Califone releasing first LP in 7 years, ‘Echo Mine’ (stream the trippy “Bandicoot”)
Chicago indie rock vets Califone are releasing their first full-length album in seven years, Echo Mine, on February 21 via Jealous Butcher Records (pre-order), and the album doubles as the score to a dance performance created by Robyn Mineko Williams that premiered at Chicago's Harris Theatre in December. The music also came together in a way that Califone's Tim Rutili compares to the making of their 2001 debut Roomsound:
The movement and the music started together and grew together, like two clear entities. At times totally intertwined and at other times bouncing off one another, sort of like reflections. But, somehow, always connected and listening.
Ben Massarella, Brian Deck and I worked in a way that felt like a return to home; Brian handling the engineering, electronics, drums and overall sound of the piece, Ben adding percussion, feel, essential textures and colors. I felt like my job was to hover over all of it like a moth. Find melody in everything. Leave openings for everyone to work at the top of their creativity. We made our album, Roomsound, in much the same way (almost 20 years ago). Three of us in the studio – Be humans. Play together as much as possible. A good feel beats perfection every time. Add other musicians to add other voices and other colors, to do the things we can’t do.
Califone recently released the singles "Snow Angel V2" and "Romans," both of which pretty much sound like classic Califone, but we're now premiering third single "Bandicoot" which finds the band in noticeably different territory than usual. It's got a heavy use of tremelo on the vocals, groovy basslines, electronics, and a white-noisy haze that sounds descended from the proto-krautrock psychedelia of bands like Silver Apples and The United States of America. It also features Tony Lazzarra (Bloodiest, Atombombpocketknife, Sterling) on guitar and Angie Mead (Redgrave, Void of Sabbath) on vocals. Tim tells us:
A bandicoot is a small marsupial. Ben Massarella and Brian Deck made the drum track and had it ready before I got to the studio. The title came from them. Many of the tracks they make together are named after animals. I have never asked them why. The rest of the song came together quickly. I added bass, keyboards, a little guitar and vocals. Brian played synth and did some electronic magic. We brought in Tony Lazzara (Bloodiest) for layers of noise guitar and Angie Mead (Redgrave, Void of Sabbath) for vocals.
This one felt like a series of involuntary actions. it's a quick storm that rolls by and then goes away. This song made itself.
Listen and view the list of upcoming tour dates (all West Coast) below...
Night Gallery / Projector
Howard St & The Beach Nov 1988 After 11
Carlton Says: Find It. It’s Still There
Snow Angel V1
By The Time The Starlight Reaches Our Eyes
Snow Angel V2
Califone -- 2020 Tour Dates
2/27 Ojai, CA Greater Goods
2/28 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill (Noise Pop)
2/29 Los Angeles, CA Hi-Hat
3/14 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
3/15 Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern