Tag: psych rock

New Video: The Limiñanas Team Up The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe on Lysergic and Menacing “Istanbul Is Sleepy”

Comprised of Marie (drums, vocals) and Lionel (guitar, bass, keys and vocals), the Perpignan, France-based duo The Limiñanas have developed a reputation as one of France’s beloved treasures, as their sound straddles the boundaries of psych rock, shoegaze and yé-yé, paired with fuzzy, distorted and reverb-heavy hooks and effortlessly cool vocals. And while being mischievously anachronistic, the duo manage to do so in an quintessentially French fashion. 

“Istanbul Is Sleepy,” the title track of their forthcoming Istanbul Is Sleepy EP finds the renowned French psych rockers collaborating with The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s influential Anton Newcombe, who contributes guitar and his imitable vocals to the track. And as the members of The Limiñanas recall in press notes, the collaboration can trace its origins to last year, when the folks at Mojo Magazine asked them to contribute a track to a Kinks tribute compilation. “We chose ‘Two Sisters,'” Lionel explains in press notes. “Marie and I were thinking for the vocal part, it would be great to approach Anton Newcombe, having opened for The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Le Trianon in Paris. The work began like that. We had an album to record and we decided to finish it with him. During the Christmas week we took our demos, flew to Berlin and recorded at Anton’s studio. Six days later we had a finished album.” 

Sonically speaking, the French psych rock act’s latest single features an arrangement that consists of  propulsive backbeat, layers of fuzzy guitars, soaring organs and rousing hooks and while possessing a decided garage rock scuzziness, the song has the sort of underlying menace reminiscent of The Black Angels — although interestingly enough, Newcombe was reportedly inspired by Rain-era The Cult. 

Naturally, while the  Jean Luc Moly-directed video is decidedly psychedelic, it also pays subtle homage to French New Wave films thanks to its attention to split screens and bright colors — as it features a zombie-like Anton Newcombe with the members of The Limiñanas performing the song in a persistent rainy backdrop as a man in a suit struts, dances and bops his head to the music. 

Over the past couple of months on this site, I’ve written a bit about the  Oklahoma City, OK-based indie rock/psych rock quartet SPACE4LEASE — and as you may recall, the band, comprised of primary songwriter and founding member Grayson Hamm (keys, lead vocals), along with Walt Blythe (guitar),  Brandon Brewer (bass, vocals) and Wes Belk (drums), can trace their origins to when Hamm, Blythe, Brewer and Belk met while they were all attending the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Although each member comes from a vastly different musical background and influences, their sound manages to be a seamless convergence of their influences including Tame Impala, My Morning Jacket, Big Thief, Andy Shauf and others, while thematically their material focuses on lost love, heartbreak, the unknown and inevitable life experiences.

With the release of their debut EP Hiraeth, an effort that focused on the complicated process of self-discovery, the members of the Oklahoma City-based quartet toured extensively across the Midwest last year, eventually winning the praise of The Flaming Lips‘ Derek Brown, who described them as  “Fellow Okies that wonderfully mix the blissfulness and melancholy of the great wide open.” Building upon the buzz the members of Space4Lease have released a batch of singles off their forthcoming EP Drifting: Must Be Something” one of the first singles I wrote about, was a lush single reminiscent of  JOVM mainstays  Caveman, Los Angeles-based indie rock act Hands and others but bristling with a sense of endless possibility  that can only come from being on the road, and seeing the world open up before your eyes. “Lately,” struck me as drawing from classic, Quiet Storm-era R&B, blue-eyed soul and indie rock in a way that reminds me of Milagres’ exceptional first two albums Glowing Mouth and Violent Light — and much like the material off of those albums, there’s the push and pull of infatuation, lust, love and heartache at the core of a confusing relationship.

Drifting‘s latest single “I Tried Calling” is a slow-burning track that pairs Hamm’s plaintive vocals paired with a lush and haunting arrangement featuring twinkling keys, guitars fed through a series of atmospheric effects — and much like the preceding singles, it’s a deeply personal song that focuses on the frustrating yet necessary ups and downs of a maintaining a relationship and the lingering ghosts of the person you’re no longer with, and of the relationship that’s over.  But what makes the song interesting is that it comes from the perspective of someone, who has a lot more to say to a partner (or ex-partner in the case), who doesn’t seem all that interested in hearing it, and as a result, the song has an underlying bitterness — the bitterness that comes from having a relationship fail and not knowing how or why it happened.

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout its seven-year history, you’d know that I’ve written quite a bit about the Grand Rapids, MI-based psych rock quartet and JOVM mainstays HEATERS. And as you may recall, the band, which formed back in 2014 quickly received a growing national and international profile with their attention grabbing appearance on Stolen Body‘s Vegetarian Meat psych rock compilation. The Grand Rapids, MI-based quartet quickly followed up with the Solstice EP, released through Dizzybird Records and the  “Mean Green” 7 inch.  Renowned, Brooklyn-based indie label Beyond Is Beyond Records released their full-length debut Holy Water Pool to critical applause throughout the blogosphere back in 2015. And with each successive recorded effort, the band began to firmly cement a reputation for crafting a spacey, motorik-like take on West Coast, 60s psych rock and garage rock.

As you may recall, after the release of their sophomore effort Baptistina the band went through a massive lineup change in which the band’s founding members Nolan Krebs and Joshua Korf are currently paired with newest recruits Ryan Hagan and Ben Taber. And interestingly enough “Seance,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming third album Matterhorn retains the gorgeously shimmering guitar lines, propulsive, motorik-like groove and enveloping sound that first caught the attention of this site and the e rest of the blogosphere; however, there’s a noticeably different energy and vibe to the proceedings — simply put, “Seance” reveals a band with a swaggering self-assuredness within what arguably may be their most expansive and ambitious songwriting. Matterhorn‘s second single “Thanksgiving II” continued along a similar vein as its predecessor, as it prominently featured the band’s propensity for crafting tight, motorik grooves paired with shimmering guitar lines and ethereal vocals. But while the song may be among the most trance-inducing they’ve released, it’s also one of the more arena friendly songs they’ve written and released to date, with the song slowly unfurling to reveal its creators’ ambitious and expansive songwriting.

“Kingsday,” Matterhorn‘s third and latest single while possessing the stalwart elements of their sound — towering and shimmering layers of guitar chords and ethereal vocals and a trance-inducing, lysergic vibe, but within its four minute run time, the song reveals an expansive song structure consisting of four subtle yet discernible movements connected by a chugging motorik groove — and interestingly enough, the song may arguably be one of the most decidedly 60s influenced songs they’ve released in quite some time.

Perhaps best known as the lead guitarist of the British indie rock band Howling Bells, Joel Stein, an Australian-born, British-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer/songwriter decided that after four successful albums with the band and a series of world tours with the likes of The Killers and others, that it was time to pursue his own solo work with his recording project Glassmaps .

Stein’s Glassmaps debut, Strangely Addicted was recorded and produced by Stein in the Las Vegas, NV-based home studio of The Killers’ Mark Stoermer, where Joel was staying while recording with Howling Bells. And while staying with Stoermer, Stein found a soundproofed room filled with random instruments — tubular bells, a double bass, a three-stringed banjo, vintage guitars and an old Telefunken microphone on which he recorded vocals.  And the end result was material that finds Stein, employing both electronic and organic instrumentation on punchy, hook-driven material that’s nods at 60s psych pop and psych rock and 70s AM radio rock while thematically the songs draw on his personal experiences while focusing on universal themes — love, loss, life, etc. Interestingly enough, the album features guest spots by The Killers’ Mark Stoermer, who plays bass on album single “Summer Rain,” and Howling Bells’ Glenn Moule, who contributes drumming throughout the entire album. “I took my laptop into that soundproofed room and didn’t really sleep for two weeks,” Joel recalls. “I would wake Glenn in the early hours of the morning to drum on tracks I had just finished. He’d sleepwalk his way to the kit and just nail it every time!”

“Hypnotised” is breezy symphonic pop with multi-part harmonies that nods at Sgt. Pepper-era The Beatles and ELO with soaring hook that quickly throws a trippy curveball as the song suddenly turns into a hazy psychedelia with an impressive guitar solo but while being clearly under-pinned by an old-timey vibe, the song possesses a swooning romanticism; after all, the song is about a beguiling woman, who seemingly casts a spell on the song’s narrator. But along with that, the song reveals some rather ambitious songwriting.  “The sonic inspiration varies from classical music to 70’s music,” Stein explains. “I was adamant in making a very organic record, I missed the sound of guitars, especially guitar solos.”

