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.
There’s no doubt about it, folks. A cold, snowy winter is upon us. If you’re like me and you read the Old Farmer’s Almanac, you would have seen this coming. They predicted the whole thing. As you are surely aware, heavy snowfalls call for plentiful jams and loads of hot soup. Perhaps a tea and a Victoria sandwich too.
Enjoy this month’s mix.
Download: Dog Gone Presents: February 2014 Mix
Tracklisting after the jump…
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.
On Wednesday, January 29, Dog Gone Presents a night of primal psychedelia featuring Brooklyn psych-trio Woodsman, who have an excellent new album coming out on Fire Talk Records next month. The show will also include sets by Toronto kraut-duo Zacht Automaat and cosmic devotional project Glass Tomb. The show takes place at Rancho Relaxo and will feature liquid light projections by Lightsweetcrude. Tickets are $10 at the door. Check out Woodsman’s 2014 Winter Tour promo vid and a bit of info about each of the acts below.
Our love for Woods should be no secret around these parts by now. With each year, the band ages like a fine wine—constantly refining their songwriting and studio material, while taking their live improvisations further and further toward the cosmos. On April 15, Woods returns with a new album titled With Light and With Love on their own Woodsist label. You can hear the first song from it, titled “Leaves Like Glass,” below.
On Saturday, January 25, Dog Gone Presents a night of ghostly folk featuring Weyes Blood and ANAMAI at Toronto’s Magpie Taproom. Having already performed one of our Brooklyn shows, we’re psyched to bring Weyes Blood north of the border for her debut appearance in Canada. The show will feature Toronto’s own ANAMAI (the solo project of Anna Mayberry from HSY), who’s debut cassette we’ve been obsessing over of late.
Come take part in a night of creep folk while enjoying a crafty brew or two. Tickets available at the door. Inquire about group rates and travel packages within.
Weyes Blood is the mysterious ghost folk project of Natalie Mering, (former member of Jackie-O Motherfucker, Axolotl). Weaving sound textures with delicate folk songs, Weyes Blood is truly bridge music, combining the sonic influences of tape experimentation with the ancient art of song. Her voice is singular and timeless, unadorned yet soulful and penetrating. She has provided her pipes on Ariel Pink’s new record Mature Themes, singing back up on the song Early Birds of Babylon. She also accompanied the haunted graffiti live on an east coast tour in Sept 2012. Aside from small run releases such as the self-released “Strange Chalices of Seeing” (2007), and a 7″ entitled Liquor Castle (Smoker’s Gifts, UK, 2008) Weyes Blood released her first full length in March 2011 on the Not Not Fun label entitled The Outside Room.
Anna Mayberry—of Toronto sludge-punk band HSY—released a solo, three track cassette under the name ANAMAI in late 2013. Stepping out from the murk of her other project, this new avenue finds Mayberry softly crooning over ghostly, psychedelic atmospheres–ones that would find themselves right at home alongside those of MV & EE and their extended family of bands.
Well folks, here we are again looking back on another year gone by. Fresh out of the frost, here’s the list of albums that received the most play around these parts in 2013. You’ll also find a mix containing some of our favorite songs from 2013 at the bottom.
The Entrance Band – Face The Sun
Four years on from the release of their previous full-length, LA psych juggernauts The Entrance Band returned with an album built upon the personal struggles and spiritual transformations experienced by all three band members during the extended period of gestation. Balancing both sides of the journey toward the light, Face the Sun finds The Entrance Band in a more transcendent, melodic space while maintaining a hauntingly beautiful darkness in its undercurrent. Songs like “The Crave” and “Year of the Dragon” depict the introspective journey through the tunnel of addiction and sorrow, while “Fine Flow” and “Fire Eyes” channel a more cosmic side with the interplay between guitarist Guy Blakeslee and bassist Paz Lenchantin at near subliminal levels. A journey to the depths of the darkness can be known to strip away the heart and soul of a band, but in the case of Face the Sun it seems as though the members have returned to the surface with a brighter and more inspired outlook than ever before.
(originally published in Relix Magazine)
White Fence – Cyclops Reap
Once again, in 2013, the ever-prolific Tim Presley released an album loaded with lo fi, garage-rock nuggets that sound like they could have been released over 40 years ago. Recorded during a 4 ½ year span and largely inspired by the loss of his father, Cyclops Reap strips away some of Presley’s trademark punk murk, making way for a more spacious, folk-inspired sound. Surely one of the finest to come out of the White Fence cannon.
Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
These two young California sons managed to meld the ideas they’d been crafting while separately away at college into a beautiful piece of ‘60s inspired paisley psych-pop. As history often shows, combine two unique songwriters, especially one who possesses a highly volatile personality, and magic is bound to happen. However, tragedy and conflict are often bound to follow.
