Five Favourites: Death Valley Girls

Having been big fans of LA’s Death Valley Girls for a few years now, I’m super excited to hear that they will be announcing their new album, Islands In The Sky, at the end of the month. Our second taster from the upcoming release (following 2021’s ‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing’) comes in the form of truly dreamy new single, ‘Sunday‘. Oozing a glistening, ethereal splendour, ‘Sunday’ offers a sweeping slice of anthemic, soul-strewn psych-rock. Building with a fizzing energy, it harks back to the psychedelic sounds of the ’70s California scene, whilst showcasing the bands’ ability to create something that is utterly unique. A beautifully immersive trip into the cosmic world of Death Valley Girls.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of the upcoming album, we caught up with Death Valley Girls’ front woman Bonnie Bloomgarden to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. So, read about her five favourite ever albums, and check out the wonderfully trippy new video for ‘Sunday’ below!

Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda
Did you know music is allowed to sound like this? And has the ability to affect your entire existence? To reframe your view of consciousness and reality. To massage your light, and your soul with in. To feed you, the you inside your body!! To take your earth body, gently lie it down, turn it off for the time being, and lead your spirit to a journey in the astral realm?? It is, it can, and with Alice Coltrane it often does! 

Otis Redding – Pain in My Heart
Wow, I could not imagine my world with out this record. I cry every time I listen to ‘These Arms of Mine’ – chills go down my spine and I remember I am alive, and it’s good ‘cause I getta feel things like this. His voice is epic, on the top ten most important voices of all time to me. It’s hard to imagine what a break up would feel like with out this record – I wouldn’t know, cause I’ve never tried!

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Without pause, even for a fraction of an instant, my all time favourite album is Black Sabbath’s first record. Up until the point I miraculously chose Black Sabbath from a stack of nearly 50 rock and roll records my cousin gave to me, I had only heard soft music. I am forever grateful to all the music I’ve heard, but I had primarily listened to what I know now to be goofy in the scope of my current taste. Like for my first ten years, I exclusively heard show tunes, Billy Joel, vocal jazz, and the Indigo Girls. Before that was all piano, orchestral, and acoustic guitar driven music. To hear electric guitar, in all its evil glory, by the God that is Tony Iommi, for the first time!! Can you imagine at ten how deviant that felt! Also, for the first time to truly understand instrumentation. Getting to know each and every single note by those master musicians! I can not imagine where I would be, or what I would think a great bass line, or guitar riff, or vocal melody, or drum part is, if not for that divine record.
Black Sabbath!! Black Sabbath!! Black Sabbath!!

Ronnie SpectorUnfinished Business
First of all, the concept of being the original bad girl of rock and roll could not have been any more exciting to me as a kid! I love Ronnie, and what she stood for, and how she stood for it – way back when, when it was practically impossible to do so. Her voice, her wickedness, her unapologetic nuances and phrasing, mixed with her immaculate harmonies… Oh my goodness. She also was considered one of the boys, and got to tour with the Stones and Beatles, what career highlights! RIP Ronnie!!

Iggy Pop – The Idiot
What an amazing story and collaboration! Only this type of decadence and decay could have been created by Bowie and Iggy trying to get clean from drugs in Berlin. We are so lucky for this type of art. Something that seems as though it could have just as easily never made it to the light of day. And yet, it did. And it is pure, raw, unadulterated fun, mixed with the suffering they must have been feeling between their realities. Very grateful for these two, and their collaborations!! 

Must add as all time greatest influences:

  1. Tina Turner 
  2. Aretha Franklin 
  3. Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  4. Lightning Hopkins

Massive thanks to Bonnie for sharing her Five Favourites (and more!) with us! Watch the new video, directed by Arturo Baston, here:

Islands In The Sky, the upcoming new album from Death Valley Girls, is set for release on 24th February via Suicide Squeeze Records – pre-order here. And catch Death Valley Girls live when they’re over in the UK later month – more info here.

Photo Credit: Neto Velasco

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