Track Of The Day: Death Valley Girls – ‘Little Things’

Death Valley Girls’ new video for ‘Little Things’, a track from their recent album Under the Spell of Joy, provides a determinedly optimistic slant on life’s difficulties. The track was inspired by a friend of the LA band’s response to living with chronic pain and the lyrics emphasise allowing ourselves to take respite and pleasure where we can – a theme with particular resonance at the moment. The accompanying video recalls the work of Michel Gondry: charming, DIY, and pleasingly absurd – a dreamscape of homemade clouds and singing moons. Director Kelsey Hart has clearly succeeded in the stated aim of “reflect[ing] the unbridled hope and joy” of the track.

Musically, the track recalls some of the band’s West Coast contemporaries. The lead guitar line, a shimmering surf melody, is reminiscent of Seattle’s La Luz while the rhythm section drives the song along like a sunnier Chastity Belt. And sunny is certainly the word for a song like this; everything from the lyrics to the chord progression – even the lightly up-tempo rhythm – seem specifically designed to put a smile on the listener’s face and a spring in their step. The chorus, where the rest of the band join lead singer Bonnie Bloomgarden on vocals, is nothing short of delightful.

On this basis, the band’s cosmically inspired album, Under The Spell Of Joy, released last year on Suicide Squeeze Records, is certainly worth delving further into. 

Gregory Metcalfe

Photo Credit: David Fearn

LISTEN: Death Valley Girls – ‘Dream Cleaver’

Scuzzy riffs and a cosmic context inform ‘Dream Cleaver’, the latest single from doom-boogie LA rockers Death Valley Girls. Released via Suicide Squeeze, the track is “an anthem in praise of psychonaut and ethnobotonist Terrence McKenna, his research on “the spirit molecule” DMT and the possibility of trans-dimensional travel”.

Rolling rhythms and impassioned vocals permeate the new standalone single, which the band say is inspired by a desire to connect with the afterlife, whilst being in the midst of real life. The girls explain further: “Mr. Mckenna proposed that DMT (dimethyltryptamine) sent one to a “parallel dimension” and that literally enabled an individual to encounter “higher dimensional entities.” We believe that these entities hold the secrets of the universe and the afterlife! We became obsessed with trying to contact them, so we don’t have to wait till the afterlife to have some answers to these questions!”

It seems Death Valley Girls have the answers to questions we didn’t even know we needed answering, and we’re happy to swagger along to their mystical new offering. They have a sound rooted in nostalgia, but an outlook that spans the past, present, and future dimensions. Listen to ‘Dream Cleaver’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Deb Frazin

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: The Paranoyds – ‘Carnage Bargain’

Having been introduced to their sleazy garage rock sounds with previous singles ‘Hungry Sam’/’Trade Our Sins’, LA newcomers The Paranoyds have now announced the release of their debut album, and shared title track ‘Carnage Bargain’.

Inspired by society’s need to consume, the track is driven by a deep whirring scuzz and layers of swirling instrumentation accompanying refreshing, insouciant vocals with shades of the likes of the languid sounds of Kim Gordon or Courtney Barnett. Oozing a sense of effortless cool, it’s a striking, grunge-fuelled anthem, complete with scathing lyrical observations and a glaring poignancy with all that’s happening in the world today. Of the track, bassist Staz Lindes explains:

“‘Carnage Bargain’ is about the people higher up wanting to get all this evil work done at a wholesale price… It’s impossible for us to get through a day without thinking of the thousands of migrant children in cages at the border alone, some without proper beds, soap, toothbrushes, and with lights on 24/7. We can not continue to ignore the black lives, young and old, taken by police almost every week. The plastic crisis. The mass shootings… The list goes on, and the hole gets deeper. Sometimes I can’t sleep and I wonder: do they sleep well in the White House? What else can I do as a privileged citizen? They want to get a Carnage Bargain. I want to pick up garbage.”

As relevant in the UK right now as it is for the US band, ‘Carnage Bargain’ offers a perfect juxtaposition of immersive energy with a foreboding undercurrent of meaning, proving The Paranoyds as the sonic antidote we need right now.

Carnage Bargain, the upcoming album from The Paranoyds, is out 13th September via Suicide Squeeze.

Mari Lane

Track Of The Day: The Coathangers – ‘Bimbo’

Atlanta trio The Coathangers have shared their new single ‘Bimbo’ taken from their upcoming album The Devil You Know, due for release on March 9th via Suicide Squeeze Records. The track is a cathartic burst of melodic guitars and riot grrrl vocals that acknowledges the need to let go and move on.

Switching between gentle verses and a thumping chorus, ‘Bimbo’ is an ideal blend of The Coathanger’s garage-rock and punk sensibilities. Guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel explains the track’s premise further: “‘Bimbo’ is a bittersweet note on love, self preservation, and letting go. It came together naturally and was one of the easiest songs to be written for the new record. It tells two sides of the story but still feels uplifting and positive. An acceptance of things the way they are.”

The single is accompanied by a cool new video, shot during The band’s last European tour by Mackenzie Sutch. The footage was shot mostly in Spain and Portugal and was edited by the trio’s good friend Nacho Montero.

Listen to ‘Bimbo’ below and follow The Coathanger’s on Facebook for more updates

The Devil You Know will be released on March 9th via Suicide Squeeze and is available to pre-order here.

Photo Credit: Matt Odom

Kate Crudgington