Los Angeles-based Velvet Starlings are back with a new single and music video with the release of “Bullfight,” the first preview of the band’s forthcoming new album Pacific Standard Time which arrives this summer. The band will also be playing two gigs in Los Angeles in support of what will be their third record, with dates at The Echo in Los Angeles on May 6 and at The Moroccan Lounge on Jun. 7. In some ways the new album and shows will serve as a reintroduction, as it was after the release of their sophomore record Technicolor Shakedown that the noisy psych-pop outfit underwent extensive lineup changes. Today, the band is comprised of Christian Gisborne (guitar), Amaya Montgomery (flute), Aaron Hoang (keys), DeRon Munroe (drums), and Alberto Lopez (lead guitar).
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For those who’ve caught Velvet Starlings in concert anytime after 2019, their new single “Bullfight” will no doubt sound quite familiar. That’s because the band has had it on every single setlist since then, the song serving as the raucous finale of their already rabidly kinetic performances. It was also one of the first songs created for Pacific Standard Time — which itself has sat completed in the wings of the band’s discography awaiting release — and came about out of a desire to play something “fast and crazy” live.
The result was “Bullfight,” a lightning-quick and feral blitz of breakneck riffs and screeching sonics that was clearly designed to spark a firestorm of energy for whatever crowd that found itself in its wake. And coming at the end of a Velvet Starling set it’s no doubt blissfully cacophonous overkill. But the five-piece that serves as the dynamo of all that blistering rock and sizzlingly dizzy psych-weirdness proves they’re able to wrangle all the raw chaos of their live shows into their songs.
The music video for “Bullfight” illustrates that talent with brash gusto as Velvet Starlings perform the track live as they might at one of their shows. For anyone new to the band it should serve as an enticing vision of what to expect at one of their shows, as well as their status as a group that excels in the fiery intimacy of such venues as The Echo or The Moroccan Lounge.
It probably says quite a bit about the band that most of the time they appear as blurs of motion: whether they’re tearing it up on guitar, hammering away on drums, tumbling away mesmerically on keys, or just howling into the microphone. Ever the hallmark of a phenomenal live band is the perception that no one is having as much fun (or losing their mind euphorically to it) as those onstage. And that’s evidently the case with Velvet Starlings while performing “Bullfight.”
See Velvet Starlings at The Echo in Los Angeles on May 6 and at The Moroccan Lounge on Jun. 7.
Visit Velvet Starlings on their website, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.
Words: Steven Ward
Watch the music video for “Bullfight” the new single from Velvet Starlings below!