LA-based four piece GOON have today shared “Garden of our Neighbour“, the latest single from their upcoming two-part EP Paint By Numbers, set to be released on February 25th. The title of the new single was also used by the band as an acronym for the bands name for a secret show last year.
The rich sonic textures of “Garden Of Our Neighbour” are one of its greatest assets. Swirling synthesisers and hypnotic guitar lines allow you to become lost in the soundscape they create. Fusing elements of slow core, shoegaze, vaporwave, field recordings and psychedelia, GOON create a memory evoking and transportive three and a half minute trip through their colourful and ever-shifting world.
Kenny Becker of GOON said about the track:
“it’s like our version of “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath, or “Minor Threat” by Minor Threat, “Meat Puppets” by Meat Puppets, “Bad Company” by Bad Company. I wrote and recorded this song entirely in one night. I met up with our drummer, Andy at our rehearsal spot that day, recorded him drumming along to a simple midi chord progression, had the chords on a loop, and record him drumming into the Tascam 5 minutes at a time…..I got really excited by the idea of having strong contrast between intimate small vocals and massive synths and drums. Vocally, I was really going for a Sparklehorse vibe: up close, super dry, not double-tracked. Not something I’ve really tried much before, but I love how it came out”
London-based, pan-continental female instrumental four-piece, Los Bitchos, have shared their latest single and video, “Good To Go!”, taken from their upcoming debut album Let The Festivities Begin!, set to be released on February 4th via City Slang Records. Pre-order here. The new single comes with a video directed by Tom Mitchell and stars Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand.
An ambient jazz chord strike opens the track, with a mood that reminisces in the sounds of Twin Peaks. Shuffling into the band’s known and beloved mix of disco-funk, surf and Turkish-psych, they capture a sound that is both breezy and bold. Listening as you walk down the streets puts a confident strut in your stride that you know is drawing the attention of everybody.
Los Bitchos said the following of the video:
“Trapped in a surreal courtroom gameshow and spinning the wheel of fortune for our freedom. This song has always made us think of a 70s game show with its light, fun mood coupled with an intriguing western style intro. We got all our friends to be our jury and our producer Alex to host/judge the show. We had so much fun making this video.”
Australian psych-rock four piece The Lazy Eyes have announced their debut album Songbook, set to be released early 2022 and shared new single “Fuzz Jam”, the first single from the album. Listening to it feels like a journey through various depths of your psyche, each becoming more enchanting and elaborate as you go deeper. It’s as though the effects boards of King Gizzard had and Tame Impala had a love child. The new album follows on from EP1 and EP2, released in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Speaking about the new single vocalist Harvey Geraghty said:
“I wrote ‘Fuzz Jam’ to use this instrument that Itay bought live. It’s this Hohner Pianet T, and we really wanted a harder track to play on it.”
Listen to the new single below!
A press release said of the new album:
“SongBook is strange like that – all journey and all destination, a decidedly modern marvel of psych-rock that’s unpretentious in construction but precious where it counts. Since their undeniable breakthrough in 2020, The Lazy Eyes have become emblematic torchbearers of the next generation of Australia’s psych-rock scene, their reputation and talent spreading like word of mouth wildfire across projects, EP1 and EP2, include the hits ‘Where’s My Brain???’ and ‘Cheesy Love Song’.”
Brothers Andy & Edwin White aka Tonstartssbandht have shared “Pass Away“, the second single from upcoming album Petunia, out October 22nd via Mexican Summer. This follows on from “What Has Happened” released last month.
The harmonies and intertwining melodies of the brothers’ music continues to flow within a space of its own. A silver sheen glosses over the top of each element of this track, allowing each element to feel as smooth as the last; nothing overpowering rather riding together in a wave of pure bliss. Each passage of the track shifts into the next seamlessly, as if you are continually entering a new realm of sound in each moment.
They have also shared a self-recorded video edited by Adrian Randall.”Long time music video enjoyer, first time mimer. Miming is pretty hard! Respect to all the mimes. We shot this one day in September 2021 in NYC.” says Andy White of the video.
Empath today release a video for their new single “Born 100 Times”, and the first new music they’ve shared since 2019’s Active Listening: Night on Earth.
On the track, Catherine Elicson’s razor sharp delivery serves as a counterweight to the instrumental onslaught. “‘Born 100 Times’ is structurally very simple, consisting of a couple of hooks and a verse sung overtop of two repeated chords. I imagined a restructured pop song, having it start instantly with the hook and then eventually reaching a verse. While the lyrics are a somewhat spiritual reflection on devotion and power in one’s life, an isolating and very internal experience, the video offers a different viewpoint,” Elicson says.
“The video began as an idea Randall had of us showing up with cameras at the New York State fair. There’s something beautiful and nostalgic about a fair we wanted to try and capture. Two friends, Halle Ballard and Johnny Costa, filmed us having real, uninhibited fun running around, eating fried food, absolutely dominating the carnival games, drinking countless wine slushies, getting spun around on rides, and just enjoying being together. It was a much needed night of leisure at the end of a long summer spent preparing for the next phase of Empath. The video is a document of this special moment in time for us. United together, we left behind the isolating, internal struggles of our lives and connected to the real world outside of ourselves.”
