Posts Tagged ‘Ellie English’

L.a. witch octubre clean version

Produced by Gregg Foreman (Cat Power, Delta 72). L.A. Witch’s eponymous debut album tapped into the allure of warm nights on the West Coast while hinting at the loneliness and lawlessness of living on the periphery of a country founded on a dark past. The three-piece composed of Sade Sanchez, Irita Pai, and Ellie English culled sounds from the outlaws of warmer climes, whether it was 13th Floor Elevators’ lysergic rock n’ roll or the cool hand fatalism by The Doors on songs like The End. It’s an album transmitting subdued revelry while also smirking at the inevitable consequences of the night.

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There is no better season for these kinds of songs than the autumn, when the promises of summer have abated and the nights of reckoning grow longer. L.A. Witch seized the moment by revisiting some of their early tracks and reshaping them into Octubre, a five-song EP that delves deeper into their darker side.

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At Last the long wait is over! The dark, the broody, the brilliant L.A. Witch have finally released their debut full-length LP, simply titled ‘L.A. Witch’ -not to be confused with their 2013 EP also entitled ‘L.A. Witch’– and to borrow an old cliche, it’s all killer.

The entirety of the album is drenched with luscious reverb and a sedating drone that calls hints of Greg Sage’s Wipers all while remaining true to the untouchable L.A. Witch sound -think 60s garage/ splatter movie soundtrack/southern swamp rock with pop sensibilities.

Tracks ‘You Love Nothing’ ‘Get Lost’ and ‘Drive Your Car’ are tracks that have all appeared elsewhere in the L.A. Witch back catalogue but each one slips seamlessly into this collection of nine individual masterpiece’s. Each track is a standalone, there’s no doubting that, however each track also seems to intertwine, to mesh a series of fragmented magic dripping with sweetly sinister overtones into one gigantic orgiastic feast that you know is probably bad for your health, but hey, your gonna dive right in anyway.

Kill My Baby Tonight’. The album opener kicks off with a blissful swamp/country twang before singer/guitarist Sade Sanchez ominously, somewhat unexpectedly, promises that she’s “gonna hurt her baby tonight”. Which isn’t actually that surprising at all considering the obvious influences the all-girl trio take from the cult-horror cinema of the 1970’s. The imagery is all over their work and with Sanchez’s swooning, seductive but murderously intent vocal, bassist Irita Pai’s stalking, premeditated Geezer Butler/horror creep drone and drummer Ellie English’s night-crawling Clifton James on PCP footstep creep, well you know damn well that once in the L.A. Witch web, you ain’t getting outta here alive. And death’ll be slow too. Real slow.

But hey, if death was guaranteed a soundtrack like ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’ and other killer tracks from this brilliant debut LP, well, sign me up Grim Reaper! I’m half-way there. So, so, so good. Gets better with every listen. The vibe of this album is phenomenal, feels simultaneously old school and very fresh. Definitely one of my favourite albums from this year.

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L.A. Witch’s self-titled debut LP is out now on Bandcamp and is released by Suicide Squeeze Records.

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Listening to L.A. Witch is like willingly being put under a spell. One that transports you to California in the late ’60s, when the air was ripe with magick and the music was felt, not just heard. Los Angeles has always been a home for misplaced souls, and L.A Witch has the sound to go with it, dripping with nostalgia, heavy reverb, and glamour.

With Sade Sanchez’s crooning vocals and melodic guitar, Irita Pai’s pulsing bass, and Ellie English’s striking drums, L.A. Witch’s eponymous debut full-length album is a tour through an unseen Californian landscape.

Released on September 8th through Suicide Squeeze Records, coming after almost three consecutive years of touring for the band, who never expected to release a full-length. “All the songs on this album are songs that we’ve written over the few years that we’ve been a band. We were just excited to find each other, we weren’t thinking, ‘Oh, labels and albums.’ So when we were writing, we weren’t writing necessarily for an album, we were kind of just writing. So this is going to be some of our favorite and best songs,” the band says.

The band refers to their sound as “dark and fuzzy,” the sort of music that would soundtrack a cinematic murder spree, as proven by the album intro “Kill My Baby,” or just a late-night drive through Hollywood, as with “Drive Your Car,” windows down and neon lights twinkling. This is the sort of album that transports you to an unfamiliar place that feels familiar, with a sound that’s both evocative of and nostalgic for the golden days of rock ‘n’ roll.

The album, which was recorded at Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa in three days between tours, has soul to it a grit and energy that can’t be fabricated. “It was really hard [recording this] because in that little bit of time, you’re doing something that’s such a permanent thing and you want to nitpick it because you’re your own worst critic and you want it to be perfect. And maybe there is such thing, but in our mind, it’s never going to be perfect,” the band says. But these so-called imperfections are what makes the album so much fun to listen to. Whether you’re blasting “Baby in Blue Jeans,” a slower ballad that gives Lana Del Rey a run for her denim, or “Good Guys,” with its spiky and punctuated chorus, these songs are best left unpolished, exposing the dark underbelly to sunny Californian life.

Technically, there’s no underlying theme to the assemblage of the album, though the down and dirty and inherently rebellious spirit of these songs make a statement with each play, especially when seen and heard in person. The three women all have their own distinct sense of style, in what could be described as a hodgepodge of “mod goth glam rock.” They’re reminiscent of iconic bands like The Cramps, whose unapologetic aesthetic and sound created an experience one had to see to believe. Their sartorial inspiration also comes from icons like Johnny Thunder and “his suit era,” Kurt Cobain and his “just not giving a fuck” attire, and Jeffrey Lee Pierce and his “gothic cowboy” style.

Although it’s easy to assume L.A. Witch has been put in a box for being an all-woman band, they think about it differently. This is a band that isn’t meant to be put in any category, especially not one that denotes gender for the sake of it. To simply think of L.A. Witch as a “girl rock band” severely underestimates their scope and talent. To put them in a box is to beg them to break out of it. “Personally, I don’t pay attention to gender, I pay attention to what you’re actually doing,” Sanchez says “I’ve never been phased by, ‘Oh that’s a girl doing this, or a girl managing a band.’ I don’t necessarily agree that it’s a male-dominated industry. I think there’s a lot of women involved, and there just hasn’t been as much attention on them as there is now. I don’t know if it’s a fashion thing, I don’t know what it is.”

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After a few years in the making, L.A. Witch is setting the scene to cast their spell. With tours across the United States and Europe this year (see the details below), not to mention their debut full-length, the three-piece is finally weaving their magick with their old-school southern California charm. As for what we can expect from the band going forward, the answer is pretty simple. A sophomore album in the future, plenty of more touring, and the sort of dark rock that tempts you to unleash your inner vixen.

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UK DATES
SEPTEMBER
18 Bristol, The Crofters Rights
19 Brighton, Acid Box
20 London, Moth Club
21 Glasgow, Mono
22 Liverpool, Psych Festival

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Los Angeles-based bad girl trio L.A. Witch released a new single today, “Kill My Baby Tonight,” off their forthcoming album, to be released later this year. They’re also embarking on a semi National tour, aptly named the Kill My Baby Tour 2015. I am all for a “kill my baby” reference. It reminds me of Bonnie and Clyde gone bad, love overdoses in the Badlands, and rounds of Russian roulette over tears and bottles of bourbon.

Which is kind of what they sound like.

L.A. Witch, consisting of Sade Sanchez on vox/guitar, Irita Pai on bass, and Ellie English on drums, got off to a tricky start. Their original drummer up and left, but that didn’t dissuade them. Once English enrolled in their cool school, the band played any show that would have them (including a show at What Youth last summer that still haunts our halls in the best way), fine-tuning their now undeniable aesthetic, complete with leather jackets and reverb-drenched chords.

Their sound is a combination of culty surf in the vein of Link Wray, with Sanchez’s riffs slow and steady until that breakdown knocks you off your chair, mixed with drugged-out cowboy twangs and that speckle of rock and roll to keep it all fuzzy and lo-fi. And “Kill My Baby Tonight” is right on that track, which makes me real thirsty for that debut LP – the band released a mini three-track EP last March listen above here.

These chicks know how to play music, especially English, who is one of the best female drummers I’ve heard or seen. She plays loud and fast and hard, harder than you’d think by looking at her sweet face. And Pai, with her miniskirt stance slapping her bass, keeps the rhythm section cinched like a gold chain. Sanchez’ vocals, sultry and powerful and gently gnarled like an emphysema patient, deliver the lyrics without pretense. In “Kill My Baby Tonight,” she pleads, “What am I to do / if I can’t be with you.” And fuck do I feel her.