Judging by their name you’d forgiven for thinking So Laid Back Country China were some obscure 90s midwestern emo band who released mini CDs with screen printed covers of fir trees or wagon wheels.
As it is they hail from Wellington, New Zealand and produce sprawling and epic desert rock that takes in elements of post rock, psych and drone.
“ Garden Lost Child, pt. 2” is the latest track to be released from their forthcoming second album Sin Cristales. The four piece of Harriet Ferry, James Bennett, Kane Tippler and Michael Keane, embrace a music that is dark and emotionally rich. At times it sounds like if Calexico were from the lush foothills of Mount Victoria rather than the Arizona desert.
Listen to a track from the album (a follow up to their excellent With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon) below and read a short interview with the band's Michael Keane.
Noisey: On “Garden Lost Child, pt. 2” I can hear elements of Calexico, Low and Explosions in the Sky. How does the track stand in regards to other songs on the album?
Michael Keane: "Pt. 2" sits in the middle of the tracks, the album gets both heavier and more gentle. In the past we may have treated this song with acoustic instruments, however on this record we challenged our go-to's, demoing all the song acoustically before building the electric arrangements from there. Some stayed similar, others grew immensely.
Has much country music influenced your approach to this album?
Much less than With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. We now have our own foundation of material on which to grow the songs, which means influences which we love (such as country) becomes less of a reference point.
Where is footage that appears on the “Grounded(Lips)” video from?
These are photos Steve Fullmer (Nelson artist and father of Freddy "I Drive Your Truck" Fullmer) took in Bryce Canyon, Utah, in 1969. Freddy took the original slides and processed them for the artwork for all of With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon.
'Sin Cristales' will be available July 28.