There are always those bands you champion by playing them endlessly at parties with specific groups of people, yet who somehow never get any traction with the wider masses that you know. As you slip into the loving layers of fuzz on your own, it is maddening how others cannot revel in this transcendental delight the same way. Is the band shit? Am I weird? Do my friends all have shit taste?
Then you hear a new track, such as “Heavy as Hell”, the magnificent new track from Turtle Skull, and suddenly it clicks. Despite delivering their unique flavour of doom, aptly referred to as ‘Flower Doom’, with soft vocals and dripping with Australian desert fuzz, it hasn’t been all that accessible to the casual listener – that is until now.
Dishing up gorgeous guitar riffs soaked in synths within the first 30 seconds, followed by heavenly vocals that deliver Turtle Skull‘s strongest hooks to date, the track is a start-to-finish banger that keeps you on the hook. And what is best, Turtle Skull don’t change the formula all that much, they just do it better.
Before I blather on, let us set the scene on our doomers from down under. Turtle Skull hit the scene as doom hit its full resurgence, exploding on the scene via EIN favourites Art As Catharsis, with first a debut EP, then a follow-up LP Monoliths in 2020. Having sold out shows across Australia since the band is gearing up for a new chapter in their history. With an updated lineup for this year, they are targeting shows across the East Coast of Australia and a show in Wellington, NZ to boot.
Thus, we’re very pleased to be bringing you the premiere of their new single “Heavy As Hell” to you today. As mentioned, this has accessibility written all over it, branching into several genres and in my opinion, able to pull listeners of Khruangbin and REZN together in doomy-harmony.
It also has a classic tour musicians origin story: ‘I wanted to have a song that attacked the doubt within myself as a part of the artistic process. We actually wrote the lyrics while getting ready for a show in Melbourne – frantically recording voice memos of melodies and phrases while driving. It was kind of ridiculous. But it also had that familiar feeling of ‘oh yep there it is’.’
Going back to my earlier point about the band not compromising their sound for this increase in accessibility, you will still hear the pass over into instrumental fuzz that has been a staple of their sound, and something any quality singer-songwriter will push for in their music. Turtle Skull turn the psych up to one hundred percent here, soaking the listener in desert guitars, served with lashings of 70’s synths.
While we have no date on the full record, we can be sure to hear more from Turtle Skull this year. Keep an eye on their socials for updates on tours, singles, and the new album!