Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Feature :: Apollo Sunshine in studio

The psychedelic Apollo Sunshine came to trip out the studio, playing songs off their new record Shall Noise Upon.

The band blew into “Breeze” for their first song, which is driven by a twinkling harp, no guitar at all, and twin heaving vocals, sounding like Bob Dylan in a dystopian future.

Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cohen was boxed in behind an autoharp and a pedal steel. After the first song he was meticulously tuning and plucking each instrument. As he did, bassist Jesse Gallagher, wearing a tattered bright green sweater tied at the neck in a bow, kept things interesting with silly banter. Jeremy Black sat behind the drum kit, eager and patient.

Although the band appeared as a three piece, the album features many other guests including Gallagher’s father on vocals. “It’s been pretty hard to reproduce live” Black said.

The next tune, "Honestly," felt as if someone gave folk singers an autoharp and a distortion pedal. The warped pedal steel soared and wobbled out of the song’s bridge, which made it seem as if the acid had kicked in for Simon and Garfunkel.

Cohen dusted off the electric for the last song and while he was tuning it, Gallagher began talking about the possible conspiracy of global warming, with which Cohen and Black flatly disagreed. Appropriately, the band then played “Singing to the Earth.” The song ended with the warped pedal steel, expertly improvised by Cohen.

Despite Gallagher’s skepticism, the band is environmentally conscious. They’ve been touring in a short blue school bus that has a converted vegetable oil engine.

You can see Apollo Sunshine pull up in their little blue bus at the Middle East on October 30th.


~Lee Stepien

Published at WERS.org on October 15, 2008
Photography by Ross Dallas

No comments:

Post a Comment