Hello Cobra play with a blistering line-up at 529. This weekend is sure to leave your ears burning for more!
May 13th at The Earl, Imagination Head and Blood Drunk Records team up to bring you their new release:
Imagination Head’s indie psych-pop induces a mellow, creeping euphoria. They’re experts at fusing ’80s British post-punk with subtle space-rock flourishes, creating a mysterious sonic shroud over their impressive songs and masterfully crafted pop arrangements. Lyrically, the band’s songs grasp at untethered freedom while lamenting the doldrums of modern life. Imagination Head’s music is the rabbit hole to Wonderland—a drug to awaken the uninitiated. And their adventurous, infectious sound has landed them on bills with indie-rock contemporaries The Octopus Project & The Orwells.
The Atlanta-based band’s new album, Chromataverse (out Spring 2015), is a departure from Imagination Head’s psych-folk roots, exploring an edgier, more guitar-driven sound in which the studio is a lab for experimentation, a place for songs to evolve as the recording process unfolds. With the help of producer Damon Moon (Iron Jayne, Rrest), they’ve utilized space echo, tape hiss and a slew of other analog toys to build their neo-New Wave soundscapes. The journey presented here by J.R. Wicker (guitar, lead vocals), Erin Wicker (keys, vocals), Jason Bogart (bass), Puma Navarro (drums) and Vince Gray (lead guitar) is a bold call for revolution filtered through Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. “This album is a warning,” J.R. says. “The American Dream is constantly dangled in front of your face as you work overtime for nothing in particular, waiting a lifetime in line for your turn. But it’s your fate to avoid the trap—to rise above it.”
Imagination Head recorded Chromataverse at East Atlanta studio The Cottage, which—while within the city limits—provided a secluded, escapist environment, the band’s breaks often spent trekking through the adjacent woods along the ridge of an abandoned rock quarry, soaking up the hushed, primal vibe. The sessions for the new album were fast-paced, spontaneous and mostly live, capturing the feel of the band’s electrifying live sets, before carefully adding layered sonic texture to each track. The album would have been ready sooner, but with Erin nine months pregnant, they had to take a break.
“The Cottage was like a clubhouse,” Erin says. “We were able to concentrate and play in a stress-free environment, but the baby was crushing my lungs the whole time, so I had to come back later, after he was born, to finish my vocals. After the album was mixed, when he was just a few months old, he was crying and J.R. played him one of the new songs and he actually stopped crying. I guess he’s as much a part of this record as anyone.”
Imagination Head is rooted in the relationship of J.R. and Erin Wicker. They met in Memphis, and before long were musically—and romantically—entangled. In the early days, Imagination Head was a collaboration between just them, working as a psych-folk duo. They recorded their first album, The Stale and the Sparkly Air, with a few Memphis friends rounding out the sound. The couple eventually relocated to Atlanta, and made the transition to five-piece band with the album ON/OFF. The current lineup solidified in 2012 with the release of LP Plastic Heart.
J.R. and lead guitarist Gray most often are the ones who bring song ideas to the band, who then collectively fleshes them out, building bridges between disparate parts. “Our workshop is based around modern technology,” Gray says. “When I have an idea, I just record it on my phone and send it to everyone in the band. Sometimes, the ideas comes fast and have to be acted on. ‘Disconnect,’ from the new album, seemed to just explode into existence just days before we began recording.”
This immediacy also drives songs like “Rat Trap” and “Break the Chain,” their message that of a constrained society opening up to the freedom of space. “Mars” practically cries out for listeners to join the expansive exploration of dreams and the cosmos, while “Moon Sings Dance” beckons them to take this epic journey with the band, leaving behind the tired pop convention of verse-chorus-verse.
Chromataverse is the sum total of Imagination Head’s underground evolution—atop their folk-duo foundation, building a vibrant, danceable, electro indie-rock opus.
-Baby Robot Media