On a mission to revive the summer of love one dreamy single at a time, Tempesst fuse old-school psychedelia with a healthy dose of irony, making them the sunniest troupe working out of London at the minute. Back in October, they released their debut EP Adult Wonderland, a sprawling fun-infused ode to the music of bands like the Grateful Dead, The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane. Full of songs inspired by tarot card readings, their Australian beach-side home and rock n roll’s storied past, it introduced the group as a light-hearted but skilled addition to the resurgent psych-rock scene.
Today they unveil the video for new single ‘Feel Better.’ Premiering on Notion, it’s an ambitious take on the television of the 60s, shot in suitably washed out film and produced in meticulous detail. Handpainted props litter the TV studio as the band sit in 60s garb surrounded by women in long, robe-like dresses. The group then proceed to pass around an apple, taking a bite each before the video switches into mysterious adventure mode. Later on, Tempesst appear towering over the set on stilts, long white robes cascading down to the floor ala The Polyphonic Spree. We also caught up with lead singer Toma to get to know the band a little a better and find out about some of their supernatural inspirations. Watch the video for ‘Feel Better’ below and read our chat with Toma after the jump.
You’ve just released your new EP Adult Wonderland… for those who haven’t heard it yet, what can we expect?
Fun loving, psych-folk-rock.
I read one of the songs was inspired by a tarot reading you guys received – tell me about that experience.
My girlfriend Summer’s Dad gave me a tarot reading on the living room floor of their family ‘bach’ in Waiheke, an island off the east coast of Auckland, NZ. The ‘bach’ is a little wooden cabin with views of the ocean, surrounded by rainforest, that Summer’s Grandad built in the 60s. I picked the ‘Knight of Wands’ and Davros began to read my fortune. It was a bonding experience, haha.
Did you believe in it?
I’m fascinated by the mystical and spiritual but I wouldn’t say that I believe it all to be literal. I don’t even remember many details about the reading itself, except for what was written in the song. The experience taught me more about my girlfriend’s Dad than myself…
Have you had any other mystical experiences that have had an impact on you?
Besides being ‘slain in the spirit’ at age 14, not really, haha.
Or on the songs you have wrote?
Not in the same tangible way that the tarot experience influenced ‘Waiheke’.
Your music very much evokes a dreamy utopian space, quite out of place with the London I think of – would you say London inspires your sound or does that inspiration come from somewhere else?
There are so many little subconscious decisions that are made throughout the creative process that it’s hard to zero in on what actually inspires our sound. Kane, Andy and I are from a small beach town on the east coast of Australia. I guess living in a summer climate-informed our mood, which informed the type of music we listened to and inevitably influenced what we were inspired to create.
What records influenced you growing up? Was there a certain record that kickstarted it all for you?
Andy and I were brought up in an evangelical Christian family and mostly listened to Christian music until we were teenagers. My first record was a live album by a Christian punk band called MXPX that my sister bought me for Christmas. It wasn’t until I moved out of home at 18 that my friends introduced me to songwriters like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Nick Cave and Jeff Buckley – who have all had a massive influence on me.
Imagine there was some mad musical disaster and all the music (and memory of music) was gone except your own collections. It’s on you to reintroduce music to the masses – what albums would you share with the world?
Joni Mitchell – Blue, Midlake – Antiphon.
What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever heard one of your songs?
The infamous Dolphin on Mare St in Hackney.
If you could join any band on tour, who would it be?
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
What are you excited for in 2018?
Playing shows and releasing more music. We’ve just started recording our next EP, which will be out before summer 2018.
Jasmine Cowler contributed reporting to this story.
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