Death Valley Girls share “Little Things” video, tell us about the influences behind ‘Under the Spell of Joy’
Death Valley Girls have made a video for "Little Things," one of the standout cuts from last year's Under the Spell of Joy. The video and the song are dedicated to Troy Michael of Innocent Words magazine. Says DVG's Bonnie Bloomgarden: "We wrote 'Little Things' for a friend of ours who has been fighting for his life in physical pain for years. While we talked about how stinky his health and living situation was, he realized how much he still loved dreaming. We both realized if he shifted his focus to the part of his life, he loved -- even if it was just when he was dreaming/daydreaming, that was perfectly ok! Focus on the little things!"
As for the video, director The Little Ghost/Kelsey Hart the aim for it was "to reflect the unbridled hope and joy of 'Little Things,'" adding, "Bonnie and I discuss our dreams daily, so I wanted to create a cartoonish psychedelic dreamscape that invited everyone to dance, sing, and revel in the optimism of daydreaming! In order to keep the production of this video maximally Covid-safe, I used special effects to bring Death Valley Girls together digitally. I was inspired by Teletubbies, public access TV, and Tony Oursler." It's a very cute, very fun video and you can watch it below.
We also asked Bonnie and guitarist Larry Schemel to tell us a little about the influences behind Under the Spell of Joy, and her list included Ronnie Spector, The Velvet Underground, Sun Ra, plus books, occult magazines, and more. Read her list, complete with commentary and a stream of the album, below.
DEATH VALLEY GIRLS' BONNIE BLOOMGARDEN - TOP 10 INSPIRATIONS BEHIND 'UNDER THE SPELL OF JOY'
A huge inspiration in the making of this album was our friends & some of the ideas behind the record were about the power of bringing people together, connecting through music, singing as a group, rejecting negative thoughts, and celebrating being alive on this weird planet.
2. Beyond Reality Magazine
One of our favorite magazines. It was published from the early '70s to the early '80s and covered UFOs, Psychic Phenomena, ESP, Bigfoot, Witchcraft, Cults & more! Not only inspirational for the articles & interviews but also an essential part of the artwork & imagery for the album art and insert poster art for "Under The Spell Of Joy," all cut & paste collage.
3. Hero Mitch Horowitz
The author of "The Miracle Club" & "Occult America" among many others, Mitch has been an important influence on the band. The power of causative thought & manifesting were critical to the creative process when we made this record. The song "10 Day Miracle Challenge" is inspired by his challenge that changed our lives!
A favorite band of ours that was one of the sonic inspirations during the making of the album among other "Cosmic" music inspirations like the 70's Krautrock band Amon Duul II and the spiritual jazz of John Coltrane, Sun Ra & fellow travelers.
Dogs = Joy! The album could as well have been called "Under The Spell Of Dogs.”
6. The Psychic World Of California by David St. Clair (1972)
Southern California is a strange place and even more bizarre when you realize just how haunted so much of Hollywood and surrounding areas are and how much paranormal activity goes on, this book was one of the first to explore that and other weird goings-on in So Cal. Another influence on our music and interest in all things supernatural.
7. Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground (3rd album)
Being huge Velvets fans, their music is a constant source of inspiration but this album, in particular, had a distinct influence on the production & feel of certain songs on the record, especially the guitar tones & warm production which we have Mark Rains at Station House Studio in Echo Park to thank.
8. Sun Ra
Musically, poetically, stylistically, cosmically, visually, spiritually, and creatively- the legacy of Sun Ra influenced us hard!! We are deeply influenced by the music of America -- the blues, gospel, jazz, and their origins in Africa. How Sun Ra used all of this musical influence combined with his being from Saturn is almost too cool to be true! We were inspired to need a kids choir, many backing vocals, slide guitar, synth & saxophone ,mixing in with our style of dirty rock n' roll, opening up some new doors & pathways to explore!
9. Louisianna Purchase
We are so inspired by Louisianna and their unique and beautiful style!! We are in love with people living their life and expressing their take on gender in any way they want/need to! We love and are passionate about having the freedom to be who you are!!
10. Ronnie Spector
What would the world be without The Ronettes ?! Frankly, we think that’s a question too scary to ask! Our queen profoundly influences us... Ronnie Spector!! Girl gang vocals are tops!!