A few month’s back, we shared with you the sounds of UK psych band New Electric Ride, who will release their debut full-length next week on Beyond Beyond is Beyond. Sunderland, England, where the band members hail from, is a river town situated at the mouth of the River Wear. It was here that these lads came to form their shared love of tampuras, leslie speakers and psychedelic sounds, likely inspired by the sound of the river. The artist L. S. Lowry, was similarly drawn to Sunderland’s river setting.
Much has been written about the connection between our natural surroundings and the music we create (see The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wildest Places), but one aspect of the natural world that has influenced perhaps more music than any other is the river. See, rivers have not only inspired the sound of music, but have also influenced its history. “When the Levee Breaks,” the song originally written by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie and later recorded by Led Zeppelin, chronicles the 1927 Mississippi flood that accelerated the great northward migration of African Americans to cities like Chicago, where the Delta Blues got plugged in and eventually became rock ‘n’ roll. The Tennessee River is said to have been a large part of why the legendary Muscle Shoals recording studio turned out the magic that it did. As Townes Van Zandt sings in the “Texas River Song,” “there’s many a river that waters a land.”
New Electric Ride’s Balloon Age, no doubt, taps into the energy of the river. Through twelve tracks, the album flows seamlessly through a library of genres, ala the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, with moments of Byrd-sian greatness and elements of Nektar-ian prog. Touching on both classic and contemporary psychedelic sounds, the name New Electric Ride seems perfectly fitting for the journey in which they provide.
Pre-order Balloon Age via Beyond Beyond is Beyond.
Habibi, which translates to “my love” in Arabic, is a band of all-female garage rockers out of Brooklyn that formed in the spring months of 2011. With a shared love for Middle Eastern Culture, punk, motown and garage rock, members Erin Campbell, Rahill Jamalifard, Lenny Lynch and Karen Vasquez cross the sounds of bands like The Shangri-Las and The Ramones and The Marvelettes with Eastern-tinged melodies and mystical lyrics that sound like they were recorded in ’60s Detroit. There’s even some songs which feature Jamalifard singing in her native language, Farsi. It’s deep and it’s out now on Burger Records.
Early last year, California native Morgan Delt self-released a very limited 6-song cassette titled Psychic Death Hole, which offered up the first taste of his unique home-recorded psych experiments. Today, Trouble in Mind releases his his debut self-titled album, building those initial experiments into a psychedelic masterpiece that traverses nearly every corner of the genre’s 40 year history. Essential references like The Byrds, Love and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band arise frequently throughout, but Delt goes beyond, employing distant eastern melodies, tribal hand percussion and Faust inspired kraut journeys, all of which mesh together in an interweaving web of distorted, fuck-up sound. It’s as though Delt has studied the inners of psychedelia since its very beginnings, learned the formulas and techniques to recreate its best moments, and then ran them all through a half broken cassette player. The album as a whole is warped—at times it can even sound like you’re hearing a band like White Fence coming through the particle board walls of the bathroom at a DIY venue, while others recall the likes of R. Stevie Moore’s lo fi recordings. Throughout the entire album, Delt’s music ebbs and it flows in an acid-drenched river of psychedelia–unstuck in time, unfettered by rule, organically and vibrantly alive.
Purchase Morgan Delt via Trouble in Mind.
Just the other day, I was discussing with a friend the excellent production work heard on Kevin Morby’s debut solo album, Harlem River. About an hour later, completely by coincidence, the man responsible for that production work, Rob Barbato (Darker My Love), dropped a new track he’s been working on in me mailbox. This one comes from Columbus, OH-based singer-songwriter Andrew Graham and his Swarming Branch project. The song, “Rock and Roll #61,” is featured on a new 10″ single and seems to channel Gene Ween’s vocal stylings with a touch of Schmilsson on the side.
Purchase the 10″ single/digital release featuring “Rock and Roll #61″ b/w “Candlestick Boogie” via White Iris Records.
