Allah-Las Announce New Album Zuma 85 and Unveil Lead Single The Stuff
Los Angeles-based rock band Allah-Las has made an exciting announcement for their fans. The group revealed that their highly anticipated new album, titled "Zuma 85," is set to be released on the 13th of October. Alongside this news, Allah-Las has also shared the first taste of the album through the lead single and LP opener, "The Stuff," along with the title track, "Zuma 85."
"The Stuff" showcases a glamorous and electronic sound that signals the band's venture into a new era. With this track, Allah-Las defies algorithmic categorization and breaks free from robotic sterility. It's a refreshing departure from their previous works, showcasing their ability to reinvent themselves and experiment with different musical styles. The song features vocoder, guitar solos, and a steady, driving rhythm, creating a tongue-in-cheek ode to rock tropes and nostalgic sentiments within the music world.
On the other hand, "Zuma 85," an instrumental track, takes listeners on a different journey. It incorporates field recordings with chimes that precede Manuel Göttsching (Ash Ra)-style guitars. These guitars drift aquatically over a motorik rhythm and hazy synths, offering a mesmerizing and immersive experience.
The album takes its name from a photograph titled "Zuma 85," captured by California photographer John Divola. Chosen by Matthew Correia, the band's resident photography head and album art designer, the image juxtaposes the chaos of human construction against the natural beauty of the West Coast. It serves as a symbolic totem and an unspoken reference point for the album, indicative of the new era that Allah-Las is exploring.
"Zuma 85" is being released under the band's own label, Calico Discos, in partnership with Innovative Leisure. This collaboration follows the success of their earlier albums, including their self-titled debut "Allah-Las" in 2012 and "Worship The Sun" in 2014, which were also released through Innovative Leisure.
The pandemic-induced downtime of 2020-2022 provided the band members with the opportunity to focus on their personal lives and interests. It allowed them to rethink their creative processes, leading to a sense of looseness that became pivotal to their new album. Instead of bringing finished songs to the studio, they entered Panoramic House recording in Stinson Beach with sketches, ideas, and riffs. Co-producer Jeremy Harris (known for his work with White Fence, Devendra Banhart, and Ty Segall) joined them in shaping and crafting the songs in real time over three sessions. Frequent collaborator Jarvis Taveniere (Woods, Avalanches, Purple Mountains) then mixed the tracks in Los Angeles.
The bucolic environment of Panoramic House, overlooking Stinson Beach and Bolinas Bay, played a significant role in the creative process. The band members recall a memorable first night when, after a quick intro, they began recording around midnight, fueled by a bottle of wine. The next morning, as they listened back, they discovered that the sparkling and stutter-stepped track, "Right On Time," was mostly done. The recording experience was unlike anything they had done before but felt entirely natural. According to Michaud, "Everything just worked... That studio just pulls it out of you."
"Zuma 85" sees Allah-Las stepping away from familiar territory and embracing influences from late-era Lou Reed and John Cale, '70s mutant pop reminiscent of Peter Ivers and early Eno and Roxy Music, as well as textures borrowed from Japanese pop and loner-folk obscurities. The album represents a new chapter for the band, as they merge surf rock washes with folk rock jangle and rock, taking on a wealth of new sounds and facing a new world.
Allah-Las comprises Matthew Correia on drums and vocals, Spencer Dunham on bass, guitar, and vocals, Miles Michaud on guitar, organ, and vocals, and Pedrum Siadatian on guitar, synth, and vocals. Their journey over the past 15 years has seen them seamlessly blend various genres, develop the revered music podcast Reverberation Radio, and establish their own record label, Calico Discos.
With the announcement of "Zuma 85" and the release of "The Stuff," Allah-Las continues to captivate listeners with their innovative sound and adventurous spirit. Fans eagerly await the arrival of their new album, which promises to be a remarkable addition to their discography.