[Cover photo credit to Amadou Kante]
California Psych Rock band Dream Phases has followed up on their release of recent single “Mrs. Songbyrd”, with the arrival of its companion single “Velvet Knife.” The two new singles are the band’s first releases since their 2021 album, New Distractions, which recently arrived on vinyl.
Both “Mrs. Songbyrd” and “Velvet Knife” were recorded at Sunset Sound, Produced by Clint Welander and co-producer Jeff Schroeder (Smashing Pumpkins) with mixing by by Matt Schuessler (Kurt Vile, DISQ, Cat Power). The two singles will be released together as a double single on 7 inch vinyl by Nomad Eel Records later in the year.
Brandon Graham shares about the tracks:
Both of these songs were recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California. We’ve long wanted to record at this legendary studio, where many of our favorite artists and records were made since the late sixties. Our good friend, Clint Welander, has been an engineer there for years and we had been talking for years about working together. We had just finished the recording of our next album, and knowing that it would be quite some time before it came out we decided to do a few standalone singles. Those two singles were ‘Mrs. Songbyrd’, and ‘Velvet Knife’, which we both recorded with Clint at Sunset Sound. For the tracking days we had myself, Shane Graham on drums/percussion, Keveen Baudouin on guitar, and Anthony Marks on piano and harpsichord. I sang, played guitars, bass, and synth. We also had our pal Jeff Schroeder (Smashing Pumpkins) come along to offer some feedback and advice, and he did a little pre-production with us too.
Both of the songs had been around for a little while, with ‘Mrs. Songbyrd’ being a contender on New Distractions, and ‘Velvet Knife’ being started during the end of that album’s sessions. Both felt different from the album so we decided to keep them for later. The final versions stayed pretty true to my original home studio demos, but the production definitely sounds way better. ‘Mrs. Songbyrd’ is really an homage to a lot of my favorite classic 60’s songwriters and bands. I’m sure the references to the Zombies, Beatles, and Kinks will be pretty obvious. I was definitely trying to tell a story and write about a character with that one.
The trio that make up the band, including Brandon Graham, Shane Graham, and Keveen Baudouin, swim in the waters of West Coast Pop and Rock but also bring a substantial update to their vintage enthusiasm. Their music is particularly mood-driven and often evokes a storytelling atmosphere that also conjures a sense of place.