Friday, February 26, 2010

Kid's Garden

There is an album, called Further, by Kid's Garden. This album was released in 2007. Myself, I've been slipping into the psychedelic dream world of Further since some time last year. It's now 2010, and I am realizing how few people know the sheer joy of this album. It's time to change that!

If there is such a style of music as ambient psychedelic, Further will define that, perfectly. Songs are awash in echoes; reverberation fills the air. Some songs on Further are quietly introspective and lovely (1995, Winter's Song, Cold Water); some songs go for a big, expansive, swirl of sound (Ourselves, Can't See How, Show Me, Come Down); still others go for the unexpected and present you with music that is so original and creative, it's hard to believe this was made mostly by one person while still in high school. Higher, one of my most favorite songs from Further, uses an emenee chord organ, to create the almost-harmonica-like sound that breezes through the song, literally. The deceptively simple Higher, is actually a song that has probably the most creative use of a distorted acoustic guitar and bass I have ever heard.

Further is a musical journey that must be experienced from beginning to end, with no distractions. Repeated listens to the songs reveal their depth, complexity, and charms, and they will pull you along, tugging gently at the strings of your mind. Someone's heart and soul went into creating this music; this is clearly made with passion, and the originality and individuality of the music on Further is second to none. George Clanton, now 22 years old, is the creative mind behind the music of Kid's Garden. Feeling the urge to begin composing some songs on his own as a teen, George now has a full time drummer working with Kid's Garden, and did enlist some help from good friends who just happen to be in another band this blog adores, The Young Sinclairs. But much of Further was done by George with mellotron samples of flute and choir, synthesizer, distorted guitar and bass, and some of the sweetest sounding vocals (sometimes strong and right up front, carrying the song through, like in Show Me, sometimes light and airy and barely there, as in Higher) ever.

Deepest Skies I and II, and Further (On and On), carry on the dreamy ambiance way up into the atmosphere. With each song, Kid's Garden's album Further sweeps you up and away, wraps you into a warm cocoon, and loves you a little bit more as the moments pass by. You will not want this album to end. Buy the album straight from the artist himself, link is on MySpace. And YES, Kid's Garden is working on a second album and I will let you all know about that when it happens.

Through the generosity of the artist himself, you can listen in full, at your leisure, to the bliss that is Further by Kid's Garden, by downloading the album in MP3 format from HERE.

Thank you, George, for that link to download.

Watch a video for Show Me here:

Dead Leaf Echo's new single

To paraphrase a very famous saying, Truth, the 6-song CD release from New York's Dead Leaf Echo, is most certainly beauty, and love, wrapped up in a swirl of shoegaze-style dream-guitar........the theme of the 6 songs is easy to understand: Truth, do you seek it? Is it even there for you to find? The more you want it to exist, and the harder you look, the more obscure truth becomes until it vanishes all together......
Awash in dreamy layers of sound, Dead Leaf Echo's songs do not follow an old tenet of shoegaze-style artists: let the words blend in with the music, as another instrument might do. Instead, LG's lyrics are understood to be as integral a part of Dead Leaf Echo's music as any guitar riff might be. Act of Truth, the first single off the EP in 2009, was the perfect song to represent the entire set of six: at once conveying longing, caring, strength, and the ongoing search for what gets lost between us but remains infinitely important to us.
Though released last year, as a limited-edition EP, with a hand-numbered, original artwork design, the Truth EP now has a new single available through Custom Made Records, the song Half-Truth. The opening song on the EP, Half-Truth is a perfect example of why Dead Leaf Echo's music is so exquisite: huge swirls of dream-scape guitars, and lyrics that ponder what really lays beneath what we say, and what lays just beyond our grasps.

Dead Leaf Echo on MySpace

Get music by Dead Leaf Echo from Custom Made Music.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The High Dials

The High Dials, from Montreal, QC, are like..........nothing I have heard ever before. I recently bought their album Moon Country. This is a 2 CD album, 14 songs long, full of charmingly sung, lovingly composed, bright, beautiful psych pop songs that can be filed under 'needs no mood to enjoy, just play all day and love it'. The High Dials' history and back catalogue is something I am still learning about, and thanks to the kindness of the band themselves, I plan on bringing you a full profile soon enough, but for now, I wanted to link the band's lovely website here, so fans of psych music can do a little exploring of their own. If you already know The High Dials, excellent for you, but make sure you buy Moon Country, it's a must-have in any psych lover's collection, trust me. If you don't yet know about this band, watch the video for Killer of Dragons here then go to their site and stream some music. More to come soon on The High Dials, but for now, watch Killer of Dragons here:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Black Market Karma 2010 News

Black Market Karma have been hard at work in recent months. The band has been playing gigs around England and France, and has been in the studio, recording and mixing the songs that will become their debut full length album. Fans who own Black Market Karma's debut EP, Psychedelic Circus, An Introduction, and who watch them gig all over town, are eagerly awaiting the announcement that the band's album is finished and ready to buy. Rest assured, I will be making that announcement here, as I know I will be one of the first to know when the album is ready.