Before moving back to Toronto earlier this year, I remember scoping out the local music scene and coming across Optical Sounds—a independent Toronto label fixated on the burgeoning Great Northern psych community. It was here that I first discovered the Sun Stone Revolvers (formerly The Revolvers), a band that took little time to make their way to the top of my “list of bands to see” once I got back to my hometown. Not long after my return, I was lucky enough to catch a show put together by the good folks at Exhale Presents and to say it was a nice welcoming would be an understatement. A true rock band at the core, Sun Stone Revolvers venture through a range of sounds from spaced-out, dark-psych territory to blissed-out tribal chants to motorik, kraut-inspired grooves. And they look fucking cool doing it too. You can stream their most recent album, Spaceship X, below or purchase it on vinyl/CD via Optical Sounds.
A couple weeks back, Anna Mayberry—of Toronto sludge-punk band HSY—put out a solo three track EP under the name ANAMAI. Stepping out from the murk of her other project, this new avenue finds Mayberry softly crooning over sparse psychedelic atmospheres–ones that would find themselves right at home alongside those of MV & EE and their extended family of bands. You can stream the entire EP below or purchase the MP3s here. Cassettes are available at select record stores around Toronto.
When Real Estate released their debut album on Woodsist in 2009, at the time, the sound of the average white, suburbia-bred “indie” band in Brooklyn was fairly defined—tossed-off, alternative-ish rock with a lot of simple chords played rather quickly. But after Real Estate came onto the scene, things took a noticeable turn. Few could have predicted their influence on the mass of suburban adolescents with the means to purchase their own home recording setups. Over the next year or so, bands in Brooklyn began sharing tones with Yo La Tengo and The Feelies, while Matt Mondanile’s guitar playing inspired more than a few guitarists to replicate his slithery, reverb-drenched lines. In 2011, it was almost strange to see a review of a new “indie” album that failed mention its connection or similarity to Real Estate’s underwater pop sound.
It’s been a few years now since all of this happened. And, as with any fad, the genuine ones are those that remain. Take for example New York-based band Shorts, who mine a similar well of aquatic, lo-fi pop heard on Real Estate’s debut LP. The group has just recently emerged onto the scene, but already have an upcoming cassette being released on the much-loved Night-People records. Little else is known, but you can be one of the early discoverers by checking them out live tomorrow night at Glasslands when they play our show with Coke Weed and Andrew Cedermark.
Baltimore’s Other Colors have been mining the well of “exploratory pop” music for the past few years, putting out home recordings driven by infectious melodies, vocal harmonies and atmospheric lo-fi production. Comprised of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Will Ryerson on guitar and vocals, Pat Berberich on bass guitar and vocals, and Dan Whatley on keyboard, guitar and vocals, the group teamed up with members of Dope Body and Wye Oak for their latest album, Free Thoughts, now available digitally and on cassette via Genpop. Stream it below.
Other Colors play our co-presented show in Toronto tomorrow night alongside Jacco Gardner and company. Details HERE.
From Canada’s prairie region hail Calgary, Albert’s Devionian Gardens—the latest addition to the already-stacked Beyond Beyond is Beyond roster. Formerly named Deadhorse, the group exudes a powerfully eclectic interplay between its members including hoodoo guitar master Danny Vescarelli, hand instrument mage Jennifer Crighton, paisley child Marie Sulkowski, tonal shaman Ryan Bourne and rarified pattern master Melissa McWilliams. Like their label brethren, Devonian show many faces throughout the album as they traverse through West Coast inspired psych-folk, raved-up blues rock and arena-size psych jams that venture into deep space–sometimes within a single song (“Night Beams”). For their forthcoming album, Solar Shifting, the group ventured to the secluded forests of Nova Scotia where they recorded along with analog wizard Jay Crocker. Solar Shifting, the second full-length album by Devonian Gardens, comes out October 1st via Beyond Beyond is Beyond.
Our Solar System is a newly formed 10 piece musical collective—featuring members of Dungen, Life on Earth!, The Amazing, Me and My Kites and more—in which each musician represents an element of our solar system, whether it be a planet, an astroid belt or Pluto. Illustrating a journey through space, each planet was described in a few keywords, a fusion of the members’ mutual associations based on emotion and poetry rather than science. These keywords thus became the score they’ve been working on since.
