BY DAY Cory Hanson is singer-guitarist with LA psych quintet Wand, but he also pursues a rather seductive solo vision: a very LA blur of blissful, rootsy psych, part-Laurel Canyon, part-peyote in the deserts out past city limits.
He’s got only his second full-length solo outing, Pale Horse Rider, due for release on Drag City in March; in December gone we fell for the first single drop from that, “Paper Fog”, a delectable desert-fried psych haze, Corey’s sweet and plaintive vocals gradually subsumed by the big skies of some eerily excellent acid guitars, intent on guiding you deeper.
Today he’s lifted that hazy veil on a second track from Pale Horse Rider, “Angeles”: we’ve got the video embedded below for you, a mix of puppetry and animation visually reifying a laidback but dark paean to the City of Angels and a mantrap of a woman, co-dependent metaphors, the one inextricably bound up with the other,
It has lush harmonies, mystery, seasonal fires, gasmask bongs; Cory appears Muppet-like, besuited in yellow out in the hills above the city, looking down at it all. You’re left in no doubt that this a eddy of darkness made music with a lightness of touch that draws you super deep.
“Gotta look the beast right in the eye / Until you see yourself,” he hushes, animated hippos and giraffes nuzzling kinda cutely; kinda macabrely, too.
There’s a whole metaphorical layering to investigate here which takes a hugely pretty tune to other levels. There’s a nightmarishness at the heart of this particular LA dream. And that makes Cory’s forthcoming a really exciting artistic prospect.
Cory Hanson’s Pale Horse Rider will be released on digital, cassette, CD and vinyl by Drag City on March 12th; you can pre-order your copy here.