For now, here is a lovely little update on Black Market Karma's recent whereabouts, from Stan, the band's frontman, singer, and guitarist:

We've pretty much spent the last 2 month recording and mixing non-stop. We had all the songs down before Christmas but we didn't wanna just take the easy way out and just get them sounding "nice" We've been spending most of our time trying to degrade the sound quality, if that makes sense? We really want the album to have that oh-so-hard-to-get "vibe", and that's basically what we've been doing every week. When we started mixing we actually worked on the last track first. It seems a bit of an arse-about-face way to do it, but we really knew where we wanted to take that track sound wise. The song's called Edrone and it's an eleven minute, psychedelic goodbye for the album. We spent a lot of time fucking up the drums and really trying to get that almost orchestral sound on the guitars, but we got there in the end. Now we've just gotta get all the other mixes on the same level. The record's really starting to shape up though and it won't be too long before it's pressed and out!

The other real highlight since Christmas was playing in France. We've made three trips there now and each time more and more folks are turning up to gigs. Our name seems to be spreading around Paris pretty quick and it's always a good feeling to see and meet a bunch of new people that have come out to watch you play. We've got a decent amount of gigs lined up over the next few months which will pretty much take us up to festival time. We're looking to play a few more dates in France around that time too. In the meantime, we're gonna be working on getting the album out there!

Last year, Black Market Karma became a five-piece band, when Sam joined them, and their sound became even more layered and complex than when they were a four-piece. To say I am waiting for this album with baited breath is an understatement! Watch this video of them performing their song A and G and join me in the anticipation!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Daylight Frequencies

Time for me to take this blog back to its roots: to a young band from the UK, who just happen to be a slice of the same psychedelic heaven that Black Market Karma come from, AND they happen to be friends and gig partners with BMK. Daylight Frequencies is this band, and you HAVE to hear them, if you consider yourself even a small fan of today's psychedelic music. I, of course, am a BIG fan of this music, so I jumped at the chance to experience Daylight Frequencies' soon-to-come EP. From the beginning, from the opening swirls of Lions Den, which explodes into a psychedelic supernova that The Black Angels would be envious of, this five-song EP, the band's debut, is relentless. As Lions Den flutters to a close, Six In The Chamber pops one of those caps in you, with guitars that sound like an army. Rustic Bones, a just-evil-enough trip through the guitar walls with some heavy organ accents, slides you into The Day Thief, which growls and swirls full of the dirtiest guitar and heaviest pounding drums ever, and ends with you in a hypnotic trance. Where The Light Flows ends the EP with a slow and sensual groove that turns into an immense flood of, you guessed it, my favorite style of guitar: oh so dirty, and oh so psychedelic. Pretty much a perfect EP, from start to finish.

The demos of Daylight Frequencies were recorded mostly with three members, although the band does consider itself a four-piece, just looking for the perfect fourth, a permanent drummer. Luke kindly answered some questions for us, here is a little q & a:

You are friends/gig partners with Black Market Karma?

Oh yeah! They're a great band, we put them on in Leicester sometime last year for a psych night we did. We're hoping to get together to play some shows in France together soon. I know they've been over a few times and say the crowds are cool over there.

How long have you been together & working on this music as Daylight Frequenies?
We've been going about a year and a half on off, trying to get the line up right.
We were going strong until last summer our drummer left. We decided to wipe the slate clean, write and record all new material and start promoting that as much as we can.

What influences your music, from bands to anything else out there in the world?
A lot of bands, but i think also writers such as Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Aldous Huxley. These are all great writers. But a lot of our material comes out of jams at rehearsal, then we'll put our heads together and pick out the best pieces, listening back over a game of darts or something.

What would you want listeners to take as the 'experience' of your sound?
One review described us as "Strung out, heavy Psychedelia" which i think has a nice ring to it. We go for a big wall of sound, try and take the listener to a bigger place. We encourage them to close their eyes and just let it take them where it will.
Also, is there anything you would want readers to know about you & your band?
We'll be finishing the new E.P in March 2010, we're trying to get it released. But it will be available for download by the end of the month. Keep checking our Myspace for upcoming dates
(if you are in the Leicester area, which I wish I was).

Daylight Frequencies has got that edge, that deep, heavy sound, that gets into your head and makes you a little mental. Their music will get into you. Check it out.

