LISTEN: L.A. Witch – ‘Gen-Z’

There’s a hazy feeling that comes with listening to the music of Californian trio L.A. Witch. Their grungy vocals and psychedelic guitars have a way of transporting you to the Californian desert with the taste of last night’s whiskey on your breath.

The band have a unique way of combining vintage appeal with fresh subject matter and ‘Gen-Z’ is the perfect example of this. A four minute track inspired by the high suicide rates among Generation Z due to the pressures of existing in a social media age. Of the track, guitarist & vocalist Sade Sanchez expands:

“When I was a kid, music and guitar was my escape. Music was how I fought through my depressions. What will the future do to get through it?… With constant pressure to be perfect and information/advertisements and brainwashing constantly being shoved in your face, you become a product of your environment. ‘Gen-Z’ is about being a slave to technology, specifically to our phones.”

L.A. Witch’s 2017 self-titled debut oozed swagger through its laidback sound, possibly due to the band’s organic and slow-paced songwriting process. But upcoming album Play With Fire came to be under different circumstances; between their hectic touring schedule, studio availability, and the timeline for releasing records, they found themselves with only two months to do the bulk of the writing.

Despite the limited time frame, however, ‘Gen-Z’ showcases a band on top form; with its gritty energy and swirling bewitching haze, it’s a perfectly hypnotic slice of psych-infused desert rock.

 

Play With Fire, the upcoming album from L.A. Witch, is set for release 21st August via Suicide Squeeze Records. 

 

Ellie Ball
@ellie__ball

 

 

Five Favourites: Girl Friday

Set to release their debut album next month, LA’s Girl Friday create genre-bending indie rock, reflecting on life on as young musicians in the 21st century. Juxtaposing dystopian leanings and feminist ideals with a scuzzy optimistic spirit, with grit and sparkle in equal parts, they represent an upcoming unique, empowering force and a new favourite for sure.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. So, we caught up with the whole of Girl Friday – Libby, Sierra, Vera and Virginia – to discuss the five albums that have made the biggest mark on them. Check out their choices below, and watch Girl Friday’s new video for ‘Public Bodies’ at the end of this article.

Libby:
Beck – Odelay
Definitely not any deep cuts here, but I definitely feel like Beck’s Odelay has had a huge influence on me personally. I remember sitting in my high school’s library eating lunch alone and feeling so emboldened by the bassline in ‘Minus’ and the really nonchalant vocals in ‘The New Pollution’. This album is so special to me. I think it was a benchmark of my adolescent years when I felt so ugly, out of place, and generally full of doom. It was kind of the start of when I started to feel like I could actually pursue the making of my own music.

Sierra:
Tonight Alive – The Other Side
I was completely dumbfounded when I discovered Tonight Alive in middle school. I remember sitting in the back of my English class, thinking I was very cool with my hood up, playing their music videos on repeat from my phone and daydreaming that I was in the band. Jenna McDougall is a huge hero of mine in terms of songwriting and vocal performance, and this album is the prime example for me. She blends merciless vitriol with an emotional vulnerability that lends her so much power. I’m convinced no one could ever stop her from doing exactly what she wants. Yes, this album brings me back to being 15 in my Sleeping with Sirens t-shirt with the sleeves cut off (bless); yes, I listen to it now and still hear snippets from my own life echoed back at me; yes, I am crying as I play it and write this.

Vera:
The Velvet Underground – Loaded
If we’re talking perfect records here. I mean that’s just an endless giving tree of joy. I associate it with a time in my life of freedom and youth and young love. 

All:
Kills Birds – Kills Birds
Sierra: We went to Kills Birds’ album release show at The Bootleg, and my mind was completely blown. I remember looking around and realizing that everyone else’s jaws were sitting comfortably next to mine on the floor. The drama! The percussion! The delivery! What more could you ask for?
Virginia: Kills Birds is one of those bands whose music is impossible to listen to without moving or singing along. Their songs are refreshing but have a familiarity that makes them feel like they’ve been around since the ‘90s.  The whole album is fantastic from top to stop, but my favourites are ‘Only Yellow’ and ‘High’. 

