Needle Drop: Deap Vally, “Digital Dream”

PHOTO: KELSEY HART | Deap Vally is known for their raw, high energy, and liberated rock. Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) and Julie Edwards (drums, vocals) have consistently brought unladylike rock ‘n’ roll realness to the stage.

Their sophomore album Femejism (2016), produced by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, engaged with a more post-punk garage rock sound after their hard blues-rock debut album Sistrionix (2012). Last year saw the release of Deap Lips, a collaborative project between Deap Vally and Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips. Deap Lips is the first in a series of Deap Vally releases to follow later on this year.

The just released “Digital Dream” EP is a subtle transition to organic collaboration with different artists and friends. Whether it be a mutual fan encounter at a restaurant or bonding over a bonfire at Brody Dalle and Josh Homme’s house, each artist had met Deap Vally’s members during chance encounters over the years. Rather than limit themselves to their customary guitar and drums arrangement, they added whatever instrument a track called for in whatever genre or mood was spontaneously occurring.

Each track captures the ethos of its collaborator.  “Look Away” featuring Warpaint’s Jenny Lee embraces Warpaint’s distinctive dreamy bass lines. French indie artist Soko’s serene indifference carries the eponymous track, “Digital Dream.” Soko also invited bassist Zach Dawes (Mini Mansions, The Last Shadow Puppets) to contribute the bass line. The unapologetic and guttural anthem “High Horse” finds Peaches’ feminist rap in good company with KT Tunstall. “Shock Easy,” the EP’s closing song inspired by the weight of school shootings, features The Kills’ Jamie Hince channeling The Kills’ penchant for lo-fi intensity.

From the ethos of west coast California, the video for “Look Away” directed by filmmaker Tristan Scott-Behrends, “takes us into a surreal dreamworld capturing the breezy essence of summer in Los Angeles that is depicted in the lyrics of the song,” explains Lindsey Troy. Working around restrictions the day of the shoot was the first time that Lindsey and Julie had seen each other since the start of pandemic last March. “It’s a miracle that we pulled this off during Covid,” Lindsey says, as she almost floated off into the ocean on the inflatable air mattress in between takes.

Also worth checking out on Deap Vally’s Instagram is some pretty cool behind-the-scenes mini doc footage of “High Horse” recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 studio.

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