Posts Tagged ‘La Luz’

Design Inspiration: Ardneks

The Design Inspiration series has long been one of my personal favorites around here. As much as I love the songwriters and bands that make up the bulk of the coverage here, I’m equally enthralled by the visual artists who define the look of modern psychedelia and forward-thinking graphic design. Usually this feature focuses on cover art, and today’s artist has certainly created a few memorable ones, including recent favorites from Shana Cleveland and Flamingods. However, at heart Ardneks is a master of poster art, weaving intricate details into packed designs that pop with a shock of colors. So, after some discussion on the expansion of scope in this feature Ardneks picked the five posters he found most influential on his style and I’ve highlighted some of his own detail-packed work above. Check out his picks below, a true tour of some of some psychedelic bedrock.

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Shana Cleveland

An integral part of La Luz’ sound for the past few years, guitarist Shana Cleveland proves her solo vision to be just as potent. Shirking off the shell of the “band,” Shana Cleveland and the Sandcastles, that she’d used last time she struck out on her own, Night of the Worm Moon burrows far further into the darker recesses of pop’s hold on the mind. Elements of surf still infect her songwriting, as would befit any member of La Luz, but this seems to be a pale midnight ride into the waves. It’s one that ends with a dive below the surface. holding your breath until it hurts, then returning to the beach to watch the stars in hope that another is out there feeling just as adrift upon the pangs of loneliness. Themes of isolation, flying saucers, other worlds, solar eclipses, and inner monologues weave between the somnambulant plucks of Cleveland’s songs. The record revels in lulling the listener into a cocoon of calm, but winds up painting their dreams in strange iridescent shades that haunt heavily upon waking.

The fevered pastoral nature of the record places it outside many of her surf and garage contemporaries, finding a queasy balance of bleakness and hope like some of the best members of bygone label Language of Stone. Were it the peak of the psych-folk revival, Cleveland could easily find herself sharing a bill between Orion Rigel Dommisse, Festival, Josephine Foster, and White Magic. She ultimately tugs away from the noose of nostalgia, though, giving the album a thoroughly timeless feeling at its core. Night of the Worm Moon winds up that rare instance of a record that slows time around the listener, sealing the moments spent listening in a billow of haze that’s as narcotic as any substance you’re likely to encounter. Cleveland has long proven a nuanced force in pop, but this album seals her legacy as one of the new era’s most haunting folk voices.


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Shana Cleveland on Charlie Feathers’ – Tip Top Daddy

I’ve long been a fan of La Luz’ surf-soaked garage pop, and that’s in large part to the contributions to guitarist/singer Shana Cleveland. As she’s built up a body of work apart from the group, first with the Sandcastles and now standing alone with the imminent release of Night of the Worm Moon, she’s proving to be a nuanced and nimble songwriter capable of shaking off the both the garage and surf tags to explore waters well beyond her original launching grounds. I implored Shana to pick out a record for the Hidden Gems series that she though was a true hidden gem, lost to the ages and slipping between the cracks of culture. She’s chosen Norton’s roundup of Charlie Feather’s acoustic obscurities. Check out what brought this record into her life and what impact its had on her personally and artistically.

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Shana Cleveland – “Don’t Let Me Sleep”

Shana Cleveland lets out the second single from her upcoming, Night of the Worm Moon, which is quickly becoming one of my favorites of 2019. Much like the previous single, “Don’t Let Me Sleep” languishes in late-night vibes and spectral calm. The song, and album, are a departure from the taut garage pop of her La Luz days, but Cleveland proves that less is more with these affecting and dreamy tunes. The accompnying video is no less dreamy, in fact. Centered on an extraterrestrial concept, the clip is awash in shimmering colors and midnight locales. Its a perfect compliment to Shana’s lullaby pleas. The album is out April 5th, and I highly recommend looking into a copy.

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Shana Cleveland – “Face of the Sun”

The La Luz frontwoman already had a formidable catalog behind her when she struck out solo as Shana Cleveland and the Sandcastles back in 2015, but the stripped-down record showed a more lonesome side of her songwriting than ever before. Now, with LL’s best album to date in the rearview of last year, she aims for a solo stab once again, dropping the Sandcastles crutch and embracing a more fully formed solo persona. Her solo works tend to be calmer and more pastoral than the dark current of surf that pervades La Luz, but on “Face of the Sun” she combines both forces into a noir ballad tinged with seaside air and regret. The moonlight slide of guitar that winds its way through the track shifts seamlessly between tropical and country, honing in on a lost ‘60s charm that she only ramps up with her Laurel Canyon delivery. As an added bonus (for me at least) the track comes with an animated version of the cover done by Indonesian psychedicist Ardneks.

The album is out April 5th from Hardly Art.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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