Cartoon Lizard kick off 2020 in appropriately animated style with their shapeshifting single and video Sentinels — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
A sneak peek at the trippy Victoria indie-pop outfit’s forthcoming EP Bless You / Thank You, the sublimely sinister yet sweetly serene Sentinels is “a thunderous-sounding fever of fearful, earthy tones depicting bad dreams and melancholic longing,” Cartoon Lizard say in a press release. “Written and recorded in a mad dash of inspiration by Ritchie Hemphill, the track was brought into the studio where Cartoon Lizard worked to bring it to its final place of rugged polish. Long-time collaborator Bronfree Films rendered an analogue animation visual counterpoint meant to match the abstract, emotional and free-associative suggestiveness of the song itself.”
For the young B.C. quintet — who first came to my attention via their playful 2019 number Lay of the Land — that brand of shapeshifting, boundless creativity is par for the course. “Although experimental pop at their foundation, Cartoon Lizard weaves between influences, naturally collaging genre as they go,” the band says. “Comprised of five unique songwriters/multi-instrumentalists, each song is a practice in collaboration on all fronts from beginning to end. Each member is unbound by roles, thus there is no set drummer, pianist or lead vocalist. This results in ever shifting orchestration, form and sound.
“CL’s strong vision and combined skillsets lead to a completely DIY approach. They are continuously immersed in their craft whether it be engineering, recording, writing, mixing or even filming and editing their own visuals. Each year, the group dedicates months at a time in the deep woods and farmlands of Cedar, B.C., with the sole purpose of recording and experimenting. Specifically, they spend their time in the three-storey barn-turned-studio Risque Disque Records. Their collective experience produces intricately arranged, multi-coloured compositions designed to appeal on a surface level as well as reward those who unearth hidden layers through repeated listens.” Amen to that.