Sometimes, you have to stray from the beaten path to find your place in the world. And nowhere is that made clearer than in the music of Los Angeles-based duo Bassett. Composed of singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Josh Bassett and bassist Tak Ozaki, the band creates psychedelic vibes and dense folk stories that resonate on a cellular level. Their particular brand of gauzy rock is steeped in the woozy rhythms and introspective emotions that come from a life spent searching for peace, a distinct personal identity and the release that can only come from a truly expressive piece of music. They're set to release their new EP, "Ghost Highway," a collection of dark, folklore-ish songs that were recorded at Ed Woods' now-defunct studio in East Hollywood, on Nov. 18.
On new single "Away," the duo constructs an acoustic atmosphere rich in melodic theatricality and dense arrangements. The song feels incredibly close, as if the music were seeping into your skin from only a few inches away. Voices encircle your head and spin webs of gossamer rhythms that mesmerize and fascinate with equal ferocity. Bassett's voice is layered and hypnotic, a dense mass of sound that deftly undercuts your defenses, leaving you feeling exposed and completely vulnerable. Stretching out in all directions—not unlike the deserts of California that inspired the band on this latest offering—the music sends out tendrils of acoustic guitar, tribal drums and serpentine bass lines that distort the landscape around them.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.