New Age Healers Tease Their Fourth Album
14 Jul 2022
Seattle's New Age Healers have come a long way since their debut LP, Ghosts, back in 2016. Although they have always recognised as a 'shoegaze/psych rock project' those early releases were much cleaner and reserved than you might expect.
2017's Where The Tragic Happens started to build upon a theme of layered, repeated guitar motifs forming a bedrock for Owen Murphy's vocals to wash over. At this point we started to hear a J Mascis energy to Murphy's approach and certainly a character that would develop and become more recognisable as the catalog progressed.
2019 saw the release of the bands third studio album Debris. This was immediately denser and more advanced in its layering of the guitars as well as Murphy's vocals. The far more signature production now assists the voice at melting in to the fuzz and effects behind it. The lead single, Satellites, features one of the most memorable hooks to date and a stunning minimalist, guitar break with just a couple of notes ringing out proud over the instrumental foundation.
This year, whilst we are anticipating the release of their fourth LP, Demolition Stories, in August, New Age Healers have blessed us with a teasing single, Scars. The overall production and musicianship on this track could not be a better example of how far this band have come. The level of depth in Murphy's vocals, the oily grunge of the bass and atmospheric guitar swirls all come together to create a majorly accomplished psychedelic alt rock anthem. The story behind the lyrics is one of passion and the decisions Murphy's own grandmother had to make with the little money she had. 'They grew up in poverty, with no father around and the safety nets we have today did not exist' he says. 'As the story goes, [my grandmother] had some cash to buy a refrigerator but instead purchased a piano. She chose joy over food in the house.' This inclination has obviously carried over to Owen himself who says 'Music is joy, love, God, hope, etc. It speaks in ways we cannot. It touches us in ways that words cannot.'
The single's B-side, Don't Let Me Go, opens up immediately in to an early 90's shoegaze protest with a relentless bass drum keeping the listener focused. The wash of noise opens up periodically for the voice to come through as drummer, Adam LeVasseur, calms the the approach down to reflect the sincerity of the lyrics. Both tracks set an amazing stage for the album to come.
When speaking to Superfan News about the coming record Owen said 'This one goes further sonically. We’ve added more voices, instruments and artistic perspective and have never settled on any of these songs. Each one has been pushed, pulled, flipped over until it’s as strong as it can be. We’ve taken chances, redone arrangements and more'. We've certainly found that the New Age Healers sound is best when the keys are respected, when the effects are layered and thought out and even with the addition of backing vocals in the new single Scars. Talk of additional instrumentation and voices in Demolition Stories is good news.
The single, Scars, is out now on Bandcamp and all major streaming platforms. Keep up to date with the band's releases and activities on https://newagehealers.bandcamp.com/ and look out for the album, Demolition Stories, next month.