Home Read Albums Of The Week: Velvet Starlings | Technicolour Shakedown

Albums Of The Week: Velvet Starlings | Technicolour Shakedown

Psychedelic jangle, ’60s garage, Britpop — you name it, you'll hear in this homemade debut from L.A. multi-talent and teenage musical throwback Christiane Gisborne.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Los Angeles and the beach cities of Southern California, Velvet Starlings were founded by guitarist and organ player Christian Gisborne. And while known for his concert attendance record and impressive Lego collection, it is his musical prowess as a performer, writer, recording artist and producer that is putting him on the map. Gisborne not only tracked all of the instruments, but also engineered, mixed and produced Technicolour Shakedown.

Their first single from the album, Back Of The Train, “is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. Back Of The Train centers around a sneaky low note ’60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He further describes it as the story of “paying dues and making sacrifices, while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

Technicolour Shakedown is the followup to 2019’s EP Love Everything, Love Everyone. Christian — who turned 18 in May 2021 — released his debut self-titled EP Velvet Starlings when he was 15. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Specialty Radio and hit #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only. Gisborne also caught the attention of, among others, Shepard Fairey, and The KinksDave Davies,  count themselves as fans of Velvet Starlings.

Gisborne created Technicolour Shakedown in the middle of his living room. While it reflects influences that range from early Jack White to Thee Oh Sees to Arctic Monkeys, the album showcases Velvet Starlings’ own take on neo-’60s-garage — best described as beach-fuzz-psych with a big cheeky nod to the British Invasion. “In the doom and gloom of Covid I found myself reminiscing all the time about the days when we would wait in line for hours to see our favorite bands,” Gisborne says. “The songs on the first album reflect everything I felt I was missing out on.”

With a bevvy of new songs written and ready to unleash, Gisborne was craving the comradery of a band. He turned to brothers Foster and Hudson Poling, who play drums and bass respectively. They first met in line outside of a 2019 Cage The Elephant show and, discovering a shared love of The Who and SpongeBob, quickly found themselves making a plan to meet up at a rehearsal space to jam. Gisborne had previously used session musicians to augment his live set but as his friendship with the Polings grew, so did his realization that they were the perfect fit for this new era of Velvet Starlings.

Looking to 2022 and beyond, Christian says, “I think a rock ’n’ roll renaissance is coming after this crazy year of lockdown. We’re hoping that a full front-to-back of Technicolour Shakedown will evoke the feeling you get at a rock ’n’ roll house party — wherever the listener may find themselves.”