Slanted Land’s first full album, Watering a Weed, came out in March 2020, on the cusp of our ongoing isolation, but the band is continuing to release singles and videos as the pandemic lingers.
The four-piece is fronted by lead singer and guitarist Tova Morrison, a Santa Barbara native who plays alongside the guitarist Tommy Curran, bassist Michael Shanti, and drummer Carl Breitweiser. They’ve played numerous dive bars, breweries, and festivals around Southern California since they began in 2011, but keep hometown bars like The Mercury Lounge in Old Town Goleta and Whiskey Richards on State Street high on their list of favorite venues.
Slanted Land’s outspoken lyricism spans psychedelic blues, funky riot-grrrl rock, and comedic protest folk. In the humorous track “Society,” for instance, Morrison jests at feminist tropes. “I am a feminist and I do believe there’s sexism in the world,” she explained. “But the song is a bunch of jokes over and over.”
Quips aside, Morrison finds strength in her role as a woman fronting an indie rock band. “Being a woman, it’s not that common to be a producer and be a lead guitarist,” explained Morrison, who recorded the album at Orange Whip Studios in Santa Barbara under the guidance of engineer Angus Cooke.
Slanted Land is proud of their many videos that are coming from Watering a Weed, particularly the one for “Society,” which brings together members of the Santa Barbara community. “I got my buddies in the Santa Barbara Improv group to be in the video,” she said. “I filmed the beginning at Mercury Lounge and had the owner [Jennifer Housh] of the lounge play as my boss.”
In addition to her musical work, Morrison maintains a steady job as a massage therapist in Santa Barbara. However, both professions came to an abrupt halt during the pandemic. She now saturates her free time with musical undertakings. “I’m playing in my living room every day,” said Morrison, who’s been exploring her Jewish roots during this time. “I’ve actually been getting into Klezmer music, which is Jewish, Eastern European music.”
The single “Keep It Real,” which recently aired on KJEE 92.9 FM, features Eastern European motifs alongside lyrics that sing “You only live once / So keep it real.” Viewers can find all bandmates jamming atop a moving car in the song’s new, vividly animated music video.
See all of their antics and listen to the album at slantedland.band.
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