La Luz have today announced their self-titled debut album, La Luz, set to be released on October 22nd via Hardly Art. Pre-order here. The band have also shared “Watching Cartoons”, which will appear on the upcoming album.
Listen to the new single below!
1. In the Country 2. The Pines 3. Watching Cartoons 4. Oh, Blue 5. Goodbye Ghost 6. Yuba Rot 7. Metal Man 8. Lazy Eyes and Dune 9. Down the Street 10. I Won’t Hesitate 11. Here on Earth 12. Spider House
The Lazy Eyes have shared “The Island”, the last single from their upcoming EP2, out tomorrow July 16th. This follows on from previously released single “Where’s My Brain???” which will also appear on the new EP.
The Australian 4-piece continue their run of psychedelic mind-benders that twist and turn at every corner on the new single. Starting with melancholic lo-fi textures that evoke the feeling of POND’s Man It Feels Like Space Again before descending into an acoustic riptide of phased out guitar lines and spacey vocals. It’s only when the track reaches its instrumental break do you realise the full potential of Lazy Eyes. Kicking back in with Sabbath-worthy fuzzed out guitars and screeching guitar lines the band bring out every psychedelic trope in the book, and it works.
On the track the band said:
“’The Island’ was written about a place where none of The Lazy Eyes band members have been in real life, and acts as the sequel to ‘The Seaside’ from EP1. It’s an imaginary island that is a sort of utopia but is also filled with mystery. The writing process and a demo recording took place in Harvey’s childhood bedroom, he recalls, ‘all I remember was recording a terrible demo on GarageBand and really struggling to sing it because I had a cold that day. It’s interesting to hear the demo these days because you can hear the parts before they were refined as a result of playing the song over and over live.’”
Psychedelic rock band Crumb, made up of Lila Ramani, Bri Aronow, Jesse Brotter, and Jonathan Gilad have returned with a new track. “Trophy” arrives with a new music video directed by Haoyan of America and featuring animations by Truba Animation.
On “Trophy” Crumb leans into similar woozy textures that were found all over their debut Jinx. Through driving beats and jazzy bass lines the band seeks to delve into the heavier aspect of their sound, as the track progresses the distortion slowly seeps in until Ramani’s dead pan vocals are almost unintelligible yet still vibrantly rich.
It’s not often that an album comes into fruition with such a rich background to it, not only from the musical side of it but the landmark achievement of where it came from. Over the last 7 years London based label Speedy Wunderground have slowly built a cult following in the underground, and of late mainstream, independent music scene. Spearheaded by producer extraordinaire Dan Carey, who produced both of Fontaines D.C.’s albums, Black Midi’s multi-dimensional debut Schlagenheim and DEWEY‘s upcoming two part album Sóller, to name a few amongst a plethora of other sonically challenging and pioneering albums. Gaining attention for their consistently diverse and high quality run of 7″ singles from artists such as Kate Tempest, PVA and Black Country, New Road as well their yearly compilations, Speedy Wunderground have quickly become one of the founding pillars in contemporary independent music. They’ve now taken the next natural step and released their first full length album as a label, and Positive Mental Health Music is quite the opening chapter to their ongoing story.
The main messaging behind this album is simply, really nice, uplifting music that puts a positive influence into mental health and tries to relate the often mundane feelings of depression and anxiety into the stories they tell. “And everyone I know is doing better than me, They say “Josh you’re doing the best that you can”, Well I spent most of the time, Feeling like the laziest man” declares lead singer Josh Loftin on opener “Buddha” as he diarises his daily struggle with motivation and self-doubt. It’s this level of intimacy that can be found sewn throughout this album that hones in the home-grown feel of it. The stories are raw and unaltered, allowing them to be as genuine as possible. “I Feel Fine” was the first official single released by the London based 5-piece last year and is “a song about discovering sexual freedom through finding yourself in deep meditation” as Loftin puts it. And this freedom comes in the form of a timeless psych-pop banger. Hazy soundscapes, vintage instrumentation and catchy tongue-in-cheek chorus lines of “Dicks in the sky, Vaginas in my mind” perfectly accentuate this liberation in a more than joyous fashion. It’ll be quite the feat to hear this chorus live with the chants coming back with it.