On October 29, the good people at Beyond Beyond is Beyond will release Our Solar System’s debut album, Vårt Solsystem, recorded live one hot summer afternoon in the amphitheater at Raven mountain in Vårberg, and one cold November night at a magical party in an old movie theater in Kärrtorp. Each song is also named after an element in our solar system—many of the Swedish titles share the same spelling as their English equivalents, while others like “Asteroidbältet” aren’t too hard to decipher—drawing comparison to Miles Davis’ far out sonic journeys on Bitches Brew, as well as Alice Coltrane, Acid Mothers Temple, and Can.
Our Solar System is a community without a leader, a floating crowd of people, where everyone who wants to be part of creating within these cosmic frames are welcome. The dream is to one day see representatives of Our Solar System around the world, illustrating the concept in all the arts in all kinds of contexts for all kinds of audiences. Only your imagination sets the limits!
Listen to the first track (or planet), “Mars,” below.
As many of you know, Dog Gone Presents moved headquarters from New York to Toronto earlier this year. Having been here for several months now, we’ve had a good amount of time to survey the local music scene and one of our greatest discoveries is a local psych rock band called Milk Lines.
Interestingly enough, it was actually in New York that we were first introduced to the band’s guitarist/vocalist Jeff Clarke, who was on tour with Acid Baby Jesus at the time leading his other Montreal-based group Hell Shovel (he also formerly played in Montreal’s Demonclaws). After that show, I was so impressed with Hell Shovel that I decided to reach out to try and connect when we both made it back to the other side of the border. When I finally got in touch with Jeff several months later, he told me to come check out a new band band he had formed now that he was living in Toronto. My first impression was that this band is good. Really good—like Toronto’s answer to White Fence. My second was that Jeff has monster hands that seem to claw at the guitar ala Neil Young. They’ve (the band, not the hands) got the garage-y rawness of Hell Shovel with the added female vocal edge of Emily Frances that recalls a less polished, slightly darker Quilt. Throw it all together with a bit of country twang and you have Milk Lines. Listen to their only recording, taped live at one of their recent shows, below.
Stay tuned for a Dog Gone Presents announcement bearing their name in the coming days!
Montibus Communitas hail from the Peruvian city of Lima, situated in the valleys between the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers. Translated in English as ‘Mountain Community,’ the group largely exists as a spiritual collective, creating devotional music to their natural surroundings since 2010. They recently released a collection of four extended instrumental journeys, titled ‘Hacia aquellos bosques de inmensidad’, tracked live in the studio and written as they were interpreted. You can hear the first piece, “Hanan Pacha,” below.
Purchase the LP via Trouble in Mind.
First conceived in the summer of 2008 as the home recording project of five childhood friends from Miami, Lil Daggers have risen from the bedroom to shared stages with Swans and more recently The Growlers and Royal Baths. Mining the well of reverb-laden, darker-edged psych, the band’s sound offers a stark contrast to the vibe of the sunny, beach-side city they call home. Following a series of 7”s, and an LP for limitedfanfare records, Lil Daggers have now teamed up with our pals at Beyond Beyond is Beyond for a new EP, No Pizza No Peace, to be released on cassette September 10. Listen to “After the Flood” and watch the video for “Jazz Tom” below.
Thanks to our good friends over at Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records for turning us onto the music of Maine psych-rock troop Coke Weed. While not an official BBIB release, the Brooklyn-based label is distributing their upcoming third album, Back to Soft, which was produced by Nick Stumpf (Cavemen, French Kicks) came out yesterday. You can stream the album in full or order the compact disc via BBIB. Vinyl will be available in early August.
“Free and Easy” is the first single off the debut album by French psych revivalists The Sudden Death Of Stars. Twangy guitar riffs, tamborines, nuanced sitars and ’60s organ coast atop a tremolo-y bottom that touch on the sounds of the Velvet Underground, Byrds, Stones, Brian Jonestown Massacre and the lot. As it says on their bio: “Sudden Death of Stars distille un rock’n'roll nerveux, mélodique et psychédélique!” The album is brimming with retro psych jams that truly make this, for lack of better wording, seem like a lost classic. It’s just really, really good old sounding music. Kind of like a delicious, freshly-baked pie that tastes like grandma’s own.
