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Dead Leaf Echo say "Boo" on new single paying tribute to fear and loathing and Madchester





Dead Leaf Echo say "Boo" on new single paying tribute to fear and loathing and Madchester

With spooky season culminating tonight it’s fitting to feature Dead Leaf Echo’s latest single “Boo” a song that's equivalent to an audible shudder and thus highly Halloween-friendly—which let's face it everyday is Halloween these days so you can keep listening to it after tonight—with lyrics about fear and loathing in a modern-day surveillance state and/or in the current state of modern-day relationships (“I know / they know / a thing or two / about boo / but I know they’re / gonna get to you”) with front-ghoul LG Galleon & Co. proving themselves adept once again at alchemizing Sensurround sounds bounced off multiple walls of reverb and digital delay, flange and chorus, tremolo and who knows what other forms of sorcery into headphone-hospitable majestic sonic sculptures that somehow don't crumble to pieces…

…all of which makes "Boo" sound pretty serious but unless you're a member of the undead army it should have you shimmying as much as shuddering since when you peel back the MK-Ultra-ready swirling psychedelic surface there’s an ass-shaking Madchester groove underneath driving the whole thing forward not to mention a galvanizing gospel-infused vocal hook written to satisfy a dare issued to LG to make a Hacienda-friendly Manchester type song that got transmutated over time into a tribute to the late, great Denise Johnson (RIP) who herself lent many a galvanizing, gospel-infused vocal hook to songs by Primal Scream, A Certain Ratio, New Order, and The Charlatans UK to name but a few…

…which isn't to say that dread and dance are mutually exclusive cuz there’s nothing like a shiver up the spine to make you wanna cast your demons out onto the dance floor and I haven’t heard it done like it's done on "Boo" since circa the Cure's unveiling of Wish in 1992 which saw the Batcave-dwelling Backcombed Boys in Black augment their late-to-mid-80s goth-pop mastery with an infusion of baggy beats (think Happy Mondays or Stone Roses), Britpop whimsy (resulting in a future karaoke staple) and disassociative “Wall of Haze” shoegazery all of which was ascendent at the time and if you were to refer to the resulting hybrid style as “boo-gaze” we wouldn’t hate you for it…

 …but rest assured you need not be into Clinton-era deep-cuts by the Cure to be into DLE’s “Boo” by any means—for instance one could draw a closer contemporary parallel with Dirk Knight’s Hamburg-based SEASURFER project not to mention Dark Orange—but either way if you're sympathetic to “atmospheric guitars, distinct percussive momentum, cathedral inspired vocal harmonies and dramatic build-ups” (quoting directly from a Deli writeup on DLE some years ago) then you should be into their new one too as long as you don’t mind some new wrinkles, or if you don't know old from new you may wanna peruse this deep historical dive or read brief pieces on a couple of albums here…

…and here at the Deli we don’t mind wrinkles new or old which we feel bodes well for the upcoming Boo EP slated for release in early 2023 and speaking of new wrinkles DLE’s most recent EP Milk.Blue.Kisses.And.Whalebone.Wishes from earlier this year had plenty of them too but less in terms of race-ready grooves and more in terms of free-floating-blissed-out-but-with-underlying-animating-anxiety ambient soundscapes…

…with lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter LG noting that the previous EP was a by-product of the extended peak-period COVID isolation with tracks laid down in LG’s home studio with remote contributions by bassist Steve S and drummer Kevin K and if you wanna check out a track-by-track listeners’ guide why not consult with our good friends over at a rival blog by clicking on the preceding link…

…but sticking with my self-regarding frame of reference I’d lay claim that if “Boo” is akin to a Wish album track then the six tracks that make up (five of them instruments0 M.B.K.A.W.W. is more akin to a collection of Wish-era B-sides widely mythologized by fans as specimens of etherial otherworldly beauty hidden away from all but b-side fanatics—check out “Twilight Garden" and “Play” for starters—and could it be mere coincidence that the Cure are releasing a 3-CD expanded edition of Wish this November including all four tracks from their fanclub-only Lost Wishes cassette in digital remastered form for the first time I think not…

…and while it’s possible I’ve devoted too many of my brain cells to Cure b-sides there could be a larger point to be made here about how dreampop and shoegaze are all about exploring interior mental-psychological states in sonic form (consider how both genre names are meant to evoke a dreamy disposition) spaces that are strongly shaped by memory and imagination