This simplistic and almost downplayed sound carries through for most of the album. There’s never really too much variation when it comes to the bands sonic palette. Favouring their tried and true mix of punchy bass, fluttering drums, overstated lead guitar and wobbly synthesisers. Coming straight out of the 60’s psychedelic era, this sound will be familiar to many but thanks to Tiña’s forward thinking messages laid over the top of it, it has been brought graciously into a new generation. There are however moments when it feels as if this sound could do with a bit more depth and flavour, especially coming from a producer who is renowned for his sonic experimentation. The messaging of “New Boi” is as potent as the rest of the album, dealing with the struggles of body images. But the sparse and loose sound has been heard so often at this point in the album that it could just do with that little extra sparkle or magic to make it really stand out. The vibrancy does appear however, and takes you by surprise when it does. “Growing In Age” descends from a gloomy almost western slow burner into a full emancipation of chaos and punk stylings as the feeling of growing older becomes too much to handle for Loftin, delivering one of his most powerful vocal performances of the album. And the monochrome feeling of depression is fully realised on “It’s No Use” as the dragging, drawn out chords and swirling melancholic landscapes perfectly capture the emotion of lying in bed, watching the world go by outside your window. The monotony of this feeling lies deep in the lyrics as well, the only description they give of their surroundings are “The handle has broken off the door”, “There was a dog by the door” and “Blue velvet blanket on the door”. Capturing the confining feeling of only staring at your door, with that literally being the only thing you see throughout the day.
I may be as bold as to say that this album stands as a cultural landmark, made in part by both the band and the label. Tiña have crafted a gloriously uplifting collection of songs to inspire and connect with the often disconnected. It may not be the most expansive sound out there at the moment but leans more on its lyrical content and messaging. But the bigger picture comes from the achievement of Dan Carey and Speedy Wunderground as they’ve further cemented themselves as the label to be. Now with that crucial first album under their belt, who knows where they will go next. Big things lay ahead for both parties involved here and this is just the beginning.
Jay Watson certainly doesn’t take a break. When’s he’s not being a full time member of member of both Tame Impala and POND, or even producing music, he somehow finds time to write songs for his own project, GUM. Releasing his debut solo album ‘Delorean Highway’ way back in 2014, he’s since dropped 3 other albums that ride the spectral wave of psych rock, funk, soul and electronic music. The latest being 2018’s ‘The Underdog’ which saw Watson get his most introspective. If you’ve ever listened to a GUM album after listening to a POND album it’s clear to hear what influence Watson brings to the table, from his falsetto melodies to prog-rock influenced riffs.
On ‘Out In The World’ Watson takes it back to those early days of ‘Delorean Highway’ with more folk inspired guitar passages whilst still keeping his colourful palette of swirling synthesisers throughout. He’s also put together some of his most prog inspired psych bangers of his catalogue. The track ‘Don’t Let It Go Out’ moves from folk guitar leads and heavy electronic funk bass lines to an all out psych rager. As the synthesisers swirl the heavy driving beat kicks in to lead into a euphoric chorus line, powered by sailing synth lines and dynamic harmonies. This hard hitting sound and groove has been found before on occasional moments on POND and GUM albums but never in this plentitude. Title track ‘Out In The World’ and ‘Many Tears To Cry’ also build on this sound and bring out some of Watson’s most heartfelt and sonically emotional tracks to date. With the latter being dowsed in 70’s rock nostalgia through its swaying harmonies and guitar slides. Although on closer ‘You Make Your Own Luck’ the song builds through mellotron piano lines, crooning vocal lines and descending melodies all to what feels like should be a big pay off. But instead it all fades and is brought back into a yacht-rock piano riff and some scatty jazz vocals that feels jarring and a bit of an underwhelming finish to an album of big moments.
Watson doesn’t just stick to one style though, as there’s also call backs to some of the more left-field early POND and GUM works. Like on ‘Alphabet Soup’ with its heavily phased vocals and and a groovy bass line that wouldn’t feel out of place on Watson’s sophomore album ‘Glamorous Damage’. The synth line and vocal melody move along side each like a ‘Mind Fuzz’ era King Gizzard song, and although it’s not the most expansive song on the album it places like a signature brush stroke of a GUM album. There’s also the almost trap sounding beat of ‘Airwalkin’ which might have one the hardest grooves of any GUM song to date. And through whichever style or sonic avenues Watson chooses the production remains consistently vibrant and rich wether it be through the layers of synths the are ever present or the punchy bass lines of ‘Weightless In L.A.’. Not only does Watson expand on his signature style but allows it to flourish, whilst taking some hints from a certain Kevin Parker as he stacks huge expanses of sound on top of each other; something his bandmate has become notorious for.
I also feel inclined to mention the ‘phaser hits’ that appear throughout, a particular production favourite of Watson’s. And on this outing I counted around 10 different instances of the effect being used within this album, which at points became slightly obnoxious with their repetition. There are also a couple of songs that suffer from this repetition and lack of movement. ‘The Thrill Of Doing It Right’ and ‘Low To Low’ start with an idea or melody and seem to carry it through the whole way of the song. There are instances on both where they find a groove and have their big explosive moments but don’t offer the progression or songwriting grandeur of some of their counterparts.
It’s definitely impressive to think what Jay Watson has accomplished in his career already at 3o. Being part of two of the biggest psych-rock acts of the last 10 years, whilst not being the poster-boy for either, his influence has been felt throughout the modern pysch scene. In 2018 he self proclaimed himself as ‘The Underdog’ but now he’s proven that maybe the spotlights ready for him as he delivers the songs to prove it.