Ethan Larsh is off to see The Emperor in his psychedelic new video and single — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
A burning blast of ’70s space-rock riffage reminiscent of Hawkwind, Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly, The Emperor is the title track from the Pennsylvania artist’s forthcoming sophomore album — and took only slightly longer to write than it does to hear.
“I quickly wrote down the lyrics and, within 20 minutes, the song was finished,” Larsh admits. “I follow The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle’s philosophy when he wrote his masterpiece All Hail West Texas … A song got exactly one day in which to either resolve its issues or be cast forth from the company of its brethren.”
The less-is-more approach certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome; it leaves you wanting more! But when it came to the video for The Emperor, Larsh flipped the script. It was meticulously planned, with fast-food crowns, cartoonish oversized animal masks and pizza. Done in one-take style, the video had a budget of approximately $50, yet turned out to be both a captivating and entertaining experience, complete with animation to accentuate the psychedelic surrealism the single was intended to convey.
The Emperor features Larsh on vocals and guitar, with bandmates Sam Silbert on bass, organ and synths, as well as Tim Weller on drums. It was recorded at Echoes Studios and Johanna Baumann’s home studio. Silbert is credited for mixing and Harold LaRue for mastering. The single will be included later this year on an album of the same name, which follows his 2017 debut Ethan Larsh Breaks Hearts.