HAILING from California’s Bay Area, and more specifically Oakland for the precision buffs amongst you, The Acharis may just have made one of the darker shoegaze gems of the year with their new album, Blue Sky / Grey Heaven, dropping today
The way Shaun Wagner and Mila Puccini combine vocally on recent single “False Positive” is more than a little reminiscent of the first Slowdive EPs as well: ethereal, spectral, a whisper in the blizzard, darkened by The Telescopes’ stoned vibe. That slow, narcotic pacing and perfect fuzz cloud is definitely more obsidian than rose quartz. We’ve got the video here for you.
Shaun and Mila, romantic partners as well as musical, first met while in other bands in the Bay and broke off to pursue their own musical vision in 2015. Their debut album, Lost In The Vortex, arrived two years on and saw the pair lay down every instrument.
Singer-guitarist Sean says of “False Positive” and how it cam into being: “I came up with this riff when I was a teenager and it’s been bouncing around in my head ever since.
“The inspiration came from the huge sounding guitars on the first two Smashing Pumpkins albums. The original title was ‘Elephant’ as a nod to the Pumpkins’ track “Rhinoceros”.
“When It came time to write the lyrics, I was walking around just being fucking bummed and wondering what I could possibly have to say to the world that would matter. I feel like often there is pressure to reveal some great truth or intelligent insight in a three-minute rock song, which is just kind of ridiculous. I remember Kurt Cobain talking about how ‘Pennyroyal Tea’ was about just being hopelessly depressed. So I took inspiration from that and just wrote about how I was feeling at the time.
“It has that kind of slacker 90s’ vibe like yeah, everything is fucked, so what? It all comes full circle in the unintelligible screaming at the end of the song: ‘There’s an elephant in the room. A rhinoceros. A hippopotamus. It’s true'”.
“The cover for the single is a photo I took looking out our window in San Francisco in September 2020. The sky turned orange because of all the forest fires in California. There is no filter or Photoshop, that’s how it really looked.”
Need more audiovisual bliss and gnarl from the band? Check the more dark-electro ethereality of “Jesus Thrill”.
The Acharis are also on tour around France and the UK in a couple of weeks, those dates being as follows:
Wednesday, November 17th, Le Mans, Snam Hell DIY, with support from La Peste and Sergueï Sputnik;
Thursday, November 18th, Rouen, Lés 3 Piece, with Human and DJ Seb Petit;
Friday, November 19th, Paris, Walrus, unplugged showcase;
Saturday, November 20th, Paris, L’Espace B, with La Peste, Teenage Bed;
Monday, November 22nd, Manchester, The Talleyrand, with Surfing Pointers, Palette, and Bedroom Vacation;
Tuesday, November 23rd, Sheffield, DINA, with Surfing Pointers, Palette, and Sweetheart;
Wednesday, November 24th, Liverpool, Kazimier Garden, with Surfing Pointers, Obfuscate, and Pleasure Island;
Thursday, November 25th, Norwich, Voodoo Daddy’s, with Bag of Cans, Marla, and Yellowhammers;
Friday, November 26th, Chelmsford, Hot Box, with Surfing Pointers;
Saturday, November 27th, London, The Victoria Dalston, ‘Shoegaze All-Dayer’ with Rev Rev Rev, 93MillionMilesFromTheSun, Purple Heart Parade, Velveteen, and Noissennes, and
Monday, November 29th, Bristol, The Lanes, with Surfing Pointers.
The Acharis’ album, Blue Sky/Grey Heaven, is out today, November 5th, digitally; the extremely limited vinyl pressing sold out on presales, but if the wax is your poison, get hunting on Discogs and in record stores. Otherwise, please visit their Bandcamp page.