Venice Beach band Conflict at Serenity Pools show their icy-cool muscle with their new record ‘Ladders of Misfortune’.
I initially listened to the single ‘Reflectors’ on repeat for a little while and found myself hooked, humming the delicate, swooning hooks without realising. The interplay between both vocalists is delightfully simple, weightless guitar arpeggios drift by and no-nonsense drums shift and stab restlessly underpinning it all and providing a stable backbone. CASP’s music has a distinct sense of sharp urgency while managing to maintain a slack-jaw, spaced-out laziness.
‘Jasmine’ is another personal favourite, coming across like a liminal Beach Fossils that had a few too many late nights. There are unexpected stylistic twists throughout, from the drunk, psych pop of ‘Saying Goodbye’ to the unsettlingly pretty synths of ‘Surroundings’ and the almost stadium-ready balladry of ‘Lights Dimmed Low’. ‘Ladders of Misfortune’ is an album that never quite settles and gets comfortable; this undoubtedly adds to the appeal and results in a fresh sounding release that has the potential to leave a lasting impression if you let it.
We reached out to CASP and asked them our 3 Qs:
What inspired you to start making music and what keeps you making music?
To be honest the first reason I wanted to play music was when I was maybe 6 or 7 and we rented this movie about kids who create a fake summer camp and like convince their parents to send them there and they do crazy stuff all summer. There was this kid who kind of stuck to himself and just played electric guitar all the time and would solo on top of roofs. And I was just like I really want to play guitar ha. So that was the first moment. Over the years music has been the most important element, and what keeps me doing it is that there is always a little bit of a mystery to it. It seems to connect me to memory and time in a way that no other medium does. And it’s something I just have to do or else I’m sorta of a sad grumpy person!
What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?
In my mid to late twenties, this was when I wrote type b and some of type a (our first release). I was experimenting a lot. I had been writing music prior, but this was when I tried to do everything, track, mix, master. And I slowly built a home studio with the small amount of savings I’d make so it took some time. And I just kind of lost it a bit, to be honest. Mixing is actually fundamentally sort of straightforward, but I really experimented with it, and it took me a while to find the sounds I was seeking. Lots of late nights and early mornings and I was very isolated. I’m glad that I came out of it.
What would you dream to do if anything was possible?
As corny as it is, this. I’m really enjoying the process today. We started releasing music last April. And it’s been really fun to slowly get noticed. We’ve been playing a few shows opening for our friends from Ruby Haunt. And now we’re making our own cassettes and essentially doing the PR outreach ourselves like a label would. I think the one dream would be, I’d like to play shows, a lot more. And hopefully, one day play everywhere go on tour, and make it a bit of a life job. But I’m enjoying the steps.
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