Heliotropes recently bashed everyone’s brains in at this year’s CMJ where they were listed as a top band to see via Pitchfork, Paper Magazine, and Brooklyn Vegan. “I Walked With A Zombie” is a song originally by Roky Erickson, a mad Texan singer and psych-rock pioneer. Erickson fronted the 13th Floor Elevators before suffering from extreme mental illness and delving into solo work, and his latest release with Okkervil River inspired Heliotropes’ Jessica Numsuwankijkul to cover “I Walked With A Zombie” just in time for fall (released Nov. 2012). The artist behind the cover illustration is Steve Manale, a Toronto comic book artist best-known for his work on Scott Pilgrim. Manale also stars as “Lotion Man” in the Metz video for “Wet Blanket.”
“The Dove” (released Sept. 2012) is the b-side to this Heliotropes 7″. “Opening with a staggering rhythm from drummer Cici Harrison and bassist Nya Abudu, the track features a sludgy tonality… and as the song spirals into hypnotic territory, the riffs burst with color and vibrant distortion… finishing with a scorching crescendo of swirling psych,” according to Exploding In Sound. A video for “The Dove” will be released later this month.
Heliotropes was formed in 2009 by current members Jessica Numsuwankijkul and Amber Myers. The band released the Ribbons 7″ in 2011 – an offering of heavy psych numbers steeped in dark magic and new-romantic leanings with a formidable lyrical presence. Engineered by Justin Rice (Bishop Allen), “the two tracks garnered enough buzz to propel the band to showcase appearances at SXSW 2011. Heliotropes has continued to record at Rice’s compound upstate, recently producing four yet-untitled songs that recall the phased-out, distorted intensity of the early nineties – and invoke the lush dreamworld of Twin Peaks.” The band’s debut LP is being released on Manimal in spring 2013.
Heliotropes are playing 11/28 at DC9 in Washington D.C., and 11/30 in Brooklyn at Shea Stadium.
“Psych. Doom. Stoner. Drone. Does that make you feel all yes yes in your no no spot? If so, this band out of Brooklyn, NY would like to make your acquaintance.” – Ritual Room
“…containing elements of shoegaze, goth and classic psych metal – Heliotropes blend influences from Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, Black Sabbath and My Blood Valentine. On this lo-fi EP, the guitar riffs are murky, the drums are bludgeoning, and the shrills of the violin are haunting. But it is California native Jessica Numsuwankijkul’s detached, wistful vocals – which bring to mind Richard Ashcroft meets Mazzy Star – that turn spacey dissonance into beautiful hypnotic rock.” – Soft Rock Renegade
“Yum, dissonant rock straight out of the early ’90s. Where have these girls been all my life? A: Brooklyn. ” – Feeslist
“To cross-reference musical genres is one thing. However, to create a new genre with your first output is brave and innovative.” – Chybucca Sounds
“If you’ve ever hungered to hear Hope Sandoval fronting a psych-rock combo just as hypnotic as Mazzy Star but much heavier and murkier, Brooklyn’s Heliotropes fit the bill perfectly. There’s definitely whiffs of old Seattle grunge–though maybe the darker, more obscure edges of that scene–and SoCal desert-stoner rock, but these Brooklyn ladies also look to Spacemen 3 and MBV for drone, noise and texture.” -Village Voice
“And here we were thinking Deap Valley were the only ones showing ‘the lads’ how to rock properly in 2012…” -NME
“A confident rock band through and through, and with big riffs and close-style harmonies, Heliotropes dip a little into early ’90s Seattle but they own it…” -Brooklyn Vegan