While the Los Angels-based Viny Williams, led by the 22-year-old Lionel Williams, offer some trippy motives — I prefer to let the sound speak for itself. Falling into the shoegaze and psyche pop genres, Vinyl Williams carves out a much more primal niche with their debut album, Lemniscate. A vast arrangement of instruments are utilized — icy keys, tribal drum beats and chanting vocals. Spiritually-charged, cosmic lyrics pierce the album with an overwhelming burner vibe. Desert-like musical zones are painted with the spaced-out drums and echoing harmonies.
A balance is kept between hippy dippy commune chant as the beachy Cali pop is enviably heard, like garage band punks who found Buddha and Morrissey. Breathy, uber sultry vocals can be heard on tracks such as “Stellarscope,” where the vocals literally sound like some sort of tantric moans. Foreign words I don’t understand and brief repetition pronounces, “Bring me to the spirit,” punctuated by a wailing woman’s voice. It’s all very melodramatic and galactic on this track, followed with great relief by “Who Are You”; it’s jingly, it’s speedy and it’s glorious. Spinning daisies and children — skipping backwards, this drink the kool-aid piece is so wrong, it’s right. Like a relaxed summer day on fast-forward, its speediness lends a sense of humor to the otherwise confusion.
Sexy and intricate, my mind travels to far off villages, locals practicing religions I’ve never heard of—heads bowed in prayer and music like this ringing through my ears. With fresh flowers and hand-sewn prayer clothes, this is where “Follow In Your Dreams“ takes me. Its inspiring and youthful pep rises and falls with a low roar of shimming bells, much like the Buddhist pray bowls or the mountain chimes of some Thai monastery. It’s an old and epic sound, and I stand impressed that this was all created by a band of youth born in 1990. Lemniscate is beautiful; every track in its holy rock glory, and it’s simple — which is a trait I can appreciate. Most of all it’s heartfelt. Once you press play you’re guided so kindly down a path to psychedelic nirvana. Like a musical meditation for the Venice beach crowd, it’s touching while still being punk-as-fuck. So dust off your leather pants and your copy of dharma bums, snuggle up with your favorite dirty hippy and enjoy the melodic waves of Vinyl Williams debut album, Lemniscate.
Vinyl Williams just played a mind-blowing show this past Wednesday at the Echo. You can also catch them at one of their upcoming local shows below:
P.S. Williams is also an accomplished visual artist. Check out some of his works, here.
Words: Jasmine Richelle
Artist: Vinyl Williams
Recored Label: Salonislam / No Pain in Pop
Release date: November 13, 2012