The Mother Hips have flown under the radar as true indie music pioneers for nearly two decades,and in the process, have had the luxury of exploring and refining their craft. California's unsung psych-pop heroes tell their story, hailed by critics for their rootsy mix of 70s rock and power pop and for their ability to "sing it sweet and play it dirty".
The Mother Hips: With the release of their eighth studio album, Behind Beyond, via their own imprint label on July 9, 2013; Northern California's the Mother Hips will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band. This album follows their 2009 studio release, Pacific Dust, and a four-disc retrospective compilation, Days of Sun and Grass, both of which garnered critical praise from outlets including The New Yorker, Mojo, Relix, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and cemented the band's reputation as creators of "California Soul." Co-founded by principal songwriter/lead vocalist Tim Bluhm and guitarist/vocalist Greg Loiacono, the Mother Hips has spawned its own community and even its own rock festival, Hipnic. Held at Big Sur, Hipnic is now in its fifth year and has featured like-minded California bands including Cass McCombs, Jackie Greene, Al Jardine, Neal Casal, Dawes and others.
The Lonely Wild: With songs that blaze through the dusty American West, quickly-rising L.A. quintet The Lonely Wild stand poised to release their debut LP, “The Sun As It Comes.” The first single from the record, “Buried In the Murder,” is a fistfight of a tune, thrusting the growl of singer Andrew Carroll against the bombastic guitar freakouts of Andrew Schneider. The track seethes with boiling tension over a bac kdrop of stomps, claps and screams. Carroll’s voice swells from contemplation to utter outrage as he copes with the loss of innocence and being true to himself when all the odds are stacked against him. Drawing from personal experience, the songs that make up “The Sun As It Comes” are pulled from a collection built over the past three years. In the fall of 2009, Carroll witnessed the death of his grandmother who had lost her battle with drug addiction, watched his band of six years dissolve, and at last married his longtime love. To cope with these moments of pain and bliss, Carroll began writing songs on solo, acoustic guitar. He would wake with a melody in his head, and finish a song by the end of that day. “It was a very liberating way to write,” he says, “Coming from my prior band experience, where songs were totally dependent on the collaboration of all the members, it was nice to be able to write for myself. It allowed me to be more direct and honest.” But Carroll soon realized that his songs demanded a broader palate than one guitar and one voice. He wanted to create a sepia-toned world, a cracked landscape, a wind-torn desert. Enter multi-instrumentalist Ryan Ross, whose soaring trumpet and rumbling bass and organ bring drama and tension, guitarist Andrew Schneider, whose blistering twang colors the songs with his 60’s psychedelic-western flare, and drummers Edward Cerecedes, and later Dave Farina, whose thunderous tribal beats propel the songs soul-shaking precision. Jessi Williams’ lilting croon solidifies their signature sound built around male-female vocal harmonies. Their first EP, “Dead End,” launched them on a national tour, earned them airplay on college radio staples, KXLU and KUT, and critical success. Of the EP, The L.A. Times writes, “[The Lonely Wild] rustles up rustic guitar pop that’s equal parts sweet harmonies and power chord bombast.” Kevin Bronson of Buzzbands L.A. says, “[Dead End] is five songs of aching Americana that will stay with you long after you’ve cried in your beer.” And Beat Crave writes, “The Lonely Wild have a sound like no other [...] the inexplicable heart and soul they put in their music is sure to have you hooked.” Coming off the success of “Dead End,” The Lonely Wild headed to The Hangar Studios in Sacramento where they would live, eat, and sleep for a week, to record their first full-length album. Midway through the sessions, they woke to the devastating news that their head engineer’s father had died, forcing him to leave. The fate of the record seemed uncertain. A day short and with a new engineer, The Lonely Wild worked consecutive sixteen, eighteen and twenty-four hour days to produce an album filled with gut-wrenching emotion, fragile beauty, and explosive energy — a band on the brink of delirium. “It was a true labor of love,” Carroll says, “and a sheer force of will, that allowed us to finish this record. We all knew it was the most important artistic statement we had ever made, so we had to pull out all the stops.” Upon finishing the record, the band headed to SXSW 2012, and returned home for the Jubilee and Make Music Pasadena festivals. The Lonely Wild will celebrate the release of their new single, “Buried In the Murder,” this September with a residency at The Satellite. “The Sun As It Comes,” is slated for release in early 2013. Their first five-track effort was independently released on limited edition vinyl and it landed at #4 on Bandcamp’s Top Selling Charts. “Dead End” soon found its way into regular rotation on KXLU, and it created a stir in the blogosphere, earning The Lonely Wild multiple residencies backed by Radio Free Silver Lake, Buzz Bands L.A., Grimy Goods, and Supergood Music. They’re currently recording their highly anticipated full-length follow-up, which is due to release in the next few months.