Music | September 25, 2020 1:12 pm

Anatomy of a Sound: Death Valley Girls

These are the artists and songs that inspired the best new thing in psych rock

Death Valley Girls live that psych rock life.
Death Valley Girls live that psych rock life.
David Fearn

One of the greatest joys in music (and life) is finding an artist or band whose sound references a multitude of different artists you love. In the spirit of that, we’ve begun a new feature “Anatomy of a Sound,” where we ask some of our favorite artists about the songs and groups that have inspired their music. Up today is Death Valley Girls.

San Diego’s Death Valley Girls play psychedelic rock music that runs a wide gamut of styles and influences. A newer track, “Hold My Hand,” pulls from the poppy tendencies of ’70s hard rock, lending it a nice sway and catchiness while still getting pretty damn weird. They lock into a brand of rock ‘n’ roll that feels timeless and eternal, putting riffs and a good time above everything else. Check out the playlist they put together for us below, as well as the reasoning for some of their picks. You can preorder their new album “Under The Spell of Joy” here.

B-52’s – Give Me Back My Man
“B-52’s always has been an influence in our songwriting. ‘Give Me Back My Man’ is pure joyous rock n’ roll, the type of song that you have to dance to!”

The Cramps – Garbage Man
“The perfect band, the influence on us has a lot to do with how primal they were, and ‘Garbage Man’ is a perfect example of that.”

Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
“Sabbath is untouchable, we never tire of listening to them, they’re constantly on rotation in the tour van, the influence of songs like ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ is the heaviness with hooks and the trippy interludes which they do so well.”

Velvet Underground – What Goes On
“A favorite band of all of ours, “What Goes On” is one of those classic songs that has everything: Lou’s vocal melody, great riff, killer lead and the awesome drum beat of Mo Tucker. This inspires us when we write songs to try to our best to make all the elements important like this song.”

Hawkwind – Silver Machine
“Hawkwind are a big influence. ‘Silver Machine’ has all the right elements we strive for, driving beat, spacey vibes, pure rock n’ roll euphoria, not to mention Lemmy!”

Sonic Youth – Death Valley ’69
“Sonic Youth’s ‘Death Valley 69’ is a chaotic masterpiece, off the rails, intense and scary! The video is classic, the influence this song has on our songwriting is the idea to try to tap into the same sort of tension and vibe Sonic Youth were so good at creating.”

The Clean – Anything Can Happen
“The Clean were on heavy rotation when we made the new album, this song was very inspirational, super minimal, fun, krautrock beat, pure joy!”