With musical influences including The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Elliott Smith and The Melvins, the four-piece's sound embraces a wide range of genres - from the stoner rock of Kyuss to the warped neo-psychedeia of Spacemen 3 to the cavernous and doom-laden sounds of Electric Wizard and beyond.
Recorded at L.A.’s Kitten Robot Studio with Paul Roessler (Nina Hagen, The Deadbeats, The Screamers, 45 Grave), this new release follows up the critically acclaimed ‘Fear’ EP and video for ‘Always There’ (2017), their huge sounding ‘Bad Clouds’ EP (2016), and debut album ‘Sleep Forever’ (2014).
Tombstones In Their Eyes’ current line-up is John Treanor (guitar, vocals, keyboards, songwriter), Josh Drew (guitar, backing vocals), Mike Mason (bass, guitar) and Stephen Striegel (drums).
"These songs are much more of a collaborative effort by the full band," explains explains frontman John Treanor. "The old method was John would write the songs, James would lay down the beats from NY and the band would try to recreate the demos. Now, with the addition of Stephen Striegel as full time drummer, I wanted to make the songwriting more inclusive. This came out much better than expected - the songs are really something much different than I would have on my own. It was amazing, actually, hearing the stuff that they came up with. I was blown away."
The band began life as a demo swapping exercise between John Treanor in L.A. and his childhood friend James Cooper, now in New York, but soon coalesced into a full fledged band. But collectives are always more than what you see on the surface. In John’s case, writing and performing songs is also a way of dealing with severe anxiety and depression, a way of talking about the subject without being the centre of the conversation, and a way of being subliminal rather than direct.
"'Take Me Home' is about a place where you feel safe. Not the first song I’ve written about this concept. The original chorus was 'Take Me Down', but it was so echoed out on the demo that I misheard it when I was transcribing the lyrics, so the song became 'Take Me Home'. That's better anyways," says John Treanor. "Paul Roessler, our producer, interpreted 'Take Me Home' as wanting to leave this earth, as in death or suicide, but that’s not the case. It’s about going home to that safe place."
Tombstones in Their Eyes create music laced with celestial grandeur and a fuzzed out psychedelic majesty that looks out into the universe just as much as it looks inward toward the soul.
John Treanor – guitar/vocals
Josh Drew - guitar
Mike Mason - bass
Stephen Striegel - drums
James Cooper - synth, musical guidance
Paul Roessler - backing vocals
Produced by Paul Roessler and John Treanor
Recorded and Mixed by Paul Roessler at Kitten Robot Studios
Mastered by Alex DeYoung at DeYoung Masters
Cover Art by Trevor Tipton
Send Me Your Head Records - SND 006
The Telescopes' new six-track offering inaugurates Yard Press' new series of record productions. Curated by Giandomenico Carpentieri, this endeavor is rooted in the desire to create albums that are developed in close collaboration with the artists involved. The starting point is to create a concept album specially designed for Yard Press, within a free environment without creative limits, where artists can pursue the most experimental and conceptual projects.
'Stone Tape' is a concept album inspired by the “Stone Tape Theory”, theorized by Thomas Charles Lethbridge in 1961. The archaeologist, parapsychologist and explorer developed the idea that inanimate materials can absorb energy from living beings, and that this mental electrical energy, released during emotional or traumatic events, could somehow be “stored” in such materials and “reproduced” under certain conditions.
It has been 30 years since Stephen Lawrie founded The Telescopes. One of the more interesting bands to be on Creation Records, influencing The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the whole shoegaze, space rock and psych movements, The Telescopes are the creative vision of Stephen Lawrie with a revolving line up. Formed in 1987, they released their first record in 1988, a split flexi-disc with Loop. A string of releases followed for Cheree Records, What Goes On Records and Creation Records, each one hitting the higher reaches of the UK independent charts, some of them making it into the UK mainstream charts.
Not long after touring with Spacemen 3, Primal Scream and The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Telescopes were headlining tours themselves with support from the likes of Slowdive, Ride, The Cranes, Bleach, Bark Psychosis and Whipping Boy. The band eventually transitioned from their noise origins towards a more brooding psychedelic sound.
Following the release of their second album in 1992, Lawrie put the group on hold, returning in 2002 with a renewed vigour. The late great John Peel, for whom they recorded two sessions, heralded their return and championed their 'Third Wave' album, exclaiming “The Telescopes have resurfaced and I am amazed and glad they are still practicing their mysterious art”.
A string of releases followed. The Wire magazine described them as having “a very real and crazy originality that carries fat tons of wallop”. The NME again found them ‘in another universe altogether, incredible”. Julian Cope championed two of their releases on his Head Heritage site, referring to their “suspended-in-space magnificence”.
In 2011, Portishead invited them to play the first ever ATP festival in London. The next year, The Black Angels / Reverberation Appreciation Society invited them to the Austin Psych Fest. 2014 brought their seventh release ‘HARM’ on Neon Sigh, involving members of LSD & The Search For God and BJM, which Drowned In Sound called "a visceral exercise in harshly constructed noise".
The Telescopes then released two critically acclaimed albums through Tapete Records – ‘Hidden Fields’ and ‘As Light Return’, offering some of the band’s most crucial listening so far. Following pulverising performances at both Manchester and Liverpool Psych festivals this year, The Telescopes are set to release their tenth album in November on Yard Press.
'Stone Tape' willl be released on November 20, digitally and as a vinyl limited edition of 500 copies via Yard Press, a label nurturing innovative cultural content, including visual works, underground events, books, and now music. It is available to order at www.yardpress.it/stone-tape or via Bandcamp at http://thetelescopes-stonetape.bandcamp.com/album/stone-tape.
The band will tour in support of this album starting in January 2018. In the meantime, you can catch them live during their European tour in support of 'As Light Return'.
01 Become The Sun
02 The Speaking Stones
03 The Desert In Your Heart
04 Everything Must Be
05 Silent Water
06 Dead Inside
Written, produced, arranged and played by Stephen Lawrie
Album photography by Achille Filipponi
Series curated by Giandomenico Carpentieri
Series executive production by Leonardo Mancini
Oct. 25 London, UK - The Brewhouse
Oct. 26 Brighton, UK - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar
Oct. 27 Hartlepool, UK - The Studio
Oct. 31 Bilbao, Spain - Kafe Antzokia
Nov. 1 Saragossa, Spain - Dabadaba
Nov. 2 Madrid, Spain - Moby Dick Club
Nov. 3 Leiria, Portugal - Texas Bar
Nov. 4 Lisbon, Portugal - Sabotage Club
Nov. 5 Badajoz, Spain - Mercantil
Nov. 6 Pamplona, Spain - Nebula Bar
Nov. 7 Barcelona, Spain - Sala Upload
Nov. 8 Tarragona, Spain - Sala el Cau
Nov. 9 Perpignan, France - Allez Viens
Nov. 10 Martigny, Switzerland - La Caves
Nov. 11 Bologna, Italy - Freakout
Nov. 12 Roma, Italy - Fanfulla
Nov. 15 Nuremberg, Germany - Z-Bau
Nov. 16 Halle, Germany - Hühnermanhattan
Nov. 17 Copenhagen, Denmark - Venue TBA
Nov. 18 Aalborg, Denmark - 1000Fryd
Nov. 19 Berlin, Germany - Badehaus Berlin
Nov. 20 Koln, Germany - Sonic Ballroom
Nov. 21 Paris, France - Supersonic
Nov. 22 Cardiff, UK - The Moon
French electronic producer Astrobal has announced his forthcoming 'Memories of Stars' EP via German label Karaoke Kalk, combining psychedelic soundings with soft pop. He is already previewing the lead track 'Australasie ft. Laetitia Sadier'. The accompanying video was produced by Patrice Curtillat (a.k.a. Poborsk), whose fantastic illustrations flow over the geography of Australasia, as clouds of drones and satellites float in the sky, before inevitably diving in a kaleidoscope from where one emerges on stellar landscapes, where colors and hybrid forms blossom like mechanical insects.
Astrobal is the solo project of Emmanuel (Emma) Mario, who burst onto the scene in his native France through collaborations and production work with some of the country's most cutting edge artists, including Laetitia Sadier, Arnaud Fleurent-Didier, Holden, Institut, Monade, Hyperclean. and Iko Chérie. It is no coincidence that the Stereolab songstress should feature on 'Australasie', as Emma Mario's work as a producer and drummer for Laetitia Sadier has left an enduring legacy, rendering some of the most singular work from the iconic French chanteuse.
Mario has produced several Laetitia Sadier albums 'The Trip' (2010) and 'Something Shines' (2014), as well as the latest 'Find Me Finding You' album from Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, all three albums released through Drag City. He's been extremely busy this year, touring as part of the Ensemble and sometimes even opening the show as Astrobal.
"Our blood runs hydrous with the seas/The essence of oceans spills through our veins." Laetitia Sadier matter-of-factly unfurls these words on the opening track and they prove prescient. Astrobal's wispy, French-accented vocals intermix with Sadier's enchanting voice as she delivers spiritual and scientific information about the universe as if engaged in a shamanic incantation.
"Emmanuel became a long-time collaborator and he's very good at working with other people, but there was also a desire to do his own stuff. He was kind of doing it before he started working on this project, but then I guess he found his focus and made this incredible piece of work," says Laetitia Sadier.
"From one track to another, you're transported to very different countries, but it's also very familiar to Emmanuel, and I find that to be a real strength: to have such a variety of different styles, but still be familiar and to have some similarity. He reaches really far out to find certain tracks and to bring them back to a whole."
The album is aqueous, each track a slow wave building, with clean lines and fluid form. Symphonic strings and ethereal ambient washes are married to buzzing synths and Astrobal's crisp, crackling drums. Though eclectic, Astrobal presents a cohesive vision, with the guiding principles of texture and fluidity uniting the disparate threads. Astrobal creates a universe one can swim around in – from start to finish, the particular mood always beholden to the vibe. One leaves his dream world having lived a unique experience laced with sonic and solar dreamrry.
Karaoke Kalk was founded by Thorsten Lütz in 1997. By releasing music that bridges several electronic genres, including minimal, ambient, and techno, this niche label is helping to define the sound of contemporary pop.
Karaoke Kalk has put out records by Bill Wells, Hauschka, Toulouse Low Trax, and many others. Karaoke Kalk also co-released Astrobal's debut full-length album 'Australasie' with LA-based Plug Research in June of this year.
'Memories of Stars' will be released on November 24, 2017. You can already pre-order the EP through Bandcamp.
01 Australasie ft. Laetitia Sadier
02 Belle comme la nuit
03 Le souvenir des etoiles
04 Tangerine Dream
05 Australasie II
All tracks written, performed and produced by Emmanuel Mario
Lyrics on 'Australasie' written by Laetitia Sadier
Bass guitar on 'Australasie ft. Laetitia Sadier' by Arnaud Fleurent Didier
Acoustic guitar on 'Tangerine Dream' by Jens Bosteen
Album photographer by Louis Décamps