…and just to take it one more level the name Dead Leaf Echo itself steeped in long and memory being taken from a passage near the end of Nabokov’s Lolita with Humbert-Humbert professing his fondness for a distant but yet still vivid memory, a memory that can’t be recreated but only recalled, but which reverberates all the stronger now even if it’s original animating force no longer exists…

 

…but enough of my blah blah blah. Rather than straining to make out distant echoes kinda like it feels like I’m doing now why not instead hear directly from the source with “the source” in this case being LG and what he has to say about Dead Leaf Echo and creativity and lockdown and the tribute to Jinsen Liu (RIP) from 28 degrees taurus that he helped put together a little over a week ago and luckily I got to speak with LG a little before the show in question and here’s some of what he had to say rendered to the best of my abilities. (Jason Lee)

****************************************************************************

LG from Dead Leaf Echo: In 2008 or so we were booked for the first time ever in Boston on a show with 28 Degrees Taurus and they were very friendly. We ended up doing three of the Deep Heaven Now festivals that Jinsen Liu (from 28 Degrees Taurus) put together. They super fun with a bunch of good bands. Brief Candles from Milwaukee are now dear friends.

The festival started in the ‘90s under different producers until Jinsen revived it. It features psychedelic, shoegaze and indie rock bands from all over the Northeastern Cast and Midwest. We’re made a lot of friends from different scenes and played more shows as a result.

We never got to do a Deep Heaven in New York City so as a tribute to Jinsen we set up a show with Footlight Presents at the Windjammer with both Brief Candles and Ceremony (Ceremony East Coast) on the bill. Ceremony are a two-piece who both just joined A Place To Bury Strangers last year. The next night we’re playing a Deep Heaven Now bill in Boston with a couple other local bands on the bill. Anna Karina [from 28 Degrees Taurus] booked that show and I organized the one here.

Me and Jinsen shared a love for music and for finding exciting new bands that we may went to tour with and thanks to knowing him and to Deep Heaven we’ve been able to network with bands from Boston and to see those bands and set up shows.

Right now I’m finishing up a record that was originally supposed to come out 2020. Everything’s just now getting back up to speed. I’ve got a new song [“Boo”] and music video coming up, and then hitting the West Coast in December. Lockdown was tough but on the other hand it helped a lot of artists and creative people even if it hurt in other ways.

I saw how it damage a lot of relationships around me. Saw other people suffer for it. Me personally, I thrived. Being a creative person—devastated by not touring, album being dropped by label—but I could at least use the extra time to create more. Any creative type found it useful in some way. It put me on a very set schedule. New York City is a very busy place and your time’s so valuable. And not having anywhere to be is a privilege.

That’s when the last EP [Milk.Blue.Kisses.And.Whalebone.Wishes] was made. It’s a concept album. All the albums are concept album. And collective—working with outside designers, musicians who come into the band, creating a total package of art. Milk.Blue.Kisses is built around themes of winter, isolationism, and the basic idea of not selling yourself short of your full potential. I have a more minimal setup at home compared to a professional studio, but it made me up my game. I used pandemic relief money to save up and get equipment, a much better mic for vocals and a new interface.

“Boo” is a bit more dealing with surveillance, paranoia. Coming out of the pandemic, the residual effects of it on the psyche.

It’s like a weight being lifted off our chests, after over two years. Playing live is a big part of it. Working in the studio and playing live and like the two sides of the brain musically, left and right brain.

Speaking of touring we got to tour Latin America for the first time this summer—visiting Mexico for second time but then to Guatemala, El Salvador, and back to Mexico City. We’ve been to Europe four times, it’s a whole different scene. Latin America isn’t saturated with this type of music. It’s a whole new style and people are really excited for it, It’s like an event with something new coming into town. You could feel it at every show. It also helped with upping my very basic Spanish a bit, and we got to meet lot of bands we’ve never heard of before.

The Deli: And finally, also speaking of touring, come December you can check out Dead Leaf Echo touring the West Coast (including a date in Vancouver, BC) plus a 11/12 blowout at the Polish Club in Phoenixville, PA and an early January 2023 date ushering in the New Year at TV Eye in Ridgewood, Queens…




 

Published: October 31, 2022 |

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