Tag: psych rock

New Video: JOVM Mainstays TEKE: TEKE Release a Frenzied and Mischievous Visual for “Kala Kala”

Initially started as a loving homage and tribute band to legendary Japanese guitarist Takeshi “Terry” Terauchi, the Montreal-based collective TEKE: TEKE – Yuki Isami (flute, shinobue and keys), Hidetaka Yoneyama (guitar), Sergio Nakauchi Pelletier (guitar), Mishka Stein (bass), Etienne Lebel (trombone), Ian Lettree (drums, percussion) and Maya Kuroki (vocals, keys and percussion) —  features a collection of accomplished Montreal-based musicians, who have played with the likes of Pawa Up FirstPatrick WilsonBoogatGypsy Kumbia Orchestra and others. The Montreal-based act quickly came into their own when they started to blend Japanese Eleki surf rock with elements of modern Western music including shoegaze, post-punk, psych rock, ska, Latin music and Balkan music. Adding to a bold, genre-defying sound, the band’s arrangement meshes rock instrumentation with traditional Japanese instrumentation.

With the release of their debut EP 2018’s Jikaku, the members of the Montreal-based septet came into their own highly unique and difficult to pigeonhole sound that features elements of Japanese Eleki surf rock, shoegaze, post-punk, psych rock, ska, Latin music and Balkan music. Last year was a momentous year for TEKE: TEKE. They signed to Kill Rock Stars Records, who released the rising Canadian act’s full-length debut Shirushi earlier this year.

In the lead up to the album’s release, I wrote about five of its singles:  

  • Kala Kala:” Deriving its title from a phrase that roughly translates to English as clattering, “Kala Kala” is centered around a mind-melting arrangement and song structure, Kuroki’s howling and crooning. And to my ears, the track accurately captures the band’s frenetic live energy. 
  • Chidori,” a cinematic yet mosh pit friendly freak out that’s one part psych rock, one part Dick Dale-like surf rock, one part Ennio Morricone soundtrack delivered with a frenetic aplomb. 
  • Meikyu:” Deriving its title from the Japanese word for labyrinth, the track is a no bullshit, no filler all killer ripper with menacing guitar work, dramatic bursts of trombone, fluttering flute, thumping tribal drumming and some wild soloing within an expansive, mind-melting song structure.  
  • Yoru Ni,” a fever dream featuring dreamy blasts of flute and trombone, menacing and slashing guitars and intricate Japanese shamisen. Deriving its name from the Japanese phrase for “at night,” the song despite it’s mischievous tone, is a somewhat romantic and spiritual tale about its central character letting go of a long-held delusional quest. 
  • Barbara,” a mischievous and cinematic track with a stomping, punk rock energy that sounds like the perfect soundtrack for a misfit circus — or the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, as each instrumental part seemingly introducing a new and strange character. Much like the previously released singles, “Barbara” captures the frenetic energy of their live sets. The lyrics as the band explained are a twisted take on zashiki-warashi, spirit beings, who like to perform pranks and bring good fortune to those who see them.

The Montreal-based JOVM mainstays just announced a 2022 North American tour that includes a handful of club dates and some Winter festival appearances. Sadly, there aren’t any New York dates on this run. But if you happen to be in or near any of these cities, go and catch them. As always, tour dates are below. But in the meantime, the band released a trippy visual for album single “Kala Kala.”

Directed by the band’s Maya Kuroki and Serge Nakauchi Pelletier, the video is a deft and playful mix of illustrations and old-timey collages by the band’s Maya Kuroki, close-up footage of the band by Lily Pelletier, live footage of the band and more, edited by Serge Nakauchi Pelletier. It’s a frenzied and arresting visual delight, chock full of Easter eggs and sight gags.

