Posted on: July 19, 2008 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

People will and do often ask “where exactly are the Golden Animals from?” when hearing their distinctive sound from their debut album FREE YOUR MIND AND WIN A PONY, out on HAPPYPARTS RECORDINGS on AUGUST 25TH 2008. In a nutshell, Linda grew up in Northern Sweden and Tommy in Baltimore, Maryland, they met in Europe, eloped to Brooklyn then ventured west to the desert.

Free Your Mind And Win A Pony
1.The Steady Roller
2.Queen Mary (The Flop)
3.Ride Easy
4.Try On Me
5.My My My
6.Follow Me Down
7.Turn You Round (Don’t Let Nobody)
8.My Friend Bill
9.I Want You To Come
11.Darkness & Light

After meeting then recording an EP in Brooklyn in 2006, the couple soon became tired of the hipster drenched sidewalks and music spots in their local “hood” of Williamsburg and therefore decided to find their own place to belong to and embrace rather than waiting for a scene to wrap its arms and around them. They dreamt of a place away from the horrendously hip and headed for the sun. Tommy and Linda bought an old but trustworthy van and headed west in 2007, out to the desert in California, where they began to write their first full-length album and escape the trials of the New York City life.

Not really knowing what to expect, they had their goals set on some vague ideal; maybe a house? With a pool? And for free? Impossible you say? Well it happened, and only 2 days after reaching LA they stumbled across a posting on Craigslist, for a house sitter by the Salton Sea.

We had no idea where this was, but replied to the ad and agreed to take the job as long as we could play rock & roll music as loud as possible whenever we want.“  Since it was the hottest part of the desert and they arrived for the summer months, every sane person who could leave the area had left, avoiding temperatures that can exceed 120, the couple then began to record their masterpiece.

From a concrete jungle of Williamsburg to this. Five months went by and many mind blowing things happened to them both during this time. “We saw boiling rivers, rainbow mountains, screaming red sunsets, holes in the ground puking up mud-  all that naturally transpires when nature thinks no one is looking.

Another hugely inspiring and contributing factor towards the writing of this album had a lot to do with the owner of the house, who had left a a great collection of 60’s rock and flower punk records. The ideal introduction to the West coast and its musical legacy. Feeling as if they were miles away from civilization and society and placed in a time of its own; Also, the man they happened to be house-sitting for had written a book called Children Of The Sun, which they think everyone should read.  It explains the history of natural living before it became pop in the 60’s.”One of the things that is so important about this book is that it showed that the ideals of the 60’s didn’t only exist in that era“. FREE YOUR MIND AND WIN A PONY soon began to take on a life of it’s own and the GOLDEN ANIMALS was born.

The GOLDEN ANIMALS‘s brand of blues is built on austere beats, slide guitars and fuzzed-up vocals, here produced by CHRIS CODY (TV ON THE RADIO, YEAH YEAH YEAHS, MASSIVE ATTACK) and mixed by THOM MONAHAN (PERNICE BROTHERS, GARY LOURIS, DEVENDRA BANHART). It’s the sound they were born to make – if you believe the fortune-teller whose mysterious predictions were the catalyst for the formation of the band back in the day when their worlds collided in a cosy European Cafe, one very rainy evening.

The band’s chief inspiration is the blues, be it the foundation blues artists of the ’20s and 30’s or the interpretations of the genre created by The Doors, Cream, Hendrix and The Rolling Stones.” Those early blues recordings are the fountain,” they say. “Even in 200 years, people will find completely new ways to create all within those rules and algorithms.”

The album was written in five months of total isolation while Tommy and Linda lived alone on a Californian desert ranch, visited only once a week by the owner of the land, a fellow ’60s rock fanatic. In 115-degree heat, the duo survived on raw food and wrote and practiced whenever and wherever they wanted. “We were in a place that was dead as far as society was concerned and tremendously alive as far as pure nature was concerned,” they say. “It was empty and quiet. There weren’t any fast food places for 45 minutes in either direction, and the only sign of civilization was a lazy old freight train that would creep along in the distance.”

A West Coast sonic breakaway from  the modern California freak-folk scene,  GOLDEN ANIMALS are a pure rock and roll duo with a full-blown classic sound that’s bigger than their stripped-back gear should allow. This is the now scene, and where it happening. You’ll find them on the path of the moonlight mile.


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