The Sonic Sofa Podcast: Babylon Tree, Circus Cannon, and King of None

Podcast Transcript: I’m The Purlenaut and you’ve landed on the Sonic Sofa, your home for stoner rock reviews and podcasts. Check out thesonicsofa.blog to read lots of articles and hear some awesome music. This month, we’ve got some new mystical music by Babylon Tree, the psychedelic aura of Circus Cannon, and the head banging hard rock of King of None. So buckle up. Become one with the Sofa, and prepare for liftoff.

Eastern Tales, by Babylon Tree

First up on the show is Babylon Tree, an instrumental heavy psych band from Athens, Greece. The six member band recently released their debut album, Eastern Tales, which came out on May 30th. On it, the band attempts to capture the sound and aesthetic of the Far-East. Their music is positively Middle-Eastern sounding, employing the use of Persian scales. The album is made up of six songs, each around 8-10 minutes, and each is a richly layered composition. Here’s the second track, called Dunes and Wind.

Ashmedai, by Circus Cannon

And that was Dunes and Wind by Babylon Tree, from their debut album, Eastern Tales. Next on the Sonic Sofa, is Circus Cannon, a powerful four-piece psych band from London. The band honed their sound while rehearsing in unused buildings, and ended up producing a sound that is both unique and eclectic. They draw from powerful influences, but produce a sound that’s unique and which adds diversity to the genre. The band’s newest independent release, Ashmedai, came out on July 4th, and is available for free or “name your price” on Bandcamp. Ashmedai contains four songs, each very different from each other, but tied together by the common threads of riffs, trippy guitar leads, heavy bass, and pounding drums. Here’s the fourth track from the EP, Wendigo.

Weightless Waters, by King of None

You just heard Circus Cannon with the song Wendigo, from the new EP, Ashmedai. Wrapping up the show is King of None, a hard-rock band from Helsinki, Finland. They produce riffy hard rock, with plenty of stoner and prog-rock elements. Weightless Waters, released on April 28, 2019, is composed of six heavy songs. It’s a high energy ride that is arguably their most polished, mature EP to date. The songs range from four and a half to seven minutes. Each song is crisp and tight and it’s a headbanging, hard rock ride from start to finish. Here’es the second track from the EP, called Worlds Collide.

And that was King of None with Worlds Collide, from their EP, Weightless Waters. Thanks for listening to the Sonic Sofa podcast. Check out the Sonic Sofa on mixcloud.com/purlenaut and thesonicsofa.blog. Please support the bands by buying their music and merch. If you have music or an artist that you think should be featured on the blog or podcast, contact The Purlenaut at thesonicsofashow@gmail.com. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

The Sonic Sofa Podcast: Elder, Kavod, and Swan Valley Heights

Podcast Transcript: I’m The Purlenaut and you’ve landed on the Sonic Sofa, your home for stoner rock reviews and podcasts. Hop on over to thesonicsofa.blog to read Lots of articles and hear some awesome music. This month, we’re checking out music by Elder, Kavod, and Swan Valley Heights. Become one with the Sofa, and prepare for blast off.

Elder’s Self-titled album

Elder is a four-piece psychedelic, progressive, stoner rock band from Boston, Mass. They have been a powerful force in stoner rock since the release of their self-titled album in 2008. The band has evolved over the years, from a doom-worshiping prototype, to a unique band that has in turn become an influence for their peers. To celebrate the news of their upcoming EP, The Gold and Silver Sessions, I’m going to play one of their earlier releases from their Self-titled album. Here’s Ghost Head.

Wheel of Time, by Kavod

Kavod is a three-piece stoner rock band from Perugia, Italy. They produce slow moving songs with an emphasis on trance-inducing riffs. Their name is a Jewish word for honor, as well as being a root that means to be heavy. Wheel of Time is their debut recording and was released on April 13, 2019. Go to my blog page at thesonicsofa.blog to read an interview with the band and also check out their bandcamp because they’re selling the EP for half a Euro. That’s basically 56 cents. Here’s a early sis minute track from that EP called Absolution.

The Heavy Seed, by Swan Valley Heights

Swan Valley Heights is a stoner rock trio from Germany. Even though the band name sounds like an 80’s chick flick, they bring a powerful blend of heavy music with complex song structures, chunky riffs, and clean, melodic vocals. The band’s Self-titled album was released on January 30th, 2016 and they recently announced the upcoming July 26 full length, The Heavy Seed, with the news accompanied by a new 10 and a half minute song. The track features plenty of changeups and cool stoner rock textures. Here’s their new song called Teeth and Waves.

Thanks for listening to the Sonic Sofa podcast. Check out the Sonic Sofa on mixcloud.com/purlenaut and thesonicsofa.blog. Please support the bands by buying their music and merch. If you have music or an artist that you think should be featured on the blog or podcast, contact The Purlenaut at thesonicsofashow@gmail.com. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Akmé, the Sophomore Heavy-Psych Album by Sageness

Akme, by Sageness

Sageness is a heavy-psych trio that hails from Leon, Spain. The band produces instrumental, psychedelic music with healthy doses of stoner and post-rock. Akmé, their second full length after their self-titled album in 2017, was released on February 23rd. Rich textures and complex arrangements characterize the songs. Ethereal guitar parts overlay in-the-pocket drum and bass grooves. Parts of the album have progressive qualities, and everything on the album is listenable and enjoyable, with the haunting guitar melodies more than taking the place of vocals. Akmé is a great example of a band whose members are synced together and really listen to each other. Their album features beautiful art by Diogo Soares and you can buy the digital album or CD on bandcamp.

“plenty of full-blooded riffs”

Andromeda, the first track, is an easy flowing opener that clocks in at just above seven and a half minutes. The song takes its time to develop up and take form, exploring arpeggiated guitar leads early in the song before developing into plenty of full-blooded riffs later on. Fans of the album Dead Roots Stirring, by Elder, will appreciate the rich guitar tones on this song.

The second track, a nine minute composition entitled The Thought, opens with heavily driving bass, spacey effects and ethereal guitar sounds, while the drums lay down a lively, funky beat that holds the song elements together. The band alternates between jams that allow the song to breathe, and moments of progressive syncopation. Great use of the wah pedal is made later in the song, and there are moments when the guitar leads even have a surfy vibe that is just fun to be carried away on.

Sizigia is the shortest track on the album, clocking in at four minutes and 19 seconds, but what it lacks in length is made up for in catchy guitar hooks and pleasing tones. By contrast the next song, Ephemeral, is the longest song on the album, clocking in at nearly 10 minutes, and is a sprawling track that really should be thought of more as a complex composition, with many transitions, than simply as a song.

“a progressive, post-rock journey”

A thought that crossed my mind continuously while listening to this album was how tuned in the musicians of Sageness are with each other. The next track, Mindbender, is a great example of this. The group takes us on a progressive, post-rock journey. Don’t miss the last half of the song when the track makes a swift turn into a galloping stoner rock riff to finish things off.

The album wraps up with Hydro. Wonderfully melodic guitar leads more than take the place of vocals on this one. The end of the song features some tight drum and bass progressions, over laid by heavy effected guitar lines, with amazing results.

Overall, the album really is a good showcase for these proficient musicians, who are in tune with each other and their craft. It’s tempting to think that on a 42 minute album with no vocalist (not to mention three songs that are over the seven minute mark) the songs might tend to be drawn out and boring, but this can’t be less true. There are plenty of transitions to keep things moving and interesting, and the guitar dramatically takes the place of vocals. Akmé is well worth repeated listens.

March 23 Babylon Leon – Leon, Spain W/ Raw Colors