Posts Tagged ‘Psychic Ills’

In March 2020, the music world mourned the loss of Psychic Ills founder, frontman, and songwriter Tres Warren. At the time of his death, Warren was overflowing with creativity, actively writing new songs, and excited about the next phase of the band. He was preparing to go into the studio alongside longtime collaborator Elizabeth Hart and their bandmates to record the sixth Psychic Ills full-length, which was supposed to be out this fall. While those songs were tragically not recorded, the band did record a pair of covers for a new 7″. “Never Learn Not to Love” and “Cease to Exist” are the first new Psychic Ills songs to be released since 2016’s Inner Journey Out, and while they no longer precede a new album as originally intended, they stand as a celebration of Tres Warren’s beautiful musical spirit.

Originally appearing on The Beach Boys’ 1969 album 20/20, credited to Dennis Wilson and with changes to the arrangement and lyrics, Never Learn Not To Love was written as Cease To Exist by a then unknown songwriter named Charles Manson. His version would eventually appear on his album Lie: The Love and Terror Cult, released in 1970, by which time he was already incarcerated for the events that he is most commonly known for today.

How a version of that song came to find its way onto The Beach Boys album is the stuff of legend, and Charles Manson’s disappointment with the lyrical and structural changes is well documented. The Beach Boys simultaneous adherence to and departure from the original has long been a point of fascination for people, but Psychic Ills frontman, Tres Warren, says it’s something less tangible that has kept him coming back to both songs through the years. “The soulfulness is what has always spoken to me in those songs. I gravitate towards that(soul) in music, and both of these songs have it in spades. I almost shed a tear every time I hear Dennis Wilson sing.”

Psychic Ills’ version of “Never Learn Not To Love” echoes the arrangement and feel of The Beach Boys recording, but the female gospel backing singers make it more reminiscent of a Phil Spector production than that of Brian Wilson. “We wanted to honor the originals, but we didn’t want to cover them note for note.” Warren says, adding “We wanted to bring them to where we are.” Which seems like an apt statement as Never Learn Not To Love is a dense electrified rock and roll song reminiscent of recent Psychic Ills songs like it.

On the flip side of the record, “Cease To Exist” couldn’t be sonically more different. Where Never Learn Not To Love has a fullness from an instrumentation and sound quality standpoint, Cease To Exist thrives off the intimacy of the performance and transparency of the documentation, bringing the singing and playing into full focus, in a similar manner to the Manson original. There’s no question that this was recorded in very few takes, and that by-the-seat-of-the-pants feeling is further reinforced by the unedited studio talkback left in at the beginning. “Ivi is it rolling?” Warren asks engineer Iván Díaz Mathé as he begins the song, the band naturally falling in behind him reminiscent of jazz players adhering to both their own cosmic cues and those of the collective whole.

“Never Learn Not To Love/Cease To Exist” is an interesting experiment, successful in both concept and execution, and a typically non-traditional way to announce that Psychic Ills, have a new record coming soon. They continue to be a journeyman band, in an era where few exist, and a band you can count on to continue to expand on what they do as they have with every record, but never at the expense of what makes them Psychic Ills…their feel. They’re still weary and wanting, still searching for something.

The seekers in New York City’s Psychic Ills have spent more than a decade following their muse wherever it takes them. Inner Journey Out, the band’s highly anticipated fifth album and first since 2013, is the culmination of an odyssey of three years of writing, traversing the psych-rock landscape they’ve carved throughout their career and taking inspired pilgrimages into country, blues, gospel, and jazz.

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Inner Journey Out started out the way many Psychic Ills records have – with frontman Tres Warren’s demos. Like all of their records, Elizabeth Hart’s bass is the glue that holds everything together. Where other recent albums found Warren overdubbing himself to create a blown-out, widescreen sound, this recording handed the reigns to a multitude of guest players. A cadre of musicians and vocalists – including Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, who duets on lead single “I Don’t Mind” – join in on the journey. This is the first record to feature touring keyboard player Brent Cordero, his Farfisa and Wurlitzer work is a staple throughout. Rounding things out, is a platoon of drummers and percussionists including Chris Millstein, Harry Druzd of Endless Boogie, Derek James of The Entrance Band, and Charles Burst, one of the record’s engineers. These musicians build the frame on which Warren lays his hazy guitar and vocals. An endless array of friends and guests also provide pedal steel guitar, horns, strings, and backing vocals, which culminate in a career-defining moment for the Ills.

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Thematically, Inner Journey Out is a detailed exploration of the interior and the exterior, and the pathway between the two. The focused songwriting makes the stylistic departures fit seamlessly within the band’s dexterous ethos. The rousing gospel number “Another Change” and the far-out free jazz exploration “Ra Wah Wah” help shape Inner Journey Out into a multi-faceted, full album experience. It’s the most personal Psychic Ills album, too, hinting tantalizingly at love and loss but denying the listener resolution — asking questions, but never answering; seeking, but never fully concluding.

A decade on from releasing their critically lauded cult debut, Dins, and the deep dive into cosmic improvisation of Mirror Eye that followed, through the more recent and straightforward outings of Hazed Dream and One Track Mind, Psychic Ills have delivered their most remarkable statement yet with Inner Journey Out.

From the new album “Inner Journey Out” available June 3rd. Available on Sacred Bones Records. ***Limited Edition Version: Edition of 400 hand-numbered copies on desert haze vinyl, comes with alternate screen-printed brown paper bag outer sleeve, inserts, wax sealed, and available by mail-order

The seekers in New York City’s Psychic Ills have spent more than a decade following their muse wherever it takes them. Inner Journey Out, the band’s highly anticipated fifth album and first since 2013, is the culmination of an odyssey of three years of writing, traversing the psych-rock landscape they’ve carved throughout their career and taking inspired pilgrimages into country, blues, gospel, and jazz.

When it comes to following the beat of their own drum, New York’s Psychic Ills have exemplified the phrase since their beginnings in 2003. Initially spawned from electronic-centered home recording experiments, they progressed into all-night full-band exploration in a neighborhood where noise wasn’t a problem

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Image of LUH - Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing

LUH  –  SPIRITUAL SONGS FOR LOVERS TO SING

LUH began 2016 by releasing ‘I&I’, a song about daybreak, new beginnings and fresh starts and with a sound so bold and unflinching, it served as perfect way to describe the shape of things to come.

Today they announce details of the their debut album ‘Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing’ available for pre-order now and out on 6th May 2016 on Mute. The album was produced by The Haxan Cloak (known for his own genre-bending experimental compositions and work on Björk’s Vulnicura album) on the remote island of Osea.

LUH (which stands for Lost Under Heaven) is Ellery Roberts and Ebony Hoorn. Over the past two years, they have been releasing music, art, photography, film and manifestos into the world, including 2014’s ‘Unites’ video and the expansive ‘Lost Under Heaven’ music and artwork package at the end of last year.

Ellery’s name might be familiar as the frontman of WU LYF, whose raw and primal voice helped create a sound that shaped a new model for the untamed fury of youth. Ebony is an audio-visual artist based in Amsterdam, where the pair now live, and co-directed the new video for ‘I&I’ with Florian Joahn.

ARIEL PINK / R STEVIE MOORE –  KU KLUX GLAM

Psych-pop masterpiece from two of the best to ever do it. Los Angeles native and weirdo-pop enthusiast Ariel Pink joins forces with lo-fi pop pioneer R. Stevie Moore in a crazy freak-out extravaganza. Back in 2012, two leaders of the modern psych scene colluded together in making a 60+ track album. Here, we have the definitive collection of songs from ‘Ku Klux Glam’. Re-mastered and compiled by R. Stevie Moore, this is a presentation of this record in it’s clearest form.

SERATONES – GET GONE

Serving up a combination of Southern musicality and garage rock ferocity, Shreveport, Louisiana natives Seratones announce their debut album ‘Get Gone,’ released via Fat Possum Records. Led by powerhouse frontwoman A.J. Haynes whose thunderous vocals recall the grit of Janis Joplin and gospel of Mavis Staples, Seratones make a strong case with ‘Get Gone’ to be your new favourite alt-rock band of 2016. Recorded at Dial Back Sound studios in Mississippi, ‘Get Gone’ is all live takes, a portrait of Seratones in their element. Add the soul and swagger of a juke joint with the electricity coursing through a basement DIY show, and you’d begin to approach the experience of seeing this foursome live. Haynes’ powerful singing voice, first honed at Brownsville Baptist Church in Columbia, Louisiana at age 6, rings across every track. ‘Don’t Need It,’ which opens with a muscular swing and tight guitar lines, builds into a monster finish with a nasty corkscrew of a guitar line. ‘Sun,’ a brawny thrasher, courses with huge, raw voltage riffs. ‘Chandelier,’ a mid-tempo burner and vocal workout by Haynes, goes from croon to a crescendo that would shake any crystals hanging from the rafters. Shared history in Shreveport’s music scene brought the Seratones together a few years ago. All four had played together with one or another in various local punk bands, bonding through all-ages basement shows, gigs at skate parks and BBQ joints, and late nights listening to jazz and blues records. In a city of multiple genres, no fixed musical identity and a flood of cover bands, these adventurous musicians carved out their own path, personifying the do-it-yourself ethos. The band’s unwavering dedication to staying true to themselves is echoed throughout their debut; however you try to describe it, ‘Get Gone’ is unexpected and unbowed, a head-snapping showcase of the twin pillars of Southern music, restlessness and resourcefulness.
LP – Black Vinyl With Download.
LP+ – Limited Yellow Coloured Vinyl with Download.

BILLIE MARTEN –  MILK AND HONEY

Limited 7″. With delicate, expansive ballads like ‘Bird’ and ‘Heavy Weather,’ 16-year-old Yorkshire folk-rocker Billie Marten proved last year that she’s talented beyond measure and wise beyond her years. ‘Milk and Honey’ is Marten’s latest, and it continues her hot streak. What begins as a breathy acoustic swirl blooms into a lush arrangement topped off by triumphal brass. As ever, Marten sounds vulnerable yet in complete command of her considerable powers.

ULTIMATE PAINTING –  LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Ultimate Painting is a young, yet already distinguished UK duo comprised of Jack Cooper and James Hoare. As the story goes, these two spent time touring together with Cooper’s band, Mazes, supporting Hoare’s band, Veronica Falls. A fateful friendship developed and, to make it quick, demos were recorded and swapped, which all eventually led to their debut seeing release on Trouble In Mind. The project has been so thoroughly adored for its uncomplicated, beautifully calm approach to VU-style riff-making and loose-but-biting vibes that the follow up, ‘Green Lanes’, was released a mere ten months later. Needless to say Third Man are so glad they carved their way through the great land of Nashville, TN. Recorded direct-to-tape, ‘Live at Third Man Records’ is an impeccable document of English rock ‘n’ roll. The band is in top form here and their set consists of the finest material from the band’s first and second albums, ‘Ultimate Painting’ and ‘Green Lanes’ respectively, with a handful of extended jams featured here. This live record is a must own for fans of the band, not to mention anyone smitten with mellow guitar magic that absolutely explodes into some true, stately mayhem.

RYAN ADAMS  – HEARTBREAKER – DELUXE

‘Heartbreaker’ the debut solo studio album by Ryan Adams, which was hailed as a modern classic on its release in September 2000. The album, which has been remastered by original producer Ethan Johns, features the 15 song album in all its glory plus demos and unreleased outtakes from this landmark record by one of rock music’s most prolific and charismatic stars. The package also includes a DVD featuring a film of the legendary New York show at the Mercury Lounge in October 2000 and a glossy booklet of rare and unseen photos and Ryan Adams ephemera with an essay written by producer, friend and collaborator Ethan Johns.
4LP and DVD – 180 Gram vinyl set with DVD
2CD / DVD – Double CD with DVD Set.

THE LOW ANTHEM –  EYELAND

‘Eyeland’ marks the Low Anthem’s fourth full-length recording and first new music since 2011’s ‘Smart Flesh’. The Low Anthem return from an extraordinary five-year journey with ‘Eyeland’ an unprecedented collection of multi-dimensional future folk crafted with uncommon vision and emotional depth. The Providence, RI-based band’s fifth full-length recording, ‘Eyeland’ began as a “vague and rather abstract” short story by co-founder / singer / guitarist Ben Knox Miller, based around the “sonic mythology of a moth’s dreams.”  Low Anthem’s lofty aspirations and creative capriciousness resonate throughout songs like ‘Her Little Cosmos,’ ‘The Pepsi Moon’ and ‘Behind The Airport Mirror,’ their elegiac arrangements and lyrical frankness marked by shimmering ambience and a hauntingly defiant tension. Psychedelic in the truest sense of that overused word, ‘Eyeland’ is a perspective-shifting musical experience at once elliptical and intangible yet still precise and powerfully personal.

THOSE PRETTY WRONGS –  THOSE PRETTY WRONGS

Those Pretty Wrongs are Jody Stephens and Luther Russell, two old friends and veterans of the music scene in different ways. Jody was the drummer for the legendary band Big Star and now helps run equally legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis. Luther Russell was the leader of seminal roots-rock band The Freewheelers and is now an acclaimed solo artist and producer. Those Pretty Wrongs was tracked entirely to 2″ tape at Ardent Studios in Memphis, using much of the old Big Star gear, including Jody’s original kit from Radio City and Third and Chris Bell’s acoustic and electric guitars from No#1 Record. The album was mixed by Luther Russell and Jason Hiller at Hiller’s Electrosound Studios in Los Angeles, CA. Jody is way out in front on this release – really for the first time ever – taking all lead vocals and co-writing all of the songs with Luther. Through the words on this record Jody opens up about his life, which has been well-documented, but not in this very intimate way. Adds Stephens: “For me the lyrics are a walk through day-to-day emotions and experiences.” Luther lives in Los Angeles and Jody in Memphis, so there was a real commitment to finishing these songs and cutting them until they were totally satisfied.

DESTROYER –  MY MYSTERY

Late last year, Destroyer released ‘Poison Season’ – a treasure trove of mid-’70s Bowie-esque thumpers, string-laden laments and E Street horns – to universal acclaim. Recorded in the same sessions as ‘Poison Season’, the song ‘My Mystery’ was a huge favourite yet somehow felt like it didn’t quite fit on the album. Now it gets released as a stand alone 12″ backed by ‘My Mystery (DJ johnedwardcollins@gmail.com remix)’.
Comes with Download.

BEVERLY – THE BLUE SWELL

What began as a recording project between Frankie Rose (Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls) and Drew Citron for their debut album ‘Careers’ has now morphed into something one would of never expected. Drew has speared headed this project into a full time touring band armed with tight musicians all gathered from some of the top bands around her musical community in Brooklyn. Where the first album took on a very 90’s Breeders influence, this sophomore album still has strong 90’s roots, yet sounds more in the vain of a female fronted Teenage Fanclub with jangly guitars and poppy lyrics that won’t escape your head for days on end.
LP – With Download.

Image of Psychic Ills - Inner Journey Out

The seekers in New York City’s Psychic Ills have spent more than a decade following their muse wherever it takes them. Inner Journey Out, the band’s highly anticipated fifth album and first since 2013, is the culmination of an odyssey of three years of writing, traversing the psych-rock landscape they’ve carved throughout their career and taking inspired pilgrimages into country, blues, gospel, and jazz.

Inner Journey Out started out the way many Ills records have – with frontman Tres Warren’s demos. Like all of their records, Elizabeth Hart’s bass is the glue that holds everything together. Where other recent albums found Warren overdubbing himself to create a blown-out, widescreen sound, this recording handed the reigns to a multitude of guest players. A cadre of musicians and vocalists – including Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, who duets on lead single “I Don’t Mind” – join in on the journey. This is the first record to feature touring keyboard player Brent Cordero, his Farfisa and Wurlitzer work is a staple throughout. Rounding things out, is a platoon of drummers and percussionists including Chris Millstein, Harry Druzd of Endless Boogie, Derek James of The Entrance Band, and Charles Burst, one of the record’s engineers. These musicians build the frame on which Warren lays his hazy guitar and vocals. An endless array of friends and guests also provide pedal steel guitar, horns, strings, and backing vocals, which culminate in a career-defining moment for the Ills.

Thematically, Inner Journey Out is a detailed exploration of the interior and the exterior, and the pathway between the two. The focused songwriting makes the stylistic departures fit seamlessly within the band’s dexterous ethos. The rousing gospel number “Another Change” and the far-out free jazz exploration “Ra Wah Wah” help shape Inner Journey Out into a multi-faceted, full album experience. It’s the most personal Psychic Ills album, too, hinting tantalizingly at love and loss but denying the listener resolution — asking questions, but never answering; seeking, but never fully concluding.

A decade on from releasing their critically lauded cult debut, Dins, and the deep dive into cosmic improvisation of Mirror Eye that followed, through the more recent and straightforward outings of Hazed Dream and One Track Mind, Psychic Ills have delivered their most remarkable statement yet with Inner Journey Out.

Image of White Lung - Paradise

For the making of ‘Paradise’, vocalist Mish Barber- Way, guitarist Kenneth William and drummer Anne- Marie Vassiliou reconnected in Los Angeles to work with producer Lars Stalfors (HEALTH, Cold War Kids, Alice Glass) and also sat down with Annie Clark aka St. Vincent to discuss the making of the album.

Bringing all the energy, unique guitar work and lyrical prowess the band are known for to the studio, White Lung curated their songs with a new pop sensibility, focusing on making a record for the present.