Mint Chip: Vinyl LPDC843
Pre-Order Item. Release Date Subject to Change.
Label: Drag City
Release Date: 12th August
Candy drop psychedelic dream pop that could teeter into a nightmare, like entering Willy Wonka's boat ride as an album.
For those who dig: Aldous Harding, Cate Le Bon and of course Tim Presley who produced the record.
For their sophomore effort / Drag City debut, the enigmatic duo expand into eight-armed wonder; all the better to reach ever-deeper into their bag of tricks. Slinky and sliding elegantly, the kids forge tunes with a harmony of ambiguity and nostalgia, effortless yet precise, and rounded with thick bottom - a dancing clash of cognition and dissonance.
Since 2015, Kamikaze Palm Tree have been a relative mystery. Now, in times no less mysterious, Drag City welcomes them to our tropical island destination, celebrating the energy of their second album, ‘MINT CHIPMINT CHIP’, where Kamikaze Palm Tree play their offbeat strain of 21st Century rock.
Seven years back, they emerged - full-born, finding themselves in SF. Over two EPs and a live set released digitally, they were exploring everything they loved, all at once. The KALX set, played in early 2018 with a bigger band line-up (harp and sax) was a sign of things to come. The wild world they’d created for themselves was filling out nicely, but the clock on the wall said Kamikaze Palm Tree were set to bring their sound in from the out door. With the thought in mind, they crafted their debut album, 2019’s ‘Good Boy’, recorded at SF’s Tiny Telephone by Spencer Hartling. Written to play live, ‘Good Boy’ was (and still is) a subtle mutant monster of a pop album that has only become more and more fun listening to for the last two years.
Making ‘MINT CHIP’, Dylan Hadley and Cole Berliner reach deeper into their bag of tricks than ever before, dialoguing with an absurd shared intent they haven’t yet paused to question. The off-centre pieces gathered together for ‘Good Boy’ have given way to pulsing aquatic compositions on ‘MINT CHIP’. Cole’s guitar tones, wire thin, bell-like, bluesily downtuned, slinky and sliding elegantly, arc purposeful around their peripherals. Dylan’s kit work, effortless yet precise, grounded with heavy bottom, drives and interacts organically with all the emerging structure, nailing down finely detailed frames and canvases to backdrop her singing and the unremitting landing of melodies and songs. With the addition of Josh Puklavetz, things that didn’t make sense before - like bass - are now on the beach, fully lotioned, essence to essence. Violin and clarinet (Laena Myers Ionita and Brad Caulkins, respectively) round out the tonal spectrum. All strung together in the foothills of Altadena’s Wiggle World Studios with Hartling back in the engineer’s seat and Tim Presley producing the proceedings.
The songs: their imagined pictures - anything from faintly to innately ridiculous - are somehow intimate yet devoid of context (“none of the songs are about anything”). Ambiguity and nostalgia, hand in hand - for you, cognitive and dissonanced, humming along.