 

Comprised of long-time friends Adrian Ceballos (drums and vocals), Daniel Fernandez (bass and vocals), Mario Zamora (keyboard and vocals), Sergio Ceballos (guitar and vocals), and Miguel Rosón (guitar and vocals), the members of the Madrid, Spain-based psych rock quintet Melange are among their hometown’s most accomplished musicians, as each individual member can claim stints in locally renowned acts Lüger, RIPKC, and Bucles and others, and although the band formed back in 2014, the psych rock band derives their name from the name of the spice that makes intergalactic travel, telepathy and longevity possible in Frank Herbert’s sci-fi saga Dune.

The quintet brashly emerged into both the Madrid and Spanish music scenes with their self-released full-length effort, a double LP that featured a deeply conceptual narrative, which was the result of a creative processed inspired by and fueled by the diverse, personal experiences of the members of the band and thematically focused on evolution, comprehension and transformation through music while sonically drawing from prog rock, psych rock and folk.

Thanks to critical praise from the likes of El Pais, Mondo Sonoro, Sol Musica, and Ruta 66 as well as airplay from Radio 3, the Madrid-based psych rock quintet wound up playing at some of their homeland’s best known venues and music festivals including Low Festival, Sonogram Festival, Sala Stereo Festival, Sala Planta Baja, Festival Noroeste, Festival Wos, Fueu Festival and others. Building upon a breakthrough 2016, the members of Melange spent most of this year touring and writing and recording the material, which would comprise their highly-anticipated, Carlos Diaz-produced sophomore effort Viento Bravo, an effort that was recorded in all-analog, live to tape at Gismo 7 Studios in Motril, Spain and Phantom Power in Madrid Spain.

Interestingly, the band’s sophomore effort reportedly finds the band refining the prog rock meets psych rock and folk sound of its predecessor. In fact, as you’ll hear on “Rio Revelto,” the first single off the band’s sophomore effort, the band’s sound is reminiscent of JOVM mainstays Boogarins, Junip and Jose Gonzales, as the song possesses a breezy, tropicalia-influenced vibe but thanks to an expansive, time signature shifting song structure, consisting of four distinct sections held together by a propulsive bass line and some incredibly dexterous guitar playing, the band’s sound also nods at The Yes Album-era Yes. And from this single, the Madrid-based psych rockers will add their names to a growing list of diverse Spanish bands, who have achieved some level of success Stateside.

Renowned psych rock label Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records will be releasing Viento Bravo on November 17, 2017.

 

 

 

New Video: The Lysergic Sounds and Visuals of Beaches’ “Arrow”

Comprised of Antonia Sellbach (guitar, vocals), Alison Bolger (guitar, vocals), Ali McCann (guitar vocals), Gil Tucker (bass, vocals) and Karla Way (drums, vocals), the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock quintet Beaches formed in 2007, and since their formation the quintet have developed an international profile for their critically applauded 2008 self-titled debut and 2013’s sophomore effort She Beats both of which drew from psych rock, shoegaze, prog rock and krautrock — with both albums being shortlisted for their respective years’ Australian Music Prize. 

Second of Spring, the Aussie psych quintet’s third full-length album is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Chapter Music — and interestingly enough, the album is the first double LP released by an individual artist/band in the label’s history. Recorded in their hometown of Melbourne with producer/engineer John Lee, who has worked with Totally Mild and Lost Animal, and mastered by David Walker, the Melbourne-based psych rockers third album reportedly finds the band expanding upon the sound that won them international praise and attention but with material that emphasizes a jam-like feel.  Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this summer, you may recall that I wrote about Second of Spring’s first single “Void,” which featured buzzing power chords with a motorik groove and anthemic hook. And interestingly enough, the track reminded me quite a bit of The Breeders “Last Splash,” Liz Phair‘s “Supernova” and others but with a swirling, lysergic feel; but as the band’s Ali McCann explained to Vice Noisey “‘Void’ is a conversation between two people, who discuss a prolonged absence, a temporary disappearance into a space of emptiness. We wrote ‘Void’ in our rehearsal space in Reservoir (Melbourne) during a prolific period of songwriting. It was produced by John Lee (Phaedra Studios), who also plays synthesiser on this track. Karla and I are on vocals. There is a restrained interaction between them, tempered by the motorik drive of the instrumentation.”

