Origins is a recurring new music feature in which an artist charts the influence of their latest hit single.
There’s a special kind of heat in Los Angeles, a fiery sensation that bounces off the pavement and into your soul. Some people melt in the never-ending caustic wave; others seem to thrive on it like fuel. For their debut album, Nothing Valley, Consequence of Sound Artist of the Month Melkbelly learned a lot from their time touring the West Coast, and seem to have taken the burning sun in LA to heart.
The Chicago outfit’s time in the City of Angels inspired “Off the Lot”, a furious, constant hum of scorched reverb and buried screams. The song’s video carries that burn one step further. It’s as if their tour diary from the Southland were exposed to just a little bit too much sunlight, snippets of performance and terrain visible intermittently through the distorted, color-treated haze. Check out the clip for the fresh track below.
It wasn’t just the Los Angeles sunshine that inspired Melkbelly to pen “Off the Lot”. Below, the members of the band take us through the Origins of their new single, from Sonic Youth to Double Dagger.
Double Dagger — “The Psychic”:
“Off the Lot” was written in response to the hot and sprawling geography of Los Angeles and learning how to deal with your physical limitations. Sometimes you can’t do everything you want to, but an unseen force inspires you to try endlessly (or until you fail hard and seek solace in your friends). At moments like this, it’s cool to scream. Double Dagger is always a band that comes to mind when I feel like screaming, specifically their song “The Psychic”. It’s about needing something you can’t see, and in it I hear a lot of that invisible urge that helped to form “Off the Lot”. — Miranda Winters
Sonic Youth — “100%”:
Opening guitar feedback and drum stick clicks have been playing in a continuous loop in my head since I first heard the song. — Bart Winters
Black Pus — “In The Garden of Brackish Pus”:
The drums on this track start free, echoing the TIE fighter-like screams, but then shift into a gradual progression of densifying snare and tom fills on top of repeated thumping bass drum eighth notes. The resulting groove is as frantic as it is repetitive. This song was in the back of my mind when we started writing and playing “Off the Lot”, and mostly comes through in the drum beat during the chorus. — James Wetzel
Pylon — “Cool”:
“Pure form/ Real gone/ Like wild/ Good vibes/ Everything is coooool.” — Liam Winters