Photo by Ian Berry
In Dallas’ crowded indie rock scene in the early 2000s, Pleasant Grove stood out for its simmering psychedelia. The band could stretch out, sounding like Pink Floyd raised on a steady diet of country music. A decade ago, Pleasant Grove was ready to take another step up, working on a new album with Grammy-winning producers John Congleton and Stuart Sikes, but life got in the way. Personal issues derailed the band, possibly for good.
But a funny thing happened: Marcus Striplin–now based in Austin–revisited those old recordings with fellow singer/guitarist Bret Egner in 2012, and the pair realized they had a great album on their hands. After a few years of tweaks and overdubs, The Heart Contortionists is due out February 5th, and Pleasant Grove returns to the stage with a release show at the Mohawk that same night. The galloping first single “Lava” shows the band back in fine form, packing an electric punch while still showing that Pleasant Grove has plenty of heart to spare. Download the song below.