While searching through the various bits of detritus left behind from the Horizontal and the Vertical, the crew at Rockathon Records uncovered a fully-formed album of unheard Cash Rivers and the Sinners material. The commercial release of this material is explicitly forbidden by Mr. Rivers and his representatives. However, due to ongoing disputes, Rockathon will be issuing this new album as an unauthorized bootleg in open defiance of Mr. Rivers.
Limited edition hand-numbered color vinyl available from Shuga Records.
In just a few short years, KRYSSYI BATTALENE, the mastermind behind HEADROOM, has moved mountains and crossed oceans with her epic guitar-playing. In addition to MOUNTAIN MOVERS, her Headroom project enables Kryssi to further explore the outer reaches of her hypnotic state (some folks call it Connecticut). Following Head In The Clouds, last year’s triumphant debut on Trouble In Mind, Headroom’s new 12” EP on Ever/Never Records is just the front-lobe massage you didn’t even know you were craving.
While recalling the towering grace of Bardo Pond, Headroom carve out their own space within the fertile crescent of modern American psychedelic rock. “New Heaven” opens the proceedings, and you’d be forgiven for imagining the title an oblique reference to Headroom’s HQ—New Haven, Conn. As guitars arc towards the sky, Battalene’s voice gets the chopped-and-screwed treatment, as if to remind you that we are always on the precipice of something new, something unpredictable. “City Lights” is an earthbound meditationwith lovely, reverb-soaked vocals and on-the-verge-of-feedback guitars that echo Les Rallizes Denudes, a key influence on Battalene and her cohorts (which include notable artists like Stefan Christensen). But they manage to maintain their cool, extending the ache until it turns into the sublime.
Side Two of New Heaven is devoted to “Skyliner,” a patiently building exercise in sustained psych mode as guitars, synths and voice ride the rhythm section to the outer limits. This is definitely a slow ride, but maybe don’t take it so easy. On New Heaven, Headroom continues to probe the boundaries and report back with their thrilling discoveries.
Chance has been good to Betsy Hershey, who performs her lush, abstracted pop under the name Bets. After all, it wasn’t the plan for the Los Angeles native, fresh out of music school, to play her first ever live shows at South by Southwest nor did she intend a personal project—last year’s lauded project violent femmes, a shoegaze-tinged cover album of the titular band’s 1983 debut—recorded on a whim to garner international attention. It’s just that when Bets puts her ethereal, exhilarating songs out into the world, people can’t seem to help responding.
And while a significant amount of thought and care has gone into her latest album, Future Color, anyone who’s previously fallen for her driving melodies and witty, catchy lyrics, will no doubt find something here to love. It’s a call to the creative side in everyone; the songs express themes of the uphill battle of isolation, frustration, and longing that can occur being an artist. These are not love songs but songs of longing, songs about need, and songs about trying to be something that’s never fully attainable. And while some of the tracks have the emotional resonance of great love songs, Bets says it’s a different kind of emotion that was actually driving her songwriting.