New Video: Dream Phases Releases an Expansive and Trippy Meditation on Creativity and Writer’s Block

After spending stints in notable Los Angeles-based acts like Blank Tapes, The Relationship, Levitation Room and Nacosta, Brandon Graham decided that it was time to step out into the spotlight in his own terms. Initially starting the Los Angeles-based psych rock outfit Dream Phases as a solo, home recording project, the project became a full-fledged band when Garham’s brother Shane and their friend Keveen Badouin assisted him in fleshing out the material he had written.

Creatively, the sibling bond between Brandon and Shane is at the heart of the band. “There is a special synergy between us that wouldn’t be there if we weren’t brothers,” Shane Graham says. “We share many of the same influences, but we also have some different ones as well that help make the band unique. We don’t always see eye-to-eye creatively, but then we work it out and end up with something we are both excited about.”

The then-newly launched band released their debut EP 2017’s Maybe Tomorrow, which was quickly followed by their full-length debut So Long, Yesterday. Both releases saw the band establish a sound that drew from The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — as well as acts like Rain Parade, Elliot Smith and Autolux among others. The band supported both of those efforts with touring that found the Los Angeles-based psych outfit replicating the dreamy vibes of their studio work with raw energy, light shows and other visual effects at SXSW and two European tours. “Our albums are very thought-out, but our live show is more primal and exciting in a different way,” Dream Phases’ Brandon Graham says in press notes. ““We never wanted to be a band that sounds exactly like it does on record.”

Dream Phases’ sophomore album New Distractions is slated for a November 10, 2021 release through Nomad Eel Records and Lunar Ruin and the album sees the band translating the experiences of its members into something compelling — and universal while pushing their sound into new directions. The album. which was written through email and Zoom meetings is also the first album, where it’s a fully collaborative affair with all of the band’s members having songwriting credits. In the past I would make a fully fleshed out demo recording and then show the guys that,” Brandon Graham recalls.  “With this one I mostly just wrote the skeleton of the song, like the lyrics, vocal, guitar and sometimes keys and then sent that. We talked about structure, rhythm, and other elements that brought the songs to life.”

“I think there’s a lot more self-reflection in these songs,” Brandon Graham says. “They were written during the COVID lockdown, and there was so much happening in the world that you really had to look at yourself in the mirror and ask where you stood on a range of issues. Several of the songs deal with growing older and taking care of yourself both mentally and physically, as well as learning to not take things for granted.” Matters of the heart also were a new emphasis for the material. “In my previous bands, I rarely if ever wrote about relationships, but it seems like every other song on this album is about them. I guess I’m trying to be more direct now,” Brandon Graham adds.

New Distractions‘ latest single is the dreamy “In A Box.” Seemingly indebted to Summer of Love era psych rock and 70s AM rock, the song is centered around shimmering, delay and reverb-drenched guitars, Brandon Graham’s plaintive falsetto and expansive song structure that starts out a bit brooding and gets increasingly hopeful as the song moves towards its conclusion. And while decidedly trippy, the song is informed by personal, lived-in experience as the band explains.

“‘In a Box’ was the first song written for New Distractions, in fact we played this song on our 2019 European tour. The song is about overcoming writers block, and searching for the inspiration to do just that. The chorus progressively get more hopeful as the joy of writing something new is felt. The accompanying music video was made by Matthew Lingo and Styles Wolff Baker and visualizes the journey through the sub conscious mind, searching for inspiration.”

Initially started as a bedroom solo recording project back in 2017, Orlando-based psych outfit Timothy Eerie has become a full-fledged band with a rotating cast of players. The Orlando-based psych outfit’s latest single “We’re Going To Make It” is a sunny and lysergic anthem for the end of the world — or our near dystopian future.

Centered around reverb-drenched vocals. glistening organ arpeggios, scorching guitars and forceful drumming, “We’re Going To Make It” is indebted to 60s psych rock but with a modern twist: the song’s narrator knows that the hope for a better world may be desperate and foolish, which gives the song a bitterly ironic bite, just under the trippy vibes.

