10.02.2014 — “Santaria” by The Black Ryder

The Black Ryder

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Santaria” by The Black Ryder (2015, from the forthcoming album The Door Behind the Door).

The Black Ryder is a psychedelic shoegaze/dream pop band. The core of the band, and the only “official” members are the Australian duo of Aimée Nash and Scott Van Ryper. They’re set up in Los Angeles now, and they frequently get help from guest musicians who come from bands such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The band formed in 2007, and they released their debut album Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride in 2009 to very favorable reviews.

I had never heard of the band until I saw this song in my soundcloud feed about thirty minutes ago. I immediately fell in love with the song.

This is that song:
“Santaria” by The Black Ryder

It sounds like something that might have happened if Galaxie 500 and Mazzy Star played a show in 1991 using My Bloody Valentine’s gear and pedal boards. There’s a lot of pop sensibilities here, and just enough of the “psychedelic” thing to be vaguely reminiscent of a brawnier version of Mazzy Star. But there’s other, heavier stuff going on at the same time. There’s also so much fuzz and drone, so much heavy delay and pitch shifting. Like a gentler MBV. It all combines quite nicely to make a very soothing final product.

Von Ryper’s delay-drenched vocals are perfect for this, even if it’s very difficult to discern what he’s singing. Nash’s backing vocals are barely noticeable on this song except for one glorious flourish that goes from 3:35 to 3:50, where she’s actually singing rather than cooing. It’s subtle enough that I missed it the first two times that I listened, but it’s really worth paying special attention to that part.

The band released their debut on Von Ryper’s label The Anti-Machine Machine, and it was eventually released in this country on Mexican Summer Records. The new album has been in the works for more than a year and it looks like it should be out in early 2015 via Anti-Machine Machine.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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