Thank you Luke, for your help with this. My best to you and the band.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sisters Of Your Sunshine Vapor: album review and interview

Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor: this Detroit band's self-titled album is seriously deserving of more than just a listen or two. It is one of those albums where, the more you listen, the more you hear, and the more you are absorbed, and the more you are amazed. The first influences I hear are the grittiness of The Black Angels, and the song structure similar in complexity to B.R.M.C.-era Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. But these songs the Sisters have created.....each one slams right into the next one, the momentum pushing right through you like a tornado....
Lord Is My Gun is a gritty homage to the tough streets. Victims of Momentum warns you with the title, get the hell outta the way. Slow Suicide, haunting, engaging on so many different levels: the vocals, the superb drumming, the guitar work....this song grips you tightly. All You Lovers, one of my personal favorites, how can I not love this song: sexy swagger, shameless, dirty guitar.....what's the name of this blog again? Yeah, DIRTY SEXY KARMA. Yeah. Spaceman Blues, that song is a trip I do NOT wanna get off. Another huge highlight of this album, Spaceman Blues is just one immense swirl of a song, a total trip to the outer limits that folds back in on itself to swallow you whole. My third favorite song, Two Thousand Nine, more blow-your-mind sexy psychedelic swagger: meet you in the back room? Um, YES. But this song ends too soon. At The Gates utilizes some phenomenal drumming behind a guitar part that is pure psychedelia.
Sean sings and plays guitar, Eric plays bass and does backing vocals, and Rick plays drums for Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor. Time to get to know them a bit better by hearing it from the band themselves:

How did you three hook up and form a band? You had a former name and sound, correct?
Rick: Nobody in the band knew each other before we started playing music together. Eric and Sean met through email and social networking. They hooked up with their original drummer Scotty through the same method. However, things didn't work out with Scotty and they were without a drummer for a few months until they met me at a dance party in Ann Arbor called The Bang!. They asked me if I played drums and if I wanted to try out for the band and the rest is history.
We were originally called SikSik Nation the music was fuzzed out garage rock with some psych elements. We released one full length and an EP under that name after switching to a much more psychedelic sound we decided a name change was appropriate.

Are you doing this all yourselves, the producing and recording of your music?

Rick: We built and maintain our own studio. We did the recording and production ourselves; we even screen print our own record sleeves and t-shirts.

How is the scene in Detroit? I am not too familiar with it, so maybe you can tell me a bit about what it's like being serious musicians there?
Sean: Well Detroit seems to be heavily submerged in the pop scene as of now- we've poked through the water a bit as a psych band and turned a few heads, but as a whole the poppy-er outfits seems to get the most attention.

Where do you get your ideas from to make your music? I hear some seriousness in a lot of your songs, but I also hear some raunchiness here and there, which adds to the sheer enjoyment of your sound.
Sean: Society? or lack there of- music is one of the few things I actually take seriously in life- the raunchiness just come from humanity.

What artists do you feel influence you?

Rick: We have a lot of influences that vary from member to member. Some of the bands we share in common are Joy Division, Spaceman 3, The Doors, and The Velvet Underground. We also like plenty of modern acts like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Black Angels (ha ha).

What gear do you use? Ever blow out an amp??
Rick: Ah, some secrets are meant to be kept- but orange amps, lots of delay, theremins, bows, teisco spectrum guitars, Vox guitars, burns guitars, Ludwig vistalite drums- and a mass amount of other unconventional things. No way: amps are way too expensive to blow out!

Do you have a second album in you, as Sisters? More ideas for great songs?
Rick: We are a very prolific act; we will continue to make albums until it is no longer enjoyable. As of right now we have a handful of songs in production and hope to have another release this year.

Since I missed you in NY recently, I have been watching videos, as you guys are posting fantastic video diaries and films of your performances. Do you like the touring aspect of being in a band?

Rick: As a band we are making the transition from being a “local” act and moving around the country a little more. You feel like you get more accomplished when you play out of state and the experience is much more enriching. We hope to play at least 50 shows across the country this year. We have been experimenting with keeping video journals of our exploits, and so far it has been a pretty entertaining exercise.

When asked what he would like from music fans, Rick says:(We would like people to) download our record and tell us what you think. Some people think that bands only offer their albums for free because they are not confident in their product. That is complete bullshit. This record sounds way fucking better than anything we have ever paid for and we are giving it for free because we don’t care about money. We want people to hear what we have created and hopefully enjoy the outcome. Nothing in this band has been outsourced; everything from the recording to the merchandise has been done by the band. You will not be disappointed in our DIY efforts. If you are, then you have spent $0, so who cares?

The attention to detail in the songs that Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor play is apparent upon first listen, but to REALLY hear these songs, keep listening. They become an alternate reality. Their vibe sinks into you completely. This band has got the talent and the confidence to shake things up. They've got ME shaken up, that's for certain. These guys are doing it for all the right reasons. We love that mind-set around here.

Thanks to the band, for taking time to do this interview for me. I love them dearly for it.