Last winter, in what seemed like one of those 40-tab deep internet surfing sessions, I stumbled across the music of Bay Area garage rockers The Spyrals. I then wrote about them and enjoyed the album for several months. They kindly thanked us, and that was that. Over a year later (a few weeks ago), they once again made contact to tell us about a new, related project called Jesus Sons. The story is still the same—we know almost nothing about these guys. They come to us like riders in the night, delivering messages containing bluesy garage nuggets that will please fans of the Night Beats, early Stones, 13th Floor Elevators and so on. Below, hear a track and watch their new video. More via their Soundcloud page.
New Electric Ride hail from Sunderland, a metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England, situated at the mouth of the River Wear. It was here that these lads came to form their shared love of “tampuras, leslie speakers and making sounds,” and, more recently, recorded their debut self-titled EP. Sounding more like early West Coast bands than the music of their fellow countrymen, New Electric Ride recall a more refined Jeffertitti’s Nile and would bed nicely with Dead Meadow and their contemporaries. Stream “Lovers” below or visit their Bandcamp page to hear all five songs.
Hell Shovel, the project led by Jeff Clarke of Montreal’s Demon’s Claws, swung through town on Friday night and proved how they’re one of the best garage psych acts on the scene right now. They sound a bit like Ty Segall, but on significantly more acid. As their description reads, Hell Shovel “is the sound of Johnny Cash drowning in a pool of cough syrup.” Since its inception, the group has released a few albums in limited runs through labels such as the German based Sound Of Cobra Records and toured through the US and Europe with acts like Acid Baby Jesus. And just last year, the group released their debut LP, Hated By The Sun, which you can stream below or purchase via Bandcamp. Watch out for Hell Shovel!
Two forest travelers from the land of Chile joined together a number of years back and began exploring lengthy spiritual jam sessions, eventually forming the basis of The Holydrug Couple. Their loose, bluesy psych sound nods to classic references like Crazy Horse while also channeling Indian raga and the “hidden arts.” Part of the rapidly growing Chilean underground psych scene that includes bands like Follakzoid, The Holydrug Couple released their new album, Noctuary, last month on Sacred Bones and will be making their way to the US for a tour this year. We just might have a part in it. Listen to “Ancient Land” below.
Purchase Noctuary via Sacred Bones.
Here’s a pair of tunes from West Coast lo-fi psych group Tashaki Miyaki, featured on a 7″ that came out last summer. The songs have a mellow 60s vibe and sound a bit like a sunnier version of the Velvets with a hint of shoegaze. Let Tashaki Miyaki transport you to that far gone summer day in the back of your mind.
Föllakzoid hail from Santiago, Chile where the group began as a “product of a trance experience between friends, sort of a soul abduction in which they’ve been living since 2008.” Fans of the kraut genre will delight in the Zoid’s lengthy sound explorations, often channeling pioneers like Amon Düül and Ash Ra Temple along with contemporaries like Camera and the Lumerians. Listen to “Rio” off their new album, II, available now via Sacred Bones.
If you’re into the whimsy throwback sounds of bands like Foxygen, then your ears will likely bask in the the oft-similar, lo fi psych of the Happy Jawbone Family Band. Ramshackle rock I guess you could call it. It’s like if fuckin’ Mick had been more like fuckin’ Keith, you know? Rock solid fuckers these here fellas are. Here’s “Fistful of Butter” off their new album Tastes the Broom, out January 29th on Mexican Summer.
Portland via Chicago transplant Jeff Walls will release his first full length LP, titled Tomorrow, Tomorrow, under the Campfires moniker on February 19 via Fire Talk. For fans of the the slapped together melancholy pop of The Kinks, or of contemporary bands like Woods and White Fence, this collection of lo fi janglers is likely for you. Check out “Fortune Teller” along with the title track below.
Pre-order the record here.
As Scandinavia continues to emerge as one of today’s most fertile psychedelic breeding grounds, here we have the first single off Helsinki-based outfit Kiki Pau‘s forthcoming album on Beyond Beyond is Beyond records. Pines, the group’s third album, was mixed by Dungen’s Gustav Ejstes and comes out Feburary 5. Hear the 9+ minute “Tomte Mars” below.