The Local Radar is getting a little revamp. Each week, we’ll focus on a single new release that we feel deserves a spotlight.
Brianna Kocka reached out to me last year with a new project called Caetani (kay-tah-nee) which became one of my favorite discoveries of 2012. It was overlooked by many – maybe people were too scared to attempt to pronounce the name. Either way, The Black EP was really an awesome debut and would have fit nicely in a Wye Oak discography (Kocka sounds remarkably like Jenn Wasner).
The band played out live on the circuit for a little while before retreating back into the studio for an extended period of silence. The reason? They were working hard on transitioning the act into a new namesake called Sun Gods To Gamma Rays. “Caetani” still exists but solely as Kocka’s stage name – she intends to play some solo shows this summer to keep that original project intact.
As the new name suggests, Sun Gods To Gamma Ray’s style is much more ethereal than their original incarnation. There’s a lot of space imagery– Kocka drops some key words in their biography: “soundscape,” “twinkling” and “cosmos” to name a few. But they’re also quick to note a philosophical influence which accounts for the minimalist instrumentation and nostalgic, washed out lyrics.
“Burn Me Through” is the first taste of their forthcoming debut record due out early fall. Hollow drums and a groovy bass line evoke Zero 7 to an extent, with Kocka singing a brilliantly simple and catchy chorus: “I want, I really really want you / I need, I really really need you”
The entire song hinges on the repetition of those two lines, and they get more surprising every time you listen. With delicate “ahh ahhs” accompanying her voice and an added instrumental part each time the chorus restates itself, the song illustrates expert craftsmanship. This is a young band to keep your eyes on.
“Burn Me Through” is available now on Bandcamp.
Next show: July 11th at Amsterdam Bar and Hall with Peter of We Are the Willows and the Painted Saints