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LA Witch - LA Witch

  • Published in UNX

When you think of Californian shoegaze, Mazzy Star might come to mind. Like their predecessors, L.A. Witch put a particularly West Coast spin on things. There are overtones of rock, surf, rockabilly, and country music in the Angelina trio’s downbeat drawl. Throughout the record, layers of echo and reverb bring to mind Duane Eddy, The Tornadoes and The Shadows, along with more contemporary acts like Black Lips and Audacity. The street-fighting undertones are only exacerbated by the snarling lyrics that seem to deride and condemn in equal measure.In Sade Sanchezvoice there is a noticeable debt to L7’s Donita Sparks; she delivers a sultry vocal redolent of ‘90s PJ Harvey.

From the noir opening of ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’, L.A. Witch build an ominous atmosphere that persists to the closing notes of their recent single, ‘Get Lost’, which closes the album. A few of the songs on this eponymous debut album have seen the light of day as singles and EP tracks over the last five years, including the deceptively breezy ‘Brian’.

L.A. Witch are proponents of Massive Attack’s mantra that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing slowly.This band put the down in downbeat. To wit, the casual threat of ‘You Love Nothing’ oozes menace as it sidles up to you with razor sharp riffs. ‘Drive Your Car’ is a tale of empowerment written about an occasion when Sanchez drove Vincent Gallo’s car around Los Angeles. ‘Baby In Blue Jeans’ has a Bossanova-era Pixies feel and would fit neatly on a Tarantino soundtrack. ‘Feel Alright’ has a Pixies vibe too, while ‘Good Guys’ nods to The Kills. There’s a shared musical lineage with Primal Scream too and L.A. Witch often echo the Glaswegians' Sonic Flower Groove on this record.  

L.A. Witch is an understated but fully realised debut but, ultimately, it lacks the dynamic variation to hold your interest all the way through. It becomes dull on repeat listening. The combination of languid tempos and the violent undercurrent to the music make it a compelling listen but you have to wonder how often you will come back to experience it again.

L.A. Witch is available from amazon & iTunes.


L.A. Witch Wanna Drive Your Car

  • Published in News

Today, Californian trio L.A. Witch are sharing their new single ‘Drive Your Car’ ahead of their debut self-titled album release on September 8 via Suicide Squeeze Records. The band are also set to tour the UK this September with shows in Bristol, Brighton, London, Glasgow & Liverpool.

In the words of singer Sade Sanchez, ‘Drive Your Car’ was written about power and being in control. I borrowed my ex boyfriend's Cadillac when he was out of town during one Christmas a few years ago. I drove it recklessly, like a mad man. I drove Vincent Gallo's Tesla through Korea Town one night with him in passenger seat. I felt liberated and I don't know why. To be behind the wheel of a car, which could be a man's most prized possession, is a sense of power. There is constant repetition throughout the song to give the sense of driving."

In the dimly lit interior of a small nightclub, where the stale smell of a thousand extinguished cigarettes drowns out the smell of spilt beer and broken dreams, a band plays against a backdrop of cheap golden tinsel. Outside, palm trees line the night’s horizon. In the years to come, the streets will swell into highways and interstates, but for now Los Angeles is still a young city growing daily with transplants from across the United States, all looking for a new life. It’s still a city largely cut off from the rest of the country, and in the years before the Manson family forever tarnishes the infinite hope of the Western enclave and before the Hell’s Angels of Altamont interrupt rock n’ roll’s peaceful trajectory with unprecedented violence, there is still a dreamy California sound for those dark rooms suffused with neon light. The three women of L.A. Witch wouldn’t be born for several decades, but their sound transports you back to those warm Californian nights in smoky rooms.

The name is a partial misnomer. Though the band hails from Los Angeles, they do not partake in any sort of witchcraft. Yet their ability to conjure a specific time and place through their sound does suggest a kind of magic. On their eponymous debut album, L.A. Witch’s reverb-drenched guitar jangle and sultry vocals conjure the analog sound of a collector’s prized 45 from some short-lived footnote cult band. The melodies forgo the bubblegum pop for a druggy haze that straddles the line between seedy glory and ominous balladry; the production can’t afford Phil Spector’s wall-of-sound, but the instruments’ simple beauty provides an economic grace that renders studio trickery unnecessary; the lyrics seem more descendent of Johnny Cash’s first-person morality tales than the vacuous empty gestures of pre-fab pop bands. This isn’t music for the masses; it’s music for miscreants, burnouts, down-and-out dreamers, and obsessive historians.

L.A. Witch was recorded at Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa and mixed in Highland Park, Los Angeles, though early incarnations of several songs from the album originally surfaced on limited edition singles released over the last several years. The band’s initial aspirations were humble. “We never really thought we would or could release an album,” the band says. “We were really just finding each other and finding our sound.” But after touring nearly non-stop for the last three years, L.A. Witch developed a singularly seductive, haunting, and wistful sound that enamored the garage rock, dream pop, psych, and broader indie communities. Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to release their debut album on September 8, 2017. L.A. Witch is available on CD, digital formats, and 1500 LPs on translucent pink vinyl with a download card.


See L.A. Witch live:

18/9 - The Crofters Right, Bristol UK

19/9 - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton UK

20/9 - Moth Club, London UK

21/9 - Mono, Glasgow UK 

22/9 - Psych Festival, Liverpool UK

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