For those of you still trying to deny SoCal’s psychedelic rebirth, I advise you to pencil December 26 in your calendar. That’s because on the Friday after Christmas, SOhO is turning its stage over to four of the West Coast’s most promising young guitar trippers. The lineup, which features The Abigails, Pearl Charles, and Jeffertitti’s Nile, is being spearheaded by Los Angeles’ own Mystic Braves, who by all accounts were some of the first to put down roots in L.A.’s now-thriving neo-psych scene.
“I feel like it’s been less than two years since it all started, but now it’s this whole world where everyone knows everyone,” said Braves frontman Julian Ducatenzeiler. “I guess you could say we’re all kindred spirits because we all get along and understand what everyone’s doing and going for.”
While Mystic Braves’ cohorts may be growing, it’s doing little to dilute the band’s impact. Earlier this year, the quintet released Desert Island, a dreamy, nimble album that flows in time with its touchstones, rather than riding in their wake. As for sound, the band’s vibe is firmly rooted in the legacy of groups like The Electric Prunes, The Chocolate Watchband, and The Zombies, but their hazy, organ-flecked songs don’t read as obvious or knock-off. Take “Bright Blue Day Haze,” the rambling, jangly lead track off Desert Island that shimmies and shakes with a heady mix of bluesy reverie and defiant spirit.
As further proof of their worth, earlier this year Mystic Braves found themselves on the receiving end of some serious validation when the aforementioned Zombies cherry-picked them to open for two separate Los Angeles dates.
“We got to see them play live at South by Southwest the year before, and we thought that was it. We saw The Zombies — wow, we did it,” laughed Ducatenzeiler. “Then all of a sudden, we got the chance to play for them. We were just shitting our pants. It was a dream come true.”
While this Friday’s show might not boast the high profile of the aforementioned Zombies gigs, it’s still got plenty going for it. “It’s all of our friends,” said Ducatenzeiler. “Jeffertitti’s Nile was a band we looked up to before we even began. Pearl Charles is now kind of booming; she’s playing every show she can. And The Abigails are just awesome at what they do, and no one else is doing it. It’s going to be an eclectic show, and we’re really excited.”
Mystic Braves, The Abigails, Jeffertitti’s Nile, and Pearl Charles play SOhO Restaurant & Music Club on Friday, December 26, at 9 p.m. Call (805) 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for tickets and info.