New Video: Frankie and The Witch Fingers Take Viewers on a Drug, Chaos and Violence-Fueled Trip Through Los Angeles

Since initially forming in Bloomington, IN over a decade ago, the rising Los Angeles-based psych rock outfit Frankie and the Witch Fingers — featuring core trio Dylan Sizemore (vocals), multi-instrumentalist Josh Menashe and Shaughnessy Starr (drums) — have developed and honed a reputation for restless experimentation, multiple permutations and a high-powered, scuzzy take on psych rock, centered around absurdist lyrical imagery, often fueled by hallucinations, paranoia and lust. The end result is material that manages to be simultaneously mischievous and menacing. When Shaughnessy Starr joined, the band went through another of their many sonic permutations, which resulted in a lysergic and claustrophobic sound rooted in Black Sabbath-like riffage.

Building upon a rapidly growing national profile, the band has opened for the likes of JOVM mainstays Thee Oh SeesCheap Trick and ZZ Top.

The band’s most recent full-length effort, Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . . was last released last year through Greenway Records and Levitation Festival‘s label The Reverberation Appreciation Society. Recorded in a breakneck five-day recording session, Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . . features much more insidious, evil and ambitious material while capturing the band in the midst of massive personnel changes: longtime bassist Alex Bulli left the band, and as a result, Josh Menashe wound up writing and playing most of the material’s bass parts with occasional contributions from Dylan Sizemore. Much like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard‘s Infest the Rats Nest, Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ latest effort sees the band writing expansive and maximalist material — with fewer moving parts.

Since the release of Monsters, the band has been busy writing and recording new material, including the “Cookin'” seven inch, which was released through Greenway Records and The Reverberation Appreciation Society today. “Cookin'” further cements the Los Angeles-based psych outfit’s long-held reputation for psych rock centered around scorching riffage. Paired with a punchy baseline and a rousingly anthemic sing-along chorus, “Cookin'” manages to be a rollicking party starter — but the good time vibes are superficial, as the song thematically calls out humanity’s obliviousness, greed and wastefulness,

Directed by Alfredo Lopez, the recently released video for “Cookin'” features three badass women, who gleefully inflict all kinds of chaos and destruction wherever they go, while doing a shit ton of drugs and drinking way too much booze.

“‘Cookin’ is a visceral and violent snapshot of three agents of chaos who gleefully inflict destruction and terror wherever they go,” the members of Frankie and The Witch Fingers explain. “They are personifications of the brutality of nature, the wrath of humanity, and the cruel unpredictability of reality. Havoc incarnate, they weave a path of wanton destruction and utter wastefulness throughout a sweaty, summer day in Los Angeles. The significance of moral values, of good and evil, are entirely human constructs; in nature it’s only kill or be killed — and leave the remains for someone else to clean up. The themes behind this song and video are a rumination on the ways in which we are carelessly laying waste to the resources we were gifted. Nature is relentless, humans are destructive, and everything decays eventually. The planet doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the planet, and she’ll be here long after we’re gone.”

The band is currently on tour with Acid Dad — and the tour includes a stop tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom. For tour dates and ticket information for tomorrow night and the remaining tour dates, check out the following: https://frankieandthewitchfingers.com/#shows

New Video: Brazilian JOVM Mainstays WRY Releases a Sunny and Optimistic Bit of Power Pop

Sorocaba, São Paulo, Brazil-based psych rock outfit and JOVM mainstays WRY — Mario Bross (vocals, guitar), Luciano Marcello (guitar), Ítalo Ribero (drums) and William Leonotti (bass) — are at the forefront of Brazil’s indie rock and psych rock scenes, releasing six albums of material that have firmly established a sound that features elements of Brit pop, alt-rock, shoegaze and post punk — with a distinctly Brazilian flavor.

