LA’s Death Valley Girls have always sought to wield their musical magic like ancient mystics, creating psychic bonds with willing ears through the medium of their fiery rock n’ roll. On the surface, previous albums like Glow in the Dark and Darkness Rains were rowdy mash-ups of early American punk, sun-baked psych rock, and proto-metal fire-and-brimstone guitar worship, yet there was always an undercurrent of some kind of strange, celebratory communal ritual in their music. With their latest album Under the Spell of Joy, the band dives even deeper into that magical cosmic energy.
The album title comes from the text on a t-shirt from San Diego heavy psych rockers Joy that was handed off to Death Valley Girls’ vocalist/guitarist Bonnie Bloomgarden, who wore the shirt for five years straight, treating it like a talisman. It’s a record loaded with chants, choirs, and rousing choruses, all for the purpose of encouraging people to sing along.
Listen to the title track below, which marries the griminess of The Stooges with an innocence provided by a children’s choir chanting the album’s primary mantra “under the spell of joy / under the spell of love.”
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