Thursday, December 19, 2013
Roco Jet on Folktale Records
I guess we'll never know how far the all encompassing influence of The Velvet Underground will go. How many bands in the future will owe their sound to that slow repetition. Their early psych will forever be the jumping off point for future artists and this single from Roco Jet feels like a modern West coast evolution of slow psych like The Fresh and Onlys combined with that chorus of angels trained vocal from Zola Jesus.
A-Side's "Oracle" is floating the entire length of the track with a heavy echo delay on No-ra's vocal, her single high otherworldly melody can suddenly break into two always looking for the structure in the middle of loose skeletal instrumentation from Jimi Cabeza. It's completely effortless and gets right into a groove from the drop of the needle and hovers along for the six minute ride and they use this kind of time. The vocalizations are a crystal perfect choir sound from a big chamber and maybe it's this time of year but it can still actually get to some deeper places. Why every store has to play the same 25 hit Christmas songs every year is criminal. If you work retail, I am sorry for you, that music over and over is slowly killing your ear. This would be the perfect antidote. It's dreamy and making sure it stays very clear and unembellished. A jangle heavy strum electric with slightly off key organ ramps up next to a bell from offshore, ringing out a warning in the foggy night. No-ra's a funeral march Vivian Girls, harmonizing with herself, a beautiful inner soundtrack of calm. Maritime bells ringing with a long distance ghost wail. It's probably the sound of the end. It's been pretty good, you could do worse than to celebrate with an epic number of '60s garage reverb that's fading away. Roco Jet nailed this hypnotizing sound that's making me nod off because they're doing it so right and the fireplace is warm and I've had a few egg nogs.
B-Side's "Open Door" has a very slow intro of barely audible ahh's and oo's behind this shimmery electric scratching away with the hugest delay. What is it about that duplication of each note fading with each return that can be so alien and familiar? This one might even be more beautiful than the A-Side. Almost operatic No-ra's belting out classical training but far away from the mic to only hint at what's going on over that mountain sounding supernatural and dreamlike where you forget to even miss the percussion. A human voice and Jimi on guitar providing a simple, gentle instrumentation for the vocal to be the centerpiece - even though I couldn't tell you what they were saying, this creates that mood more than anything. It's classical and working in epic scales while being this quiet understated thing that you aren't even positive is over when the needle returns to the beginning of the record.
Get this from Folktale Records on Black or Coke bottle clear vinyl.