In an interview a few weeks ago Amanda (one half of Pocahaunted) said Island Diamonds was their 'dub album' and that the next two records were 'tribal soul' and 'dark raga' respectively. Mirror Mics, the new one from which this track is from (out on Weird Forest) is the 'tribal soul' one and that tag seems pretty apt. For a prolific duo who work with a highly experimental recording style (most of their records are laid done spontaneously from the first take), their take on genres and styles keep their lengthy jams just directionless enough. 'Sister Calypso' builds up a bit more than we're used to; muted melodies match distant serene vocals, brighter than ever, a real sense of prettiness, lamenting slowly and delicately even if a sense of fun is generally at the heart of their murk, they're coming off as sincere as ever on the new colour-drenched LP.
I talked to the Los Angeles duo, Amanda and Bethany, just before they went into the studio to record; here's an excerpt from that interview that will be on TMT soon. Elsewhere in this interview we talked Patrick Dempsey, New Age shit, DIY scenes, tribal shit.
Bethany: It's very schizophrenic around here. Tonight’s session will be 'Pocahaunted does Tom Tom Club'. Cross your fingers for us.
I was thinking how well your sound works in a dub sort of form.
Amanda: Dub is awesome, it was really inspiring for us during the time we were recording. I would just wake up and do the dishes to weird Soul Jazz box sets, and my husband Britt bought endless rare imports that Pete from Yellow Swans would suggest for us, and then there was the Lee Scratch Perry biography....
Rad. Those Soul Jazz compilations are terrific eh. A lot of that super old vintagey dub has kind of a spooky feel to it. A different spooky to you guys but it makes sense with your sound I think.
Amanda: God, rich esoteric white British men know what’s up, right? We should be on Soul Jazz.
Totally. So is Chains going to be the tribal soul one?
Bethany: No, that's Mirror Mics. Chains is the pop Tom Tom stuff.
I've been so obsessed with Tom Tom Club lately. But is it quite dark, still?
Bethany: Yeah I mean, no. No, it's like reggae pop with great jazzy wandering vocals
Amanda: Noooooo, it's really a Talking Heads stop making sense ‘home’ thing. We're not dark people, and we're not spooky. We like to move and be moved, we like to dance, and feel rhythmic, this just reflects that.
Yeah it seems obvious that you guys aren’t dark people, there seems to be a good sense of humour that comes with it. I dunno, I guess just the stuff I’ve been reading always describes yr music as quite scary/spooky. Would you say agree with that at all?
Bethany: Maybe because it's a people's projection thing. Like we're connected to great drone psychedelic music and we're proud of that, but we always want to be slipping in weird beats or pop into it. We get kind of spooky.
Amanda: I mean if yr alone, listening, and watching the eyes of Laura Mars on mute with us playing in the background... yeah, then we're spooky for sure.
ALSO: HOT EXPERIMENTAL GOSS -- HOW COME POCAHAUNTED ARE THE 'OLSEN TWINS OF DRONE'?
Bethany: The Olsen twins of drone is joke from Bobb [Bruno] stemming from the fact that one of looks like a fancy and one of us looks like a crazy and we drink a lot of tea and talk a lot of shit and hang out together. And then we play drone music, see?
[Buy Mirror Mics from Weird Forest]