On Deck: Cobalt Cranes

Cobalt Cranes

Los Angeles-based rock band Cobalt Cranes deal in shades of 60’s garage punk, 90’s shoegaze, and dusty psych rock.  Also relying heavily on the California desert hard rock of the 70’s, Tim Foley and Kate Betuel have been writing and recording together since the two met in LA over five years ago.  They began recording demos in Foley’s apartment and soon had enough material for their first EP In Media Rez.  Pulling together a live band in 2009, Foley and Betuel set out on several southwest and pacific northwest tours and began a run of small label cassettes and 7″‘s leading up to the release of their debut LP Head In The Clouds.

Foley and Betuel recently took some time for Beats Per Minute to write about some of the records which have influenced the musical direction of Cobalt Cranes.  Ranging from the more recent post punk rock of Cloud Nothings to the classic rock tendencies of The Rolling Stones and Iggy & the Stooges, the influences that have shaped the band and its members are readily apparent in the songs on Cobalt Cranes’ debut.  Pulsing with a rhythm and life all their own, these songs feel stitched together from the best parts of each artist’s musical predisposition.  Check out Foley and Betuel’s complete list below in the latest installment of our On Deck series.

Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory
Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory

Kate Betuel: This record really stood out to me last year. It’s so unpretentious and straightforward. The songs just keep coming at you. The starkness of the lyrics perfectly matches the cold pop constructs of the music they are set to. There’s no mystery in what he’s singing, he flat out tells you. There is a so much energy and feel in this album. It was definitely a highlight from last year.

Kurt Vile - So Outta Reach
Kurt Vile – So Outta Reach EP

Tim Foley: This EP has two versions of “Out of Reach,” a simple but rad song. The lyrics are really cool and nostalgic, talking about familiar things like going to the beach. Kurt also name-checks his memory man delay pedal, which I used a lot on our new record. ‘Out of Reach’ reminds me of Memphis. Last year we passed through there on tour during a bad string of tornadoes. We ended up staying in Memphis for five days, and it was a great time. We went to Graceland, saw Elvis’ planes, and checked out Sun Records.

Le Face - Le Face
Leface – S/T

Kate Betuel: http://www.insound.com/Le-Face-Vinyl-12inch-Le-Face/P/INS71779/
Their songs come alive in my head. The vocals are faint but merely become a source of comfort in the dense and chime-y atmosphere of each song. While listening to this record there is a sense of looming danger, which in turn becomes a hook-spiked chorus. Their sound has sonic depth yet manages to stay light on its feet and in total control. This is a very punk sounding record but from a very different point of view.

The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street
The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street

Tim Foley: This is probably my favorite album. It has the rockers and the slow burners, and you can hear through hazy snapshots what it was like making a rock and roll record in the south of France in the early 70s. You can see the girls sprawled out on couches, guitars lying around everywhere. I like listening to this album while driving down Sunset Blvd. It has rock and roll, blues, proto-punk, country and R&B – there are a lot of different styles going on.

Iggy & The Stooges - Raw Power
Iggy and the Stooges – Raw Power

Tim/Kate: We both can agree that Raw Power is one of the best albums ever. It has been a big influence on us since we started. It’s primitive, immediate and enduring. ‘Raw Power’ bridges what we love about rock and punk.

Cobalt Cranes’ debut LP Head In The Clouds is out now on the band’s own Anticc imprint.