Deap Vally

Deap Vally landed in ‘2013’ with their rock debut ‘Sistrionix’. The LA duo bombed down the Transatlantic speedway, lighting psych-blues fires throughout the US and Europe. Lindsey Troy’s whiskey-soaked vocals and killer guitar riffs were chaotic, but found a degree of order in the heat of Julie Edwards’ drumming. After several loops around the world, they returned from their travels and decided it was time for a gear shift. The change was inspired by the pair’s need to create their vision on their own terms, without label input. Lindsey and Julie needed to be able to operate in a way that didn’t suck the living joy out of their creations, otherwise that blues synergy of rock’n’roll (forged between them at a knitting club in Echo Park some five years ago) would simply not be able to reach its pinnacle.

So the two-piece took a risk, parted ways with their label (amicably so), and wielded the time they needed to reassess matters by themselves, even doing short stints as touring bass players: Lindsey in White Lung and Julie in JJUUJJUU. “We were given this gift of time to make the record,” explains Julie, optimistically. “We kept writing, recording, exploring all these flavours. It was a real luxury.”

It’s a luxury many bands don’t get, and it’s strengthened their identity, which has now become an “ism”: specifically ‘Femejism’. That’s the name of the second record. “We don’t ever wanna do what people expect of us, we always want to do the opposite of that,” says Lindsey, ever the rebel. “Like after a break-up when you cut your hair, dye it, and just explore being free on so many levels.” Julie intercepts, “But, y’know, within the confines of guitar and drums.” Their new labels – Cooking Vinyl and Nevado Records – have put their faith in the ladies’ vision entirely.

‘Femejism’ has been two years in the making. “This is what we wanted: total freedom,” says Julie. The pair explored new territory at recording studios in Downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley. They had a third character in the mix, too, Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, who lent key production skills to the pair’s own chemistry. “He’s pushed our songwriting a lot,” says Lindsey. The pair also explored new territory at recording studios in Downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley, this time honing their producing skills too. The track ‘Julian’, for instance, was produced entirely by them. Both ladies insist that theirs is a love/hate relationship they’re incapable of explaining. “It’s a mystery that neither of us understand,” says Julie, the yogic yin to Lindsey’s dramatic yang. “We’re giving ourselves to an alchemy we don’t control but it creates art. It’s raw, hot and loud, you know?”

The duo always keep their cards close to their chests when it comes to offering explanations. “What do you think it means?’” defers Julie on the subject of titles, lyrics, etc. Although they take what they do seriously, Deap Vally try not to take themselves too seriously. There’s a sense of humour that catches you off guard. The only thing they do offer is that true crime and historical characters have inspired some songs. Maybe the self-produced ‘Julian’ or ‘Little Baby Beauty Queen’, but who knows? They both kick like a mule regardless.

“I always want there to be some philosophical endgame,” adds Julie. “They’re personal songs and they’re universal. Nothing’s too mired in emotion.” Lindsey agrees. “We wanna give people music they deserve.” Take ‘Teenage Queen’, which comes over like an Alex Turner anthem. //I’m gonna live forever, Snapchat, sex and cigarettes, life is but a dream for a teenage queen// hollers Lindsey. It’s a feverish poke at societal ills, without getting too preachy. In ‘Critic’ there’s a stripped-back grunge vibe as Lindsey drawls //everyone is a fucking critic, a fucking cynic// in a way that’s so blasé as to be positively liberating. The song is sonically the “biggest departure” for them.

“It was hard sitting on this record for so long, not knowing what was gonna happen,” says Lindsey. But that waiting made the pair even more ambitious. Julie went ahead and had a baby. “The baby came out, then we found the perfect partners. It was like it had to happen that way,” Julie muses. Lindsey adds, brazenly, “Now that we have a home I just wanna put out a tonne of records.”

“’Sistrionix’ was a document of the early years of Deap Vally”, Julie concludes. “’Femejism’ is a document of the metaphorical desert we’ve been crossing between towns.” Make sure you bring a bottle of Jack for the ride. You might need it to take the edge off.

Mystic Braves

Mystic Braves might be rooted in the psychedelic scene of the 1960s, but the band’s moment is happening right now.

After an impressive 2016 North American tour boasting packed shows from Brooklyn to San Francisco and beyond, the band returned home to Los Angeles only to sell out their homecoming show at the Echo, in advance. It’s only the latest in a string of triumphs for the band, who saw record turnout around the USA and for their winter European 2016 tour with sell out shows in London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Leon (Purple Weekend) and several other European cities.

Based in Echo Park, the Braves — who are signed to influential indie label Lolipop Records — are at the forefront of a white-hot garage band revival, and when the band isn’t selling out shows across the country, they’re playing alongside legendary groups like The Zombies and Brian Jonestown Massacre or providing the soundtrack for can’t-miss fashion events like Saint Laurent Paris’ Spring-Summer 2015 collection. While the group — made up of Julian Ducatenzeiler on guitar and vocals, Tony Malacara on bass and vocals, Shane Stotsenberg on guitar and vocals, Cameron Gartung on drums and Ignacio Gonzalez on organ and tambourine — isn’t straying far from what Ducatenzeiler calls “a blend of influence and sound that is unprecedented in contemporary music”.

“We’ve always been a pop-structured psych band and we’re continuing along those lines,” Ducatenzeiler says. “But we’re trying some new things out as well. We’ve elevated the songwriting” Indeed, the group is experimenting with more exotic instruments and is building a library of new songs to show off its invigorating style not only in the studio but at a series of big-ticket festivals including Burgerama, Beach Goth, Desert Daze and the Austin Psych Fest.

It’s a long way from how the band began. “We had no idea when we started that we’d come as far as we have,” Ducatenzeiler says. “But from the moment we released our demos, people have really responded.”


Mystic Braves sold out their first time show at the legendary Troubadour, West Hollywood, June 13, 2015

LA Record June 16, 2015

“Bust out the wavy gravy and let the psychedelia flow. The sold out crowd, unplugged and tuned into the Mystic Braves who are the grooviest boys you can imagine, came back to LA to close out their tour. Sporting the authentic style of the 60s and perfectly matching hair, the band infused a new edge to their style of retro music and the fans caught every chance to ride a wave. The flower power on their album Desert Island kept the kids up well past midnight and inspired moshing on every jam.”

“The scene at the Troubadour was indeed a dream-like, mind-bending, mind-altering, mind-expanding, mind-blowing musical trip.”

Raw Geronimo

Laena Geronimo's brain child. Songs written, demos recorded. February 2011 band members were sought out amongst hyper talented musically obsessed friends. By March the resulting six-piece began playing out. Citing obscenely vast influences from the smashing of rocks to Paganini violin solos.
We enjoy sunset walks on the beach, nerding out, and making people excited.

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