"Woods’ brand of pop shamanism has undergone several gradual transformations over their past few albums, but on With Light And With Love, the tinkering reveals an expanded sonic palette that includes singing saw, heavier emphasis on percussion, and a saloon piano that sounds like it was rescued from a flooded basement. Distinct from both the stoned volk of their earliest recordings and the Kraut-y dalliances of more recent fare, With Light And With Love showcases a more sophisticated brand of contemporary drug music that owes more to Magical Mystery Tour than motorik. If you’ve ever thought of Woods as a pop group comprised of weirdos, or a weirdo band that happens to excel at playing pop songs almost in spite of itself, With Light And With Love provides a corrective in the form of songs that show these two elements as natural, inextricable bedfellows. Throughout the album, vocals are frequently emitted through Leslie speakers and guitars perform one-string ragas like Sandy Bull reared on shoegaze and skate videos. With Light And With Love is an album of deeply psychedelic, deeply satisfying songs for a new age of searchers, of Don Juan and Animal Chin alike.” – James Toth
Artist profile photo by Matthew “Doc” Dunn. All additional photos by Matt Rubin.
Peaking Lights the husband and wife duo of Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis have channeled a rich background of a lives dedicated to music, touring, and pushing artistic broundries into a band that reflects their relationship; a sum that transcends its parts. Finding themselves in a cross country move from the Bay Area to a house built into a barn in rural Wisconsin, Peaking Lights sound origin was created with humility and love with a personal touch directed by Aaron's home built synths, effects units, and rhythm machines. Peaking Lights have maintained a sound distinction all of their own fusing influences as wide ranging as afro beat, disco, psychedelic rock, synth pop, krautrock, reggae and noise into songs that are as smooth, lush and elegant as they are propulsive, rhythmic and noisy. Recordings were initially showcased on Night-People Records cassette releases along with their debut full length 2009's Imaginary Falcons which brought the band into full view of the underground music community. Imaginary Falcons quickly gained critical praise for its distinct qualities as a lo-fi masterpiece fusing analog electronics with blown out psych guitar flourishes, while Indra's warm drifting vocals provided an unexpected serenity to the music. Finding a sound related to but not fully in debt to Jamaican dub pioneers Peaking Lights continued writing and recording and in 2010 went into Flat Black Studio's to record 936 a recording that reached Peaking Lights full capabilities aesthetically merging dub and dance influences more fully into their sonic pallet already rich in electronic exploration. 936 retains many of Peaking Lights lo-fi electronic techniques but boosts the overall depth of sound to create a record that is lush in its use of analog delay, deep bass, rhythmic creation, and stunning yet simple vocal beauty. 936 was released on Not Not Fun Records in 2011 garnering even more critical praise for Peaking Lights. Currently Peaking Lights finds themselves tending to their new born son Mikko and planning for future recordings and tours.
If you look at them from a certain angle, the San Francisco trio Wet Illustrated fit right in with the analog-gear retro-garage boom that’s happening in their city right now. After all, they’re a sometimes-jangly, sometimes-riffy guitar-rock band who know their way around a chorus hook and who record on gear that sounds older than the actual dudes in the band. But Wet Illustrated also take a ton of cues from the artier, further-out edges of late-’70s British postpunk. There’s a playful edge to this band; their riffs are jaunty, and their vocals edge toward the yippy more often than not; they’ve clearly spent some time watching and learning from Robyn Hitchcock. 1x1x1, their debut album, is a jumpy, jittery, and overall fun ride — like the Fresh And Onlys, if someone put Pixie Stix in their acid
1x1x1 is out 10/25 on True Panther. Below, check out the tracklist and the collage-happy video for their song “Satellite Kids,” directed by drummer/vocalist Robbie Simon.