Among rock ‘n’ roll’s many mistresses and muses, California remains one of the most enigmatic, enduring, and enchanting. The Golden State’s allure can notably be attributed to the intoxicating melodic excess of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” and the finger-picked pensiveness of Led Zeppelin’s “Going To California,” to name a few.
The West Coast’s influence courses throughout The Delta Saints’ 2017 full-length album, Monte Vista. Irresistible lead single “California” snaps from a vintage synth swell into a rough-n-tumble guitar riff and bluesy howl. It’s an anthem for throwing caution to the wind, skipping town and setting out to find something more. “California has always been a sort of haven for the band both physically and emotionally,” says front man Ben Ringel. “We’ve got a home base at our guitarist Dylan’s grandmother’s house in La Jolla on Monte Vista Street. That’s where the album title comes from. When we wrote the song, we were in the middle of a dismal Nashville winter. We were all feeling the need to escape the cold, but also had this drive that had been building up over the previous year to really push ourselves beyond where we were. I think we all felt a bit stagnate, and ‘California’ is about us getting up and actually doing something about it.”
The Nashville-based quintet—Ben Ringel [vocals & guitar], Dylan Fitch [guitar], David Supica [bass], Vincent “Footz” Williams [drums], and Nate Kremer [keyboards]—craft raw and visceral rock music with psychedelic flares, fuzzed-out guitar riffs, arresting drum patterns and blues tendencies over the course of 10 tracks produced by Third Man Records alum Eddie Spear [Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Chris Stapleton]. It’s the triumphant culmination of a long journey comprised of ceaseless touring in the United States and Europe and fan favorite records such as the crowd-funded Death Letter Jubilee in 2013 and 2015’s Bones. The latter yielded “Sometimes I Worry,” which landed a prominent placement on the most recent season of Showtime’s Shameless. It also spiritually set the stage for Monte Vista, an album brimming with a restless spirit and coming-of-age ruminations on life, love, self-discovery and the world at large.
“We started working on the new music shortly after we finished Bones, which was an incredibly transitional record for us,” Dylan recalls. “We switched gears from primarily being a foot-stomping bayou blues band into the psychedelic and indie rock realms. We pivoted from harmonica to keyboard. It’s a little less roots. And now we’re independent again after being on a label. Through the whole process, we had this need to continue writing. There was a lot of stuff going on in the world and a lot to be inspired by, whether it was losing artists such as David Bowie and Prince or the political climate. So, we came up with ideas throughout 2016.”
During this time, the band found that their songwriting was evolving as well. Sharper hooks and bigger melodies took shape, invigorating The Delta Saints’ sound with a jolt that makes each one soar to new heights. Drawing a heavier energy from Alice In Chains and Rage Against The Machine, a succinct delivery courtesy of The Kinks, Oasis, and Kasabian, and a cinematic expanse a la Pink Floyd and Radiohead, The Delta Saints fell into a groove that finally felt right. They seamlessly began to create undeniable rock songs with Spear at the helm.
Emerging from Raleigh, North Carolina, The Antique Hearts blend traits of Americana, Country, and Indie Rock, bringing a sense of roots energy backed by a «heart-on-the-sleeve» writing style. Since coming together in early 2015, Zach Gregory, Matt Austin, Christian Ulrich, and Katie Cooper have been pushing the sounds of alt-country, while looking back at the styles of the old American greats.