The album’s second and latest single “Arrow” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as it features buzzing power chords and a chugging, motorik groove and an anthemic hook under-pinned by a breezy, ethereal melody — and while clearly nodding at 90s alt rock, the song subtly nods at 60s psych rock. And fittingly, the recently released music video for the song features some incredibly trippy, psychedelic imagery — including an extended section in which shapes explode and change color and rearrange themselves in front of the viewer, in exact beat to the song, before briefly panning out to show one of the band members standing in front of projection screen or a hand manipulating things. 

Last month, I wrote about the  Oklahoma City, OK-based indie rock/psych rock quartet SPACE4LEASE. Comprised of primary songwriter and founding member Grayson Hamm (keys, lead vocals), along with Walt Blythe (guitar),  Brandon Brewer (bass, vocals) and Wes Belk (drums), the Oklahoman indie rockers can trace their origins to when Hamm met his bandmates while they were all attending the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. And although they all had vastly different musical backgrounds and differing musical tastes, the band’s sound manages to be a convergence of all of their influences including Tame Impala, My Morning Jacket, Big Thief, Andy Shauf and others; however, unlike their eclectic influences, their material lyrically focuses on lost love, the unknown, and inevitable life experiences. With the release of their debut EP Hiraeth, an effort that focused on the complicated process of self-discovery, the members of the Oklahoma City-based quartet toured extensively across the Midwest last year, eventually winning the praise of The Flaming Lips‘ Derek Brown, who described them as  “Fellow Okies that wonderfully mix the blissfulness and melancholy of the great wide open.”

And as you may recall “Must Be Something” was a moody and atmospheric bit of psych rock that featured some lush, shimmering guitar work, a sinuous and propulsive bass line and a rousingly anthemic hook that reminded me of JOVM mainstays  Caveman, Los Angeles-based indie rock act Hands and others but inspired by the endless possibility of the road, of the profound sensation of being “a man from far away,” seeing, eating, experiencing things you’d never expect and how it can change and influence your life. As the band’s Grayson Hamm explained in press notes, “Coming from a small town, I never had the experience of the big city life, but surprisingly it wasn’t these destinations that intrigued me the most. It was the journey, and the miles, and time it took to get there. Once we were out on the road all by ourselves just driving and seeing the countryside, this quest of finding myself really started to take effect. This is where the premise of the chorus let alone the whole song comes into play. ‘There must be something in the way how, there’s nothing standing in our way now.’ I started to realize that the only barrier that was standing in the way was myself. The world was just waiting for me.”

The band’s latest single “Lately” finds the band drawing from classic, Quiet Storm-era R&B, indie rock and blue eyed soul in a way that reminds me of Milagres’ exceptional first two albums Glowing Mouth and Violent Light — and much like the material off of those albums, there’s the push and pull of infatuation, lust, love and heartache at the core of a confusing relationship that at times is unrequited and other times is requited; but as the band’s primary songwriter Grayson Hamm notes, there’s also an underlying questioning of one’s own worth, which love can make you do on occasion. As he explains in press notes,  “The lyrics came to me one day after experiencing the all-too-common feeling of falling for someone without reciprocation. The truth is, I didn’t know what I was getting into and probably will never fully understand it. We have all experienced that uncomfortable moment in which we have stronger feelings for someone than they have for us, even if we refuse to admit it out of embarrassment or shame. I’ve reached the point multiple times in my life where I ask the question, ‘Who I am to you? How does this person see me compared to how I see them?’ This cyclical pattern is emotionally exhausting, so I decided to channel these feelings the best way I know how: though the process of songwriting. ‘Lately’ is all about asking these difficult questions. Sometimes it is more helpful to look introspectively rather than to direct the questions toward the one we might be falling for.”

 

New Video: Introducing the Lysergic-Inspired Visuals and Scuzzy Garage Psych Sounds of Sweden’s Baby Jesus

Comprised of founding members Fredrik Kristoffersson (guitar, vocals) and Elis Jäghammar (bass, vocals), along with Björn Axetorn (guitar) and Rasmus Högdin (drums), the Halmstad, Sweden-based quartet Baby Jesus can trace its origins to when its founding members spent several years playing in a variety of local metal and hardcore punk rock bands. Axetorn and Högdin were recruited to flesh out the project’s sound and although their sound draws from garage rock and psych rock, the material on their debut was recorded as a series of live takes in their own studio, capturing a feral, punk rock energy and paired it with fuzzy, garage psych rock. And the band quickly followed that up with tours across Sweden, France and other parts of the European Union.

Interestingly, the band’s sophomore effort, Took Our Sons Away is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Yippee Ki Yay Records and the album, which reportedly has the band actively capturing their live sound, finds the band exploring new moods, lyrical narratives and textures, all while retaining the scuzzy and fuzzy garage punk of the preceding album; in fact, as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “The Beat,” the Swedish quartet pairing a propulsive backbeat with layers of scuzzy power chords and howled vocals, complete with a feral and forceful immediacy and a piss, vinegar and whiskey-fueled fury. 

Shot with what looks like a combination of old VHS tape and faded Instagram filters, the recently released video for the single features footage of the band playing a show somewhere in front of psychedelic projections, hanging out and being aimless and rocking out hard and general punk rock shenanigans. 

Live Footage: Tame Impala Performs “Love/Paranoia” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Initially developed as the solo recording project of its  Melbourne, Australia-based creative mastering, the multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer/songwriter Kevin Parker, Tame Impala quickly received national and international attention with the release of Innerspeaker and Lonerism. Parker’s third and most current full-length effort, Currents was released to critical praise two years ago, and from album singles “Cause I’m a Man” and “Let It Happen” reflected a decided change in Parker’s songwriting approach with the result being some of the most emotionally direct material he’s written to date. Along with that, sonically Parker expands upon the sound that has won him both national and international attention, with album material drawing from synth pop, prog rock and R&B, creating not only a modern take on psych pop, but also a much more nuanced, textured sound. 

After playing a critically applauded Panorama Festival set at the end of July, Parker and his touring band made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where they performed the slow-burning and ethereal “Love/Paranoia,” a track that draws equally from synth pop, R&B and psych pop simultaneously; but underneath the shimmering and glistening surface is a plaintive plea from a severely screwed up man that has let his insecurities and petty jealousies (among other things) interfere in a meaningful relationship, and naturally, the song is an earnest plea for forgiveness; but unlike countless other songs based around a similar experience and emotion, there’s a sense that the song’s narrator recognizes that he has potentially fucked things up for good — and a result, the pleading possesses a sincere urgency. 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past two years or so of its seven year history, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on the Grand Rapids, MI-based psych rock quartet HEATERS. Formed back in 2014, the Grand Rapids-based quartet began to make a name for themselves with the release of a handful of homemade EPs, a couple of split records and an attention grabbing appearance on Stolen Body‘s Vegetarian Meat psych rock compilation. Building upon a growing profile, the band’s Solstice EP was released through Dizzybird Records and they quickly followed that up within the following year with the “Mean Green” 7 inch and their full-length debut Holy Water Pool both of which were released through renowned, Brooklyn-based indie label Beyond Is Beyond Records.  And with each of those efforts, the band receive greater and greater acclaim — as well as a growing international profile — for a spacey, motorik-like take on West Coast, 60s psych rock and garage rock.

After the release of their sophomore full-length release Baptistina the band went through a massive lineup change in which the band’s founding members Nolan Krebs and Joshua Korf are paired with newest recruits Ryan Hagan and Ben Taber. And you’ll hear on “Seance,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming, third full-length Matterhornthe band retains the gorgeous and shimmering guitar lines and propulsive, motorik-like groove and enveloping sound that first caught the attention of the this site and the rest of the blogosphere; however, there’s a noticeably different energy and vibe to the material: a swaggering self-assuredness rooted behind an even larger, oceanic-like sound within expansive and ambitious songwriting.