Virginia:
St Vincent – Actor
I’ve listened to this record so many times. I remember taking a trip to LA when I was 15 (which was a very foreign place to me at the time), stumbling into Amoeba Records and walking out with that pastel mess of a CD. From the start it’s filled with a ghostly choir, woodwinds galore, and slinky drums and guitar all topped by Annie Clark’s creeping vocals. There are increasing hints of agitation and noise throughout the song then at 2:33 the floodgates of distortion are opened and the song becomes incredibly glorious and huge. Every song has such rich textures and really takes you for a ride. I love to close my eyes and allow myself to get lost in the cinematic fever dream that is Actor. The feeling I get from listening to that album is the experience that I want to create in the music I make. I want people to listen to it in their headphones when they feel trapped and find an escape. I want them to blast it driving in their neighbourhoods and scream along and feel so cool. I want them to remember the first time they heard it and tear up because it’s brought them so much joy and comfort and courage over the years (which is the current situation that I’m surprised to find myself in oops). Thank you Annie, and in the off chance that you happen to hear Androgynous Mary, happy listening and enjoy. I think we’ve truly made a little treat and I’m proud to release it into the world.

Massive thanks to Girl Friday for sharing their Five Favourites!

Girl Friday’s debut album Androgynous Mary is out 21st August via Hardly Art. Watch the new video for latest single ‘Public Bodies’ now:

Photo Credit: Al Kalyk

Track Of The Day: All Things Blue – ‘Dicking Around’

In a swanky, dream-punk manner, LA based All Things Blue create a lush and infatuating soundscape in their new atmospheric single ‘Dicking Around’.

Fusing together elements of alt-pop and experimental art-rock, All Things Blue curate a unique tone that reflects a mature essence with shades of Angel Olsen or Mitski. Front woman India Coombs chills this track with vocals that echo with mystery and fullness. This powerful inflection that India so precisely provides is a lovely juxtaposition against the song’s floating and spacious instrumental. There is as much grounding as there is soaring in ‘Dicking Around’, and that is what makes it so immersive.

“Where’s my mind?”, wonders the track. As listeners swirl with the psychedelic guitars and steady dampened percussion, this tune becomes the perfect backdrop for a roadtrip through the desert or a low-lit shindig. All Things Blue build their presence as ‘Dicking Around’ goes on – fluttering into a soundscape that celebrates transition and uncertainty, it’s an anthem for losing ourselves and being okay with it, a moment of giving ourselves a break from an ever spinning world. 

‘Dicking Around’ is out now, listen Spotify. And Get Bit, the debut album from All Things Blue, is out 23rd October.

Jillian Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Track Of The Day: draag – ‘Trauma Kit’

Anxious thoughts melt away in a swirl of hazy guitars and uplifting electronics on ‘Trauma Kit’, the latest single from L.A. indie-shoegaze five-piece draag. Following on from their previous track ‘Ghost Leak’, ‘Trauma Kit’ continues to unravel the tensions that went in to creating the band’s upcoming EP, Clara Luz, which is set for release on 21st February.

Draag was originally a solo project fronted by Adrian Acosta, who was trained as a mariachi singer by his Father. After exploring the worlds of underground punk, no wave, and experimental jazz, Acosta soon met and added Jessica Huang, Nick Kelley, Ray Montes and Shane Graham to draag’s lineup. Together, the five piece create music that’s garnered comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth.

The band have shared a dramatic set of visuals to accompany ‘Trauma Kit’, directed by Devonte Johnson, and co-directed by band members Acosta and Huang. They compliment the track’s cinematic, all-encompassing sound.

Having been tested by illness and personal turmoils throughout recording, draag’s new track and the collection of songs on their upcoming EP are about dealing with trauma, and how simultaneously difficult and empowering that can be.

Listen to ‘Trauma Kit’ below, and follow draag on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Devonte Johnson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut