It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and iconic L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment.
Iris Doe: The Times
For those of you who are fans of the late lamented Remy Zero out of Birmingham Alabama, you’re going to enjoy the upcoming screed. For those of you unaware, do yourselves a favor and check them out the next thing you do after reading this. Jeffrey Cain was one of RZ’s guitarists and vocalists, and since the band called it quits he’s written for and played on a number of projects and collaborations, perhaps most notably Isidore with Steve Kilby of Australia’s The Church. That band’s self-titled 2004 release sparkled with incandescent textured guitars and Kilby’s melancholy-drenched vocals. Caine has also been a touring member of the Church since 2017 and had planned on being in Australia last year (2020) to officially join the band and help write and record their next album. Needless to say, those plans were put on hold, but instead of twiddling his thumbs Caine got together in Los Angeles with Eric Avery of Jane’s Addiction on bass, Jebin Bruni on keys, and Leslie Van Treese on drums, and spent a week in Dave Grohl’s studio, taking advantage of a whole bunch of vintage gear including the classic Neve 8028 mixing board from the renowned Sound City studios. Turn’s out Dave’s board just happens to be the same one that Remy Zero’s 1998 Alt-rock classic “Villa Elaine” was recorded on as well. The new collaboration was christened Iris Doe, and just added to my playlist is “The Times” the debut single from a forthcoming LP. The track’s opening lyric “Hey Hey Hey, My My My,” tips a lyrical hat to Neil Young as Caine/Iris’ reverb washed vocals proceed to weave a story of frustrated exhaustion with just a sliver of hope as the song’s tuned down drums propel the song forward with rolling pianos and effervescent psychedelic guitars, that whets the appetite for the full album due in April.
For fans of: Remy Zero, The Church, Isidore, Ride.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Pleuru
I feel like I should’ve done more with my Covid time spent inside. Don’t you? Like, I should’ve learned a language or how to edit in iMovie or something?! Melbourne Australia’s King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have used their pandemic time well. Just three months since their last album “K.G.” was released, and they’re ready with its follow-up, “L.W.” due February 26. The new single “Pleura” finds an underworld necromancer doing all sorts of shady shit while the band plows through their coolest 21st century ethereal high octane prog rock. I’ve included the video here as well. I like that it shows how the band has been making their music whilst not being together in the same room. We see six shadowy blue web windows, with each band member playing the song live with an immediacy of multiple choices as to who you focus on in the performance. It’s kinda fun— a little arty, even. Nicely done, fellas.
For fans of: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Courtney Barnett.