The Black Angels release ‘Haunting at 1300 McKinley’ single today
aaamusic | On 28, Mar 2011
The Black Angels are currently looking forward to hosting the fourth installment of their annual music-and-arts festival, Austin Psych Fest right now, which runs from 29 April to 1 May 2011. Fast becoming the premiere destination for psych lovers, this year’s bash will see performances from Spectrum, Roky Erickson, Crystal Stilts, Crocodiles, The Fresh & Onlys, The Growlers, Cold Sun and tons more. “The original idea was just to throw a party and invite the bands that we liked,” they say. “With something like SXSW or ATP you never get to see all the bands you want to see, so we’re being a bit selfish in a way and bringing them all to our place!”
Experiences closer to home inspired the brilliant Haunting At 1300 McKinley, the latest single from The Black Angels’ third album, Phosphene Dream released on Blue Horizon Records this Monday March 28th. Built on a gutsy, grinding, garage-rock riff, it represents the leaner, more urgent side of the drone-rock dons.
The Black Angels believe in ghosts. They believe in them because they lived with one, at 1300 McKinley, the house they shared from 2004 to 2007 in Austin, Texas. “We’ve also seen several on Civil War battlefields and at the Alamo,” boast the band. “At Gettysburg we heard rifle fire and cannon fire. We saw old lanterns dangling from trees in the distance. Up a tower, we saw a Union soldier slam his face against one of the windows; blood splattered everywhere and one of his eyeballs was dangling, then he disappeared.”
The video for “Haunting at 1300 McKinley” was shot in Paris, France, and was directed by Phillip Andelman, whose previous work includes videos by Rihanna (“What’s My Name”), Band of Horses (“Dilly”), The Jonas Brothers (“Lovebug”). He did this video purely out of love for the band. The stark black and white clip is incredibly dark, mysterious and unsettling. It starts with our hero walking down the streets of Paris minding his business until his world starts to crumble around him. Out of nowhere, he gets hit in the face by an unseen object. And then it happens again – and again. He then gets pulled to the ground and he’s dragged down the street and over stone steps. He becomes a bloody mess and he tries to run for safety, but there is no safe haven. Not even in his apartment, which is where the video ends. The air of helplessness in the video heightens the psychedelic wormhole of the song’s groove.
Released in September 2010, Phosphene Dream saw the Texan band uniting with famed producer Dave Sardy (Oasis, Wolfmother and Black Mountain), resulting in their most forward-thinking and focused album to date. “Dave became like the sixth Black Angel,” say the band. “He told us from the onset that he wanted to make the most psychedelic album ever, so we were completely on board with that!”
With the album debuting in the top 50 on the Billboard chart and the band recently being named Band Of The Week on RollingStone.com, it’s been a phenomenal period for the band. As well as sold out tours across the globe, they’ve notched up a Letterman appearance (and a Conan O’Brien slot is due in May), performed on the Jim Jarmusch-curated stage at New York’s ATP and appeared on UNKLE’s new album on the track Natural Selection. Another Black Angels/UNKLE collaboration, With You In My Head was included on the smash hit Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack.