The music video for Shasta’s “Roaming Hearts” looks like something that might have come out of the late 80s with the washed out colors, collage style visual elements and a bit of stop motion effects. Something you might have seen in a Bangles or They Might Be Giants video of that time. Glistening synths casting an uplifting sheen, the mix of live drums and drum machines, the alternately jagged and introspectively atmospheric guitar and melodic bass in which Micayla Grace’s seems to dance about in reverie combine to make for a song that seems rooted in styles across decades. At the same time there is an emotional immediacy and intimacy to the song as though it had originally been written on an acoustic guitar to work out the melodies, the structure and the use of space. The pedigree of the group might suggest a different set of musical expecations as Grace was once a member of Bleached and Albert Hammond Jr.’s band, drummer Jon Sortland is in The Shins and guitarist Cecilia Della Perruti is a multi-instrumentalist who has been a touring member of Beck’s live band as well as that of Charlie XCX not to mention her own group Gothic Tropic. The band started when Grace met synth player Jennifer Duardo in an alley in the Mission district of San Francisco and found in each other kindred creative spirits. “Roaming Hearts” has a freshness of spirit that makes its tale of heartbreak and heartache not just more palatable but transformative in working through the complex emotions and not getting lost in bitterness and resentment, which is a much more original take on an age old subject than we often hear in a pop song.
The throbbing distortion of daisy’s new single “BLEACH” is reminiscent of the era of music represented on the Amphetamine Reptile imprint at its peak from the 80s through the 90s. Its pounding beat and atonal noise hooks with just shy of tortured vocals create a disorienting haze well complemented by the music video. The plot of the latter seems to be of young women, disillusioned with the hypocrisy, abuse and warped cult-like nature of their evangelical upbringing turn to what seems the opposite in occult practices inspired by what they’ve seen in movies depicting Satanism. The video is even more low budget than Ti West’s chilling 2009 early 80s inspired horror film The House of the Devil. But that’s what gives it an unsettling authenticity. Once the women walk up a sinister looking set of poorly lit stairs to a secluded apartment the visuals are blown out in smoky orange that settles into a candlelit circle and they are welcomed to the other side as in video footage of faith healers and phone numbers to call to donate run on screen like memories being expunged from consciousness as the repeating, pins and needles guitar figure, like an amp picking up cel signal, takes us out of the song. Though perhaps not explicit the song with the video suggests that personal darkness can come from anywhere inside us as we’ve internalized what’s outside of us and that to rebuild the kind of authentic self we need maybe a little psychic bleach will help. Watch the video on YouTube and follow daisy, which includes members of Bleached and Warpaint, at the links provided.