angels, Elephant Stone, Sleepy Sun and others.

In fact, the band quickly became a JOVM mainstay as I wrote about a handful of singles on this site — including “Letters to Alice,” a song comprised of intertwined, twisting and turning guitar and organ chords paired with a propulsive rhythm section and Turner’s  Liam Gallagher-like vocals; “I’m A Fool For You” was their most bubblegum pop-leaning single, which possessed an infectious and sweet melody paired with even sweeter lyrics; and “Clear My Mind,” a single that sounded as though it could have been written, recorded and released sometime during the Summer of Love. Now, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve written about them and in that time the band’s lineup has been shuffled — Macmillan has been replaced by Mitchell J. Benson on drums. And interestingly enough, the band’s latest single “Cabinet” not only marks a change in sonic direction for the band that pushes their 60s-leaning psych rock sound closer to the 21st century and is the first time that the band produced themselves in the studio. Sonically “Cabinet” sounds as though it draws from My Gold Mask and Elephant Stone’s most recent releases, as the band pairs guitars and organ played through distortion and effects pedals, thundering drumming and an anthemic hook. In some way, the song sounds as though it were recorded in an enormous empty room with the instrumentation reverberating off the walls and back down to the musicians and listener.

As the band notes in press notes “‘Cabinet’ explores the insecurities of a young mind. Someone who feels lost in their ways, but at the same time shares the burdens of adolescents with their other half.”  And although the song possesses a trippy feel, at its core is a plaintive heartache that should feel familiar — it should remind the listener of the fact that love is almost always awkward but perhaps even more so when you’re trying to figure yourself out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2016’s JOVM Spotify playlist will likely continue the wild variety I’m so proud of but with a number of mainstay artists including tracks by Victoria + Jean, Anna Rose, Rene Lopez, Anika, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Gosh Pith, Marco Benevento, New Order, Boulevards, Mavis Staples, Sofi Tukker, Charles Bradley, Majid Jordan, La Sera, Pr0files, Atmosphere, We Are Temporary, Beacon, Elephant Stone, Caveman, Octo Octa and several others who you’ve become familiar with through this site. But you’ll also come across a couple of tracks from one of my favorite new artists of the year, Sophie and the Bom Boms, some classic blues from Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and George Thorogood, porto-metal and stoner rock and countless more. Check it out!