Paul Shapera is a pulp opera writer who’s albums span a 180 year period of his fictional city called New Albion. The fantastical story element of his work is what drives the popularity of his music. It’s reminiscent of the old school radio plays, but far more entertaining. “My work is very much like an epic science fiction book series, but told in highly emotive music, like an opera cycle made with various forms of popular music.”
Paul’s newest album, Jill’s Psychedelic Sunday, is a continuation of the character Jill’s story from previous albums, The Dolls of New Albion and The Post Human War series. Differing genres of each album represents a certain time and place within the 180 timespan. Jill’s Psychedelic Playlist explores the many sides of psychedelic music ranging from 60 psych folk to Floyd, 90s rave to jam bands, and creepy tech to Space Rock. Overall, we take a journey with Jill as she takes some sort of psychedelic as part of an initiation ritual.
What makes Jill’s Psychedelic Sunday so unique is that the story is non-linear, unlike Paul’s other albums. You can listen to any song and understand the story because it’s just snapshots of Jill’s wired mind. The spoken snippets in each song guide you so that the listener is never lost, no matter what song you listen to.
“This album more than any other in recent memory was made because it was the album I wanted to listen to,” shares Paul. “Other albums are the story I want to tell right then, or the music that I feel I need to express, or the style I most want to explore. This one was the one I just simply wanted to listen to.
The Impliers are the psychedelic rock duo making waves with their oddly tuned guitars, superb production quality, and innovative musical techniques. Dan and Charles have known each other since High School, though they recently got together to create The Impliers when their lives seemed to mirror each others. It was fate.
Their recent music video is for their single “Lighting.” The song is seemingly about mental health and it’s effect on people. They perfectly and masterfully visualize what it’s like to suffer from a mental illness, stuck in a depressive state and suddenly, as if struck by lighting, you are in another place mentally. The use of quick shots and flashing lights aid this idea and show how fast things can change. They interchange the fast with the slow with a lot of shots that represent stillness, but stillness in a way that captures the inability to move.
We spoke with The Impliers about their innovate and powerful video:
1. Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?
There’s a bipolar sense to what’s going on in this song, lyrically and in how the parts dramatically change in moods and range of feeling. I had always thought bipolar was someone who rapidly changed their mind or moods and was hot and cold, but it’s more of an exaggerated version of what everyone tends to go through – which is a longer arc of being down and then coming out. It was so interesting to learn that bursts of creative energy and motivation that most of us feel can actually be a symptom of bipolar, the mania specifically – that had never occurred to me that the higher highs were one of the poles. Charles and I have both experienced this through our own diagnosis as adults. I think this song shows some of that bipolar thinking in seeing different perspectives, with bursts of energy and some subdued elements while showing forward progress in diving within – it really compliments the broader story we explore on our record ‘cocoon coming out on August 19’ as it rounds out the first part of the record before there’s a change in atmosphere. The visuals really try to exaggerate these emotions.
2. What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?
We initially decided that we would not have any music videos for this album, as we felt the music and the experience that happens in the minds of the listener is the most important experience of the music, and we didn’t want to interfere with that, but one day the image came of the man in the bed that opens the video, and the rest of the video came like a string of pearls. There is an interesting duality that is explored both in the settings, ranging from the closed, dull inside scenes to the expansive colorful external scenes, but there’s an additional layer that shows a crossover of elements between the two landscapes and a hint of further duality in each of the individuals own consciousness.
3. What was the process of making this video?
Well, from a technical execution standpoint, we handle our own filming, editing and everything from ideation to completion. Charles and I always vet ideas together, and that ranges from bouncing a full idea off one another to coming up with the idea together from scratch and riffing. And sometimes, we will get our hands on one another’s idea and try to send it back in the most surprising fashion. Lightning was an interesting approach in that I filmed a few scenes to understand Charles’ reaction and when we realized we were on to something and worked out more of the ideas, we booked time to film and I put together a few ideas that I wanted to film without giving context as to what was happening. When we started filming in the woods, Charles had a post-it note of hand-gestures which he executed on flawlessly. The beauty of our working relationship, is throughout the entire process, with the post-it notes, while we were exchanging uniforms consistently throughout the day as we relocated filming locations, there was never the question of “what are we filming” and the complete trust that our ages old creative collaborative process would come through in the end, in a way that worked for both of us. One funny moment, though – my brother Bryan flew in to help operate our film gear that weekend and on the first night we filmed a scene with the foot and the man under the bed. He called our brother Sean that night and said “I landed, and next thing you know I was being filmed sitting on the bed with a gel dripping off my bare foot, while a grown man dressed in a white suit laid under the bed.”
Triangulum is the new EP out by Sunrise and Ammunition and we are psyched for the Psychedelic Rock aspect of this album! Sunrise and Ammunition have many elements floating around their primordial soup in a young world of sound. It is a sound that has lineage tracing back to progressive, experimental, and psychedelic music of all kinds. With no rigid boundaries it’s a collective of porous minds, absorbing an eclectic sound pallet made accessible to kids of the internet age. The band formed just after its members finished intermediate school, and over the years they have developed a musical chemistry that borders on telepathy. Sunrise and Ammunition released their first EP, Aquarius, in 2010 and have focused on creating immersive sounds ever since, including their album, Tesseract, produced by Jesse Cannon at Found Soundation. The combination of these three childhood friends’ creativity creates a whole larger than the sum of its parts.
“We like to explore sounds and moods, so people may connect to each song in a different way or they may like one that resonates with them most. We see writing songs as building worlds with their own unique mood and archi-texture!”
Their opening song, “Movers” pushes the boundaries of ear candy and sends your brain on a rollercoaster of highs and lows that makes me feel like I should be some kind of high. “Luca” is a bit more commercial with flows of EDM and mixed with mariachi feels. “Vulcan Dome” is dark and edgy with heavy electric guitars and drums. Finally, “Mt. Fuji” is reminiscent of an old Beatles tune mixed exquisite harmonies over flowing rhythms.
This progressive rock band is taking over the new age market and we are excited to see what comes next!