San Francisco's Heron Oblivion is the new group featuring Meg Baird (Espers), Noel Von Harmonson (Comets on Fire, Six Organs of Admittance, Sic Alps, The Lowdown), Ethan Miller (Comets on Fire, Howlin' Rain, Feral Ohms), and Charlie Saufley (Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound).
Heron Oblivion's origins date to 2013 in SF's Bayview district, where its four members– fueled by a love of 60s/70s scuzz and commune jams, folk rock, noise, and P.S.F. Japanese underground—would get together for what Miller describes as "blistering, extended free jam sessions." The four musicians realized that their initial chemistry (which was strong from the outset) was undeniable and it's vision unified. Heron Oblivion was born.
Ultimately, Heron Oblivion fused song craft to its improvisational leanings. What materialized is a mesmeric compilation of English folk rock and earthy West Coast psychedelia spiked with feedback and explosive dissonant elements. The sum of these elements will make up their Sub Pop debut, due out spring 2016.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
Chris Forsyth is a lauded guitarist and composer whose work assimilates art-rock textures with vernacular American influences. Long active in underground circles, he’s recently released a string of acclaimed records of widescreen guitar rock, and in 2013, he assembled The Solar Motel Band, who have quickly developed a reputation as an incredible live act, provoking ecstatic comparisons to visionary artists such as Television, The Grateful Dead, Popul Vuh, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Richard Thompson.
The volatile chemistry of the Solar Motel Band is evidenced on their Solar Live 10.15.13 LP (Electric Ragtime), recorded live in Philadelphia and released in spring 2014.
Intensity Ghost, the first studio album by Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band was released to universal acclaim in October 2014 on the No Quarter label. It’s been named one of the best releases of 2014 by Uncut (#34) and the New Yorker. Aquarium Drunkard called it “pure unadulterated guitar heaven - classic rock remade.” The Quietus said, “It’s just immense.”
His newest release with The Solar Motel Band is the double album The Rarity of Experience (No Quarter), released in March 2016. Raves have been universal. Pitchfork called it “a near-perfect balance between 70s rock tradition and present day experimentation,” NPR Music named Forsyth “one of rock’s most lyrical guitar improvisors,” and the New York Times calls him “a scrappy and mystical historian… His music humanizes the element of control in rock classicism (and) turns it into a woolly but disciplined ritual.”