Endless Boogie – Long Island
There aren’t too many bands that still embody the old New York spirit the way Endless Boogie has for the past decade. Long Island, the band’s third proper release for No Quarter, unapologetically churns and tunnels its way through the group’s signature, riff-caked groove, tugging at their namesake for 80 minutes of stoned-out bliss. You either love ‘em or you don’t. They certainly don’t give a shit.
Steve Gunn – Time Off
For nearly 15 years, New York-based guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn has existed on the periphery of the contemporary avant-folk scene, acting as a solo artist and touring member in Kurt Vile’s Violators, as well as one-half of the Gunn-Truscinki Duo. But on Time Off, Gunn’s immense talent comes into full view as he leads a trio of old pals through a series of six extended folk journeys that touch on everything from Pentangle to Fahey to Indian Ragas to the Grateful Dead. Gunn’s soft, slightly haggard voice is showcased on songs like the heady acoustic jam “Lurker,” while the guitar interplay on “New Decline” would have Bert Jansch and John Renbourne singing praises. The title, Time Off, perhaps is not so much a suggestion that these songs were recorded during a particular downtime, but rather a nod to the music’s timelessness—where time can simply be switched off leaving music as the only dimension in which events may take place.
(originally published in Relix Magazine)
Wooden Shjips – Back To Land
For Back to Land, the new album by West Coast Psych amblers Wooden Shjips, leadmen Ripley Johnson and Omar Ahsanuddin packed up and moved to Oregon to record their first set of tracks outside of the Bay Area. With the lush climate and natural surroundings inspiring their musical direction, the pair tapped into a more grounded, organic sound without diverting the course of their modernist space-psych core. Throughout each the album’s eight tracks, a distinctly brighter flag flies atop the Shjip, as melodies step out into the forefront, washing away much of the sledge-y murk that cloud their previous recordings.
(originally published in Relix Magazine)
Night Beats – Sonic Bloom
Recorded in a Tacoma, WA warehouse, Sonic Bloom album perfectly captures the Beats at their drugged-fueled, raved-up best.
California’s garage rock son turns in his electric and fuzz pedals for a simple acoustic on the emotionally-charged, introspective Sleeper LP. Recorded following the loss of his father, Sleeper showcases the unadulterated beauty of Segall’s knack for melodious songwriting.
Kevin Morby – Harlem River
Harlem River is the debut solo album from Woods bassist/Babies guitarist Kevin Morby. Aided by a stellar cast of backing musicians, along with the help of Rob Barbato’s (Darker My Love) impressive production work, Morby delivers an intimate collection of songs that touch on the loneliness, addiction and hardships of a touring musician. Having joined Woods before he was legally allowed to drink in bars, Morby’s tale rings with the wisdom and experience of a man who’s spent the better part of his life on the road.
Fuzz – S/T
For the past several years, Ty Segall has largely existed as a solo artist. But with Fuzz, his latest project formed together with high school friend and Ty Segall Band guitarist Charles Moothart, it seems the lone wolf has finally found a pack in which to roam. Heavy psych of the highest order.
Steve Gunn, having already secured a pair of spots on our year’s best of list with his Golden Gunn LP and the solo effort Time Off, makes a run at a hat trick with a third release this year recorded together with Pelt‘s Mike Gangloff. The album was recorded in the spring months of this year at the remote farmhouse of noted roots-music engineer Joseph Dejarnette (Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bruce Greene, Curtis Eller). There, in the tiny community of Topeka set in the countryside of Floyd County, Virginia, Gunn and Gangloff spent an entire night improvising with six-and 12-string guitars, a banjo, along with traditional Indian instruments like gongs, tanpura, singing bowls, and a shruti box. The result was an intense night of improvisation captured on the forthcoming release Melodies for a Savage Fix. You can hear one of the tracks, titled “Worry Past Worry,” below.
Purchase Melodies for a Savage Fix on regular or red vinyl from the good folks at Important Records.
Have a listen to this month’s mix, available to stream or download below.
01. Woodsman – Healthy Life
02. The Entrance Band – Fine Flow
03. Morgan Delt – Beneath The Black And Purple
04. White Fence – To The Boy I Jumped In The Hemlock Alley
05. The Velvet Underground – Lady Godiva’s Operation
06. Quilt – Arctic Shark
07. Doug Tuttle – Turn This Love
08. Speed, Glue & Shinki – Don’t Say No
09. Amen Dunes – Ethio Song II
10. Grateful Dead – Early Morning Rain (11/3/65)
11. The Bethlehem Exit – Walk Me Out (Morning Dew)
12. The Resonars – Marina
13. Hellshovel – Summer’s Over
14. The Candymen – I’ve Lost My Mind
15. Jonathan Rado – Hand In Mine
16. Wooden Shjips – Ruins
17. Bombino – Amidinine
18. The Gaslamp Killer – Nissim feat. Amir Yaghmai
19. Endless Boogie – The Artemus Ward
20. Our Solar System – Merkurius
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.
I was rather pleased to receive word from Woodsman guitarist Trevor Peterson last week, informing me of the completion of their new album and its forthcoming release in early 2014. It’s been almost three years since the Brooklyn-via-Denver trio put out their 2011 Rare Forms LP, an album that saw the group diverting from their instrumental path toward a more stoned-out, vocal-driven sound. But over the course of a handful of EPs since then, Woodsman gradually rerouted their musical course back to the cosmically transcendent soundscapes that began their humble beginnings. That vision is fully realized on the new, appropriately self-titled LP from which you can hear the first track, “Healthy Life,” below.
Woodsman is out on February 4 via Trevor Peterson’s own Fire Talk Records.
Quilt have released the first video off their forthcoming album Held In Spendlor, which comes out January 28, 2014 on Mexican Summer. Since the release of their debut album in the winter months of 2011, the band has gone through bit of a lineup change with the departure of founding member Taylor McVey, along with the addition of drummer John Andrews and, more recently, bassist Keven Lareau (The Migs, MMOSS). These changes seem to have led the band from it’s folksky origins toward a fuller, more energetic sound that remains decidedly Quilt-y. Watch the video below and be sure to check the band out on their current East Coast tour with labelmates Happy Jawbone Family Band (see below for dates).
Pre-order Held In Splendor via Mexican Summer.
Stream or download our seasonal Halloween Mix below.
(Art by Sean Metcalf)
1. The Shaggs – It’s Halloween
2. Woods – Gypsy Hand
3. Edgar Broughton Band – Evil
4. Randy Holden – Between Time
5. Crow – Busy Day
6. Endless Boogie – The Savagist
7. Fuzz – What’s In my Head
8. Night Beats – As You Want
9. The Entrance Band – Spider
10. Buffy Saint Marie – The Vampire
11. Lou Reed – Halloween Parade
12. The Dream Syndicate – Halloween
13. Fear Itself – Lazarus
“Spider,” the second track to come off The Entrance Band’s forthcoming Face the Sun LP, was presumably written before the band member’s collective journey towards sobriety. Singer Guy Blakeslee tells the drugged-out tale of his interaction with a particular spider, as sparse nylon-stringed guitar dances atop a Southwestern-style rhythm and an eery harpsichord lurks in the outer reaches. While much of the album’s lyrical content deals with the actual transformation from dark to light, this song seems to take place before the journey had ever begun.
Poster by Jessica Milton
For our next show, we’re teaming up with our old pals at Embrace Presents and our new found friends at Justshows.com for this sure-to-be-excellent night of music featuring Dutch psych-pop artist Jacco Gardner, Slim Twig, Other Colors and The Taste! It’s all happening on October 22 at the Garrison in Toronto.
Advance tickets ($8.50) available at Rotate This, Soundscapes & via Embrace.
Poster by Jessica Milton
We’re psyched to announce our next show, which features a stellar lineup including UK psych-rockers Wolf People along with Brooklyn’s Golden Animals and the newly formed Golden Grass. It all goes down on October 13 at Mercury Lounge at 8PM Eastern Standard Time. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. We’ve got a few pairs to giveaway so keep an eye on our Twitter feed.
Purchase tickets via Mercury Lounge’s website.
It’s been four years since The Entrance Band released a new album unto the world, and during that time much has changed with its three members. From personal struggles to spiritual transformations, during the time between albums guitarist Guy Blakeslee, bassist Paz Lenchantin and drummer Derek James journeyed through the depths of the dark, only to reach the surface with a brighter and more inspired outlook than ever before. That process, along with all its joys and hardships, is documented on their forthcoming album, Face the Sun, which comes out on November 19 via new Brooklyn label Beyond Beyond is Beyond. You can hear the scorching first tune, “Fire Eyes,” below.
Pre-order the long-awaited Face the Sun via BBIB.
Dutch psych-pop artist Jacco Gardner is releasing a new 7″, featuring a pair of new songs, on September 24 via Trouble in Mind. You can hear one of the tracks, “The End of August,” below. Additionally, will be co-presenting Mr. Gardner when he comes through Toronto with Baltimore’s Other Colors and The Taste on October 22 so keep an eye out for ticket contests in the coming weeks.
Pre-order a copy of 7″ from the good people at Trouble in Mind.
Toronto psychstress Tess Parks will be releasing her debut album, Blood Hot, via Creation Records founder Alan McGee’s new 359 Music on November 18. Hear the excellent first track, “Open Your Mind,” below.
Pre-order Blood Hot via iTunes.
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.
Named after a street in their hometown of Boston, The Beacon Street Union was a 60s psych group that existed around the same time as the other “Bosstown” sound groups like Ultimate Spinach and Orpheus. Formed in 1966, the group went on to record two albums, The Eye of the Beacon Street Union and The Clown Died in Marvin Gardens, but split shortly after due to the lack of attention the albums received. Following the band’s dissolution, three of the members went on to record a further album as Eagle, while a fourth became a country singer in the Sour Mash Boys. Several readers have asked me about these guys since I included one of their tracks on this month’s DGP Mix, so here’s a couple more for those of you who were inquiring.