Among the highlights of 2014 so far, Mars Red Sky‘s Stranded in Arcadia (review here) is out next week in Europe on Listenable Records (June 10 in North America). The album is the second from the Bordeaux trio of guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist/vocalist Jimmy Kinast and drummer Matgaz (his first), and it was put to tape in Brazil late last year after plans to tour the West Coast of the US and record in the California desert were undone by American visa troubles. Presumably the TSA saw Kinast‘s beard and assumed he was a terrorist, but I don’t know that for sure.
Either way, listening to Stranded in Arcadia – as I can’t seem to stop doing — the three-piece leaves little doubt that they made the most of their situation. Like their 2011 self-titled debut (review here) and subsequent 2013 EP, Be My Guide (review here), there’s a humility in the sweet melodies that complement the huge fuzz riffs of songs like “Hovering Satellites” and “Seen a Ghost,” but as opener and longest cut at just over eight minutes “The Light Beyond” shows, Mars Red Sky have greatly expanded their sound to include more psychedelic atmospheres. Production-wise, Stranded in Arcadia unfolds gracefully into a sprawl the largesse of which not only serves to make the tones come across thick and/or echoing, but also to provide the landscape in which the next stage of the band’s songwriting can develop, coming into focus like an old Polaroid photo as “The Light Beyond” bursts to wah-soaked life from its soft, ambient intro.
Like “Join the Race,” “Seen a Ghost,” and the more swaggering “Circles,” “The Light Beyond” is a highlight of Stranded in Arcadia, but for anyone who heard the first record or its follow-up EP, the song also offers firm evidence of how Mars Red Sky have grown in the last couple years. More than that, it’s the kind of track that feels like it’s swallowing you whole as it eases between its verses and jammed-out vibing. Taking both into consideration, there was no way I wasn’t going to stream it when the opportunity arose.
Find and enjoy “The Light Beyond” on the player below, followed by info about Mars Red Sky‘s special May 15 release show in Bordeaux and other tour dates:
Into The Mars Red Sound » may 15th in Bordeaux!
On the occasion of the release of their new album ”Stranded In Arcadia” in Europe on April 28th, MARS RED SKY announced a release party in their hometown Bordeaux on May 15th. The band will perform a classic live set alongside Russian rockers The Grand Astoria, as well as an experimental video and sound creation featuring Julia Al Abed.
Mars Red Sky on tour:
04.26.14 – SAINTES (Fr) Coconut Party
05.06.14 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE (Lux) Rockhal ***
05.07.14 – LAUSANNE (Swz) Les Docks *** w/ Detroit
05.08.14 – AMIENS (Fr) Le Cirque Jules Verne ***
05.15.14 – BORDEAUX (Fr) Barbey, Release Party “Into The Mars Red Sound”
05.17.14 – ANGOULÊME (Fr) La Nef
06.01.14 – PARIS (Fr) La Cigale ***
06.20.14 – CLISSON (Fr) HELLFEST OPEN AIR
06.26.14 – SALLES-ABRUISSANNAS (Fr) Willstock Festival
06.27.14 – VIC LE COMTE (Fr) Festival Alambic
06.28.14 – ÉVREUX (Fr) Le Rock Dans Tous Ses États Festival
07.11.14 – ERFURT (Ger) STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND FESTIVAL
10.02.14 – PARIS (Fr) La Maroquinerie