Rose City Band – “Chasing Rainbows”


Over the past few years Ripley Johnson has built up a cottage industry in psychedelic country, taking a soft swivel away from the progressive rhythms of Moon Duo and the creosote scorch of Wooden Shjips. The endeavor is no less psychedelic, though, landing in the arms of Cosmic Americana, turning rambling rhythms into heatstroke visions of summertime joy. The band had been primarily a solo jaunt, especially as 2020 and 2021 grounded the lot of musicians for longer hauls. This past year he got together the band, including RSTB faves Dewey Mahood (Plankton Wat) and Barry Walker (Mouth Painter). The live contingent is high in mind as this record swings into view, having been forged with the stage in mind. Johnson also folds his Moon Duo bandmates Sanae Yamada and John Jeffery into the mix this time around, further expanding the psychedelic stretch of the record. The first single offers up this duality nicely — rambling on the wind in the first half before the second finds the band stretching out into a 90 degree swelter section, melting the listener into the grass. It’s an excellent progression of the band’s sound towards headier vistas, though Ripley’s absence of beard may be the thing that’s bending my brain the most about this (nah, looks great)! The new album, Garden Party, produced by John McEntire, is out April 21st on Thrill Jockey.

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