After a stint living and working in London, the Brazilian JOVM mainstays earned a growing international profile, which led to several tours across the UK and the European Union, including some stops on the European festival circuit, most notably, Barcelona’s Primavera Sound

Along with their growing recorded output, the members of the band own a very popular club in their homeland, which has frequently hosted their internationally acclaimed countrymen, fellow JOVM mainstays and friends  Boogarins

Last year’s brilliant Noites Infinitas was released to critical praise, with the album receiving airplay on radio stations across Brazil and the States. The album also landed on a number of Best of Lists globally. Continuing upon the momentum of Noites Infinitas, the Brazilian psych rock outfit will be releasing their seventh full-length album Reviver on November 12, 2021 through Deaf Haus.

Reviver‘s first single “Where I Stand” is a sunny and overwhelmingly optimistic bit of power pop centered around WRY’s unerring knack for crafting enormous Brit Pop-like hooks, fuzzy power chords and thunderous drumming. The band explains that lyrically the song is about hope — but it can be read about hope returning after a bleak and very dark period, much like our current one. As long as we breathe, feel, think and experience, all is never lost.

Directed by Alex Batista, the recently released video for “Where I Stand” features the members of the Brazilian quartet riding bicycles on an airport runway while rocking out to the song. It’s playful, goofy and necessary.

Mexico City-based psych pop act Petite Aime was founded by Little Jesus bassist Carlos Medina. Last year, Medina (guitar) was joined by Aline Terrein (vocals), Isabel Dosal (vocals), Santiago Fernández (bass) and Jacobo Velazquez (guitar) to write and record the project’s self-titled full-length debut. 

Slated for a Friday release through Park The Van/Devil In The Woods, the Mexican psych pop act’s self-titled debut reportedly finds the band crafting material that fluctuates between different genres and styles based on psych pop and psych rock while touching upon influences like The BeatlesPink FloydBig Thief, Magic PotionUnknown Mortal Orchestra and Crumb. Lyrically the album’s material is generally centered around an expression of the existential angst engendered by the search for the “self” in an increasingly impersonal world, where the line between what’s real and what’s virtual crystallizes. 

Last month, I wrote about “Elektro,”a dreamy yet club friendly bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a hypnotic, motorik groove and propulsive four-on-the-floor, ethereal vocals singing lyrics in French and a vocoder drenched coda. Sonically recalling From Here To Eternity-era Giorgio Moroder and JOVM mainstay MUNYA, “Elektro,” as the band explained was actually inspired by dreaming and dreams. “We tried to translate a dream where you don’t know exactly where you are going but you let yourself go,” the band explains. “Stars come down to Earth and transport you to another world and although you know you are enjoying it you’ll always miss the place where you come from.”

“Adiós,” the self-titled album’s latest single is a delicate and introspective song centered around strummed acoustic guitar, woozy synths, and Spanish lyrics delivered with a wistful nostalgia over something or someone that you can’t ever get back — but with the understanding that it may be for the best.

“It’s a ballad where we say goodbye to someone or something forever,” the band explains. “It’s a nostalgic and introspective song that allows us to accept that saying goodbye is a way of freeing oneself and letting be.”

New Video: Toronto Garage Psych Outfit Wine Lips Releases a Furious Ripper

Started as a part-time project between founding members Cam Hilborn (vocals, guitar) and Aurora Evans (drums), the rapidly rising Toronto-based, garage psych rock outfit Wine Lips — Hilborn and Evans, along with Jordan Sosensky (guitar) and Charlie Weare (bass) — hit the stage together for the first time in late 2015. The band began playing shows in and around Toronto, eventually stretching out organically to the surrounding towns and cities, then into Québec

By mid 2017, it was clear that the band members were ready to make a full-time commitment. That year, they released their self-titled full-length debut through Fried Records, which they supported with a five province tour with a stops in the country’s Maritime Region — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. A chance meeting resulted in an April 2018 tour of Hong Kong and China, where they were received by enthusiastic audiences.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Toronto-based garage psych outfit released their sophomore album, 2019’s Stressor, which they supported with relentless touring across North America until the pandemic struck. But the band was able to amass an ardent following — and some of their material has been featured prominently on television and Netflix.

Much like countless artists across the world, the members of the band spent the bulk of last year, holed up at London, Ontario-based Sugar Shack Studios, where they wrote and recorded their Simon Larochette-produced third album Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party. “The record is crazy! We really spent a lot of time getting the songs to sound exactly the way we wanted,” Cam Hilborn says in press notes. ” I think this is the best stuff we’ve recorded and I’m super stoked with the end result!” 

Slated for a Fall release through Montreal-based Stomp Records, Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party is reportedly a collection of psych rock bangers influenced and informed by the likes of The Hives, Bad Nerves, Dead Kennedys, Thee Oh Sees, Idles, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks and Parquet Courts.

Clocking in at 90 seconds, Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party‘s first single “Eyes” is a sweat and beer fueled mosh pit ripper centered around scuzzy power chords, frenetic drumming, rousingly anthemic hooks and Hilborn’s shouts and yelps. Play this one at ear splitting volumes and rock out. You’ll thank me for it.

“Eyes is a song about feeling burnt out creatively, mentally and physically. Something so many of us can relate to, even more so over the past year and a half,” Wine Lips’ Hilborn explains in press notes. “It sheds light on situations where you find yourself powering through the days with different coping methods brought on by late nights, alcohol and promiscuity, and seeing how far you can push the limits of your body before you find yourself defeated and broken down.” 

Directed and filmed by Sammy J. Lewis, the recently released video begins with a woman smoking a cigarette in a seedy, garbage-strewn Toronto alley. The cigarette smoking woman sees a slightly opened garbage bag with a glowing light coming out of it. Curious, the woman opens the bag and dives into a frenzied live performance of the song.

“Sammy had the idea of making it look like the band was playing inside a garbage bag, so we did a classic performance video but tried to make it a little more interesting with crazy fast paced cuts and some added green screen fun,” Wine Lips’ Hilborn says of the video. “It was super fun, super sweaty and we felt like trash by the end of the day.”

New Video: Montreal’s Mort Rose Releases a Trippy DIY Visual for Twangy “Je dois savoir”

Since their formation back in 2016, the Montreal-based psych rock act Mort Rose has established a sound that’s deeply indebted to the sounds of the late 60s — but with a personal yet very modern touch. Goodbye Cowboys, the Montreal psych rockers psych rock sophomore album is slated for a September 10, 2021 release, and the album reportedly sees the act further embracing all things psychedelia.

In the lead up to the album’s release, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s singles:

“Money,” a mid-tempo, trippy song featuring shimmering sitar, guitar, dreamily sung verses, multi-part harmonized choruses and rousingly anthemic hooks before a “Baba O’Riley” meets bluegrass coda. But underneath the tune-out and lift-off vibes, the song is a satirical take on money and cryptocurrency that says “invest all of your money into some crypto and forget the world’s problems. Get rich at all costs, y’all!” 
“On part au soleil,” a song that continues a run of 60s inspired psych rock, featuring dreamily sung verses and choruses, fuzzy power chord-driven riffage and soaring soloing that’s meant to get the listener to tune out and lift off into the stratosphere.

Goodbye Cowboys third and latest single “Je dois savoir is a twangy, country rock take on psych rock that may remind some listeners of a wild mix of The Beach Boys, Exile on Main Street era Rolling Stones, The Byrds and even inner Journey Out era Psychic Ills but with a mischievous, shit-stirring air, an infectious hook and some scorching soloing.

e recently released video for follows the band on a promotional photo shoot in which the members of the band dress up as a hippie cowboys in the countryside. We also see intimate footage of the band in the studio working on the album. There’s also somme fittingly appropriate kaleidoscopic imagery and playful superimpositions that features the individual members of the band riding an exotic animal.