Hippies Are Dead Records is excited to announce that the Bay Area-based band The Heavenly States will be releasing their brand new EP titled Oui Camera Oui on April 19. Recorded and produced with Bill Lefler (Gym Class Heroes, Dashboard Confessional) in Los Angeles, CA, in the fall of 2009 and mixed by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady, etc.), Oui Camera Oui marks the band’s first album with Hippies Are Dead Records and is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2008 album, Delayer.
To celebrate the release of the band’s new EP, the track “Model Son” is now being given away for free. As the EP’s opening song, “Model Son” is a foot-stomping rocker that reveals the scope of the band’s highly ambitious music. The song is a journey through folk, blues by way of Britain, and southern rock, with surprises around every corner to the very end. The rasp, rhythm, and groove recall Bob Seger, Talking Heads and Modest Mouse.
Additionally, to support independent music and retail, The Heavenly States will be offering Oui Camera Oui through a special preorder and Bay Area show performance tied in with this year’s Record Store Day on April 16. Customers who preorder Oui Camera Oui, purchase the vinyl on April 16 or spend $10 or more at their favorite record store on Record Store Day will receive a free ticket to see the band that very same night in San Francisco, CA, at The Red Devil Lounge.
Oui Camera Oui presents photographs from a PTSD decade. A collection of intense fragments of experience from a dystopian America, Oui offers images culled from American trauma, overheard business disputes, misremembered events, moments captured in medias res, and an overarching moral ambiguity. There is a sense of displacement and unattainable homecoming, yet without a hint of sentimentality. Together, the songs see now what will have happened two futures from now.
With a sound, attitude, and point of view previously likened by reviewers and critics to Pavement, The Clash, HÃ¼sker DÃ¼ and The Replacements, Oui features all of the States’ musical traits: hooks, sing-a-longs, the lush string and keyboard arrangements of Genevieve Gagon, ample melodies, the huge drumming of Jeremy Gagon, and the raucous guitar playing of lead singer Ted Nesseth. True to its alt nature, the band continues to ingeniously use a simple everyday vocabulary to paint complex sonic and conceptual landscapes. Telescoped into an EP, these qualities have an amped intensity.
The Heavenly States came together in 2002, united by a shared passion for complex and cathartic rock bursting with literate, provocative lyricism. A series of acclaimed albums and a seemingly endless capacity for touring – including a landmark 2005 trek to Egypt and Libya – confirmed their status as one of America’s premiere music outfits, flying the flag for self-determination and intelligent, energetic rock ‘n’ roll.
After spending much of 2008 on tour following Delayer’s release, the band pondered their next move, wondering how best to follow such an ambitious collection. The inspiration struck to attempt an EP, in the tradition of band favorites like Just Like Heaven, Sonic Youth, Stink, Metal Circus, Nervous Breakdown, Watery Domestic, and oh yes, Magical Mystery Tour.
“We started thinking about the death of the record,” says singer/guitarist Ted Nesseth. “People are broke, their attention spans are waning. We have all these ideas so we thought, let’s just rock out five or six songs … give the EP a rebirth.”
Oui Camera Oui shows the short form can pack a powerful punch, and it whets the appetite for the band’s next EP installments which will include sister songs, prequels, epilogues and other forms to create connections across several releases. There is no chaff on a Heavenly States record, and the band’s concise songwriting and avoidance of overblown production are refreshing at this time of proliferation and self-indulgent double albums. Here is a band still trying to write focused songs of substance, beauty, and lasting value in a disposable nanoculture.
Tracklisting for Oui Camera Oui
01. Model Son
02. Berlin Wall
05. Hold My Little Baby
06. Oui Camera Oui
07. Careful with that review, Eugene
March 3 – Brooklyn, NY – The Rock Shop
March 4 – New York, NY – Pianos
April 16 – San Francisco, CA – The Red Devil Lounge (special Record Store Day performance)