Social Gravy - The Dream Syndicate - Historian

Social Gravy craft some excellent West Coast rock as is demonstrated by two fine songs that just get on with rocking in an unpretentious way. Spoken word, psychedelic vibes, and atmosphere are everywhere on The Dream Syndicate's 'Black Light' a gorgeous and hypnotic song. The new album from Historian is full of imaginative songs, where folk music of sorts is taken in all directions from psych to indie, and the quality throughout is notable.

Social Gravy - Let It Out / California.

This is the story of a Belarusian and a Britt who met in downtown Los Angeles. Two foreigners who live in the epicenter of contemporary pop culture, creating quintessential West Coast rock, spun from the same cloth as Hotel California.

Brad Kohn and Vee Bordukov’s collaboration started in 2014, with a couple of song ideas and jam sessions. When the duo realized that they shared a mutual love of melodic rock and luscious harmonies, they started work on their debut album—2017’s Behind Every Yes, an engaging and varied collection of songs that showcased their soulful sensibilities and smart, snappy hooks.

Brad Kohn is an award-winning producer, songwriter, artist and engineer has been playing music all his life, starting with the piano at six years old. Ten years later, he was fronting a band on the London circuit. The talented musician’s production skills have seen him work with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Foo Fighters and Neil Young (via Global Citizen) and The Prodigy along with drum and bass luminaries like Pendulum, Chase and Status and Liam Bailey.

With rock ‘n’ roll music being the dangerous thing in Belarus—then a part of the Soviet Union—it’s no surprise that the adventurous Vee Bordukov rebelled against the gray status quo and fell in love with the forbidden fruit. The guitarist’s influences are rooted in classic solos from Jimi Hendrix while mixing up the bluesy passion of artists like Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale, spiced up with a love of the social commentary of The Kinks, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.

Their newest project, the digital 7” California / Let it Out, was recorded at the infamous EastWest Studios in Hollywood and pays tribute to their love of West Coast tunage, particularly the honeyed hooks of The Eagles and Tom Petty.


The Dream Syndicate - Black Light.

Los Angeles’s The Dream Syndicate is thrilled to announce 'These Times', their second album of new music since their 2012 reunion nearly thirty years after they first influenced California’s Paisley Underground scene. Watch mysterious creatures move through the psychedelic “Black Light” in the album’s first new song and video.

“When I was writing the songs for the new album I was pretty obsessed with Donuts by J-Dilla,” lead singer and songwriter Steve Wynn explained. “I loved the way that he approached record making as a DJ, a crate-digger, a music fan wanting to lay out all of his favorite music, twist and turn the results until he made them into his own. I was messing around with step sequencers, drum machines, loops—anything to take me out of my usual way of writing and try to feel as though I was working on a compilation rather than ‘more of the same’. You might not automatically put The Dream Syndicate and J-Dilla in the same sentence, but I hear that album when I hear our new one.”

If 2017’s 'How Did I Find Myself Here' was a 10pm record, all swagger and cathartic explosion, then These Times is the 2am sibling, moodier and more mercurial with the band acting as DJs of their own overnight radio station as the listener drifts off into dreams and wonders the next morning if any of it was real.

The Dream Syndicate recorded 'These Times' once again at Montrose Studios in Richmond, Virginia. Co-produced by John Agnello (Phosphorescent, Waxahatchee, Hold Steady, Dinosaur Jr.), Wynn wrote all of the song’s lyrics in the studio after the band finished tracking, so that the words would be dictated by the sound rather than the other way around. This process contributed to the urgency of the album’s title.

“These Times. That’s it. It is all we’re talking about, all we’re thinking about. There is no avoiding the existential panic of a world that’s hurtling somewhere quickly, evolving, and shifting course by the hour.  It seems like a lie to not address or reflect the things that we can’t stop thinking about—the whole world’s watching indeed. The lyrics are just a mirror of the dread, panic, mania, speculation, melancholy and ultimately shrugging abandonment that just might follow. It’s just all about where we are.”


Historian - Hour Hand (Album).

LA-based psych folk outfit Historian has always made music that is diametrically opposed ‘what’s happening’ in the local scene. “I’m obsessed with making albums in an era of streaming songs and playlists” says band spearhead Chris Karman. “I actually feel more comfortable when our music is a little out of step with the its surroundings.”

The name Historian was originally put forth as a moniker for Karman, whose encyclopedic knowledge of music became a party trick of sorts amongst the band. “It was so on the nose, it began feeling obtuse enough to encompass our sound” Karman reflects. After a defining moment lying on a beach during clear Maui night listening to OK Computer, Karman made a pledge to start recording, in hopes to capture something just as strange and mind altering.  The band began releasing material in 2013, dropping a series of striking albums, all tied together by Karman’s unfailing dystopian aesthetic.

Shelf Life, Current and Expanse drew positive nods from LA Buzzbands, Impose & Austin Town Hall along with opening slots for notable acts like Haunted Summer and Globelamp. 2018’s Distant Wells, found the band exploring even stranger waters with Bitches Brew-esque folk rock and melancholic mellotron-laiden ballads. Outlets like The Big Takeover, Culture Collide and God Is In The TV all praised it’s experimental nature, fanning the flames of Historian’s cult following.

Hour Hand is the sister release to Distant Wells, and while it was recorded during the same session, the new LP operates as a leaner, more insular companion piece. There is ethereal folk, and mind bending orchestration with the now signature implementation of Quartetto Fantastico (whose members have worked with everyone from Father John Misty to Flying Lotus.) Possibly the strangest thing about the release is that Karman’s vision seems to now fall in step with the current cultural and political atmosphere.  “The American empire is slowly crumbling in front of us” Chris asserts. “Is it an ending or are we entering a new cycle? I don’t pretend to know.”