For the last 15 years, Allah-Las have alchemically melded surf rock washes with folk rock jangle and rock, building up their lauded music podcast, Reverberation Radio, and record label, Calico Discos, in the process. But a lot has changed since Matthew Correia (drums/vocals), Spencer Dunham (bass, guitar, vocals), Miles Michaud (guitar, organ, vocals), and Pedrum Siadatian (guitar, synth, vocals) first bonded over psych rock vinyl in the back room at Amoeba Records in the late aughts. Zuma 85 finds the quartet facing a new world with a wealth of new sounds, drawing from an eclectic mix of progressive rock, prog, kosmische, and Eno-esque art rock, scuzzy Royal Trux riffs, and detouring into tones and textures that call to mind ‘90s and 2000s pop.
The album was born, like so much else these days, out of the downtime of 2020-2022. For most of the band’s existence, Allah-Las adhered to a year to album year/tour year schedule, logging serious hours on the road. When the shutdown of 2020 put everything on hold, it opened up space for each member to focus on their own lives and interests, and time to re-envision what creative processes could look like. Instead of bringing finished songs to the studio, they entered the picturesque Panoramic House recording in Stinson Beach (a space co-owned by John Baccigaluppi of Tape Op magazine) with sketches, ideas, and riffs. Working with co-producer Jeremy Harris (White Fence, Devendra Banhart, Sam Gendel) they shaped and crafted the new songs in real time over three sessions, which were then mixed in Los Angeles by frequent collaborator Jarvis Taveniere (Woods, Avalanches, Purple Mountains).
“We got in real late that first night of the first session,” Michaud says. “It was around midnight. We had a quick intro and Jeremy had a bottle of wine. We had a little and he said, ‘You wanna start recording?’ -- Everything just worked,That studio just pulls it out of you.”
Limited to 300 copies, the VMP exclusive version of Allah-Las' Zuma 85 is pressed on Transparent Blue vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing (MRP). The 1LP will arrive in a single, direct-to-board, foil-stamped and numbered jacket with a download code.