Week in Pop: Feed, The Telescopes, WEEED

Sjimon Gompers

The sonic saints of legendary majesty—Stephen Lawrie & The Telescopes; photographed by Stephen Bland.


The weird wunderkinds of the PNW—WEEED; press photo courtesy of the band.

We introduced the world to the Bainbridge Island, Washington group WEEED earlier this year with the release of the ritualistic album META (Halfshell Records) and today are pleased to announce the news of their upcoming album THIS available in early 2018 from Important Records. The band of Mitch Fosnaugh, Gabriel Seaver, John Goodhue & Evan Franz focus the tenets of their friendship & psychic connections in a creative channel that finds their meditative audio musings growing in scope & size. From eccentric & experimental methodologies that have evolved to megalithic monuments & electric artifices—WEEED wields a sort of sorcery of sonic composition & sound sculpturing that synth pop has yet to emulate in the entirety of it’s expanses & aural reach.

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Presenting the first introductory listen from the upcoming LP This, WEEED pull back the curtain to reveal the first 5 minutes of the 14 minute track “Haze II” (single version) that allows the listener to stand as the dweller on the threshold to a mystical & radiating new dimension. From a chorus of droning sustains & introductory chords, “Haze II” breaks through the thin of the air in a frenzy formation of doom-laden guitars that extend upwards like sky-scraping trees that grow vertically upward with an almost unnatural velocity. Joining the Important imprint that is home to contemporary heroes/luminaries like Acid Mothers Temple, the Bainbridge Island band has elevated their own approaches from the archaic & esoteric up towards heightened degrees of illumination like guitar-gilded towers that can almost touch the outer layers of the sun. Like Icaraus taking a rocket-accelerated elevator to the solar sphere surface; WEEED provides just a taste of what’s next in store from a group that is developing the doom/stoner-core narrative into the next chapters & sequels of pure illumination.

Raging with WEEED; press photo courtesy of the band.

WEEED provided us with the following exclusive preface/prologue to their upcoming album THIS & more:

Hailing from a small island in the pacific northwest, WEEED has been the collaborative musical explorations of 3-4 close friends since 2008. Though years of shows and recordings have pigeon-holed their sound into what many describe as stoner rock/heavy psych, the milieu of what inspires them is wide-ranging and their intention during the last several years has been to generate a deeper pool of sonic stew that draws pan-nationally from styles such as gnawa, traditional folk, jazz, minimalist orchestras, krautrock, overtone singing, desert blues, and much more.

WEEED’s fifth release and third studio album, THIS is the product of both a desire to make such influences more apparent as well as a desire to explore the boundaries of the members’ abilities to connect with each other; to become, in essence, one mind. Though the skeleton of the album was written during practices, the dynamics and fullness of each song were often reconnoitered and spawned through the improvisations which occurred during live settings, tours, and the recording session itself. The idea was discovery through the act of being present, and THIS was the result.

Cover art for WEEED’s THIS; courtesy of artist Isis Fisher.

Sonically, THIS is an outgrowth of their last release, META, which saw the band beginning to experiment with ambient & vocal looping, flutes, synthesizers. Those explorations are present here, as is the notable (and permanent) addition of a second drummer, which is defined through the mixtures of tight syncopations and pulsing polyrhythms. Recorded & produced at Bear Creek studio in Woodinville, WA, THIS marks a shift in sound that has already led to further exploration into new musical territory.

The first five minutes of the much longer opening track, “Haze II”, is in many respects, then, a gateway. To what, however, you’ll have to wait to find out.

WEEED reproducing their own psychedelic exploding plastic inevitable who-knows-what; press photo courtesy of the band.

Catch WEEED via the following tour dates:

09 – LA – The Smell
10 – LA – Permanent Records
11 – LA – Hi-Hat
12 – Tucson – House of Bards
13 – Silver City – House show
14 – Albuquerque – Sister Bar
15 – Santa Fe – Ghost
16 – Denver – Hi Dive
19 – Boise – Neurolux
20 – PDX – Bunk Bar
21 – Olympia – The Crypt
22 – Seattle – The Crocodile

WEEED’s new album This will be available in early 2018 via Important Records.

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