Melbourne indie rockers, Shiva And The Hazards have today announced their dreamy new single East India Empress, a mesmerising modern throwback track out March 16. The group have also dropped a spellbinding clip to accompany the song, painstakingly pieced together from vintage Bollywood footage. East India Empress is the first taste of Shiva And The Hazards’ debut EP Future Cult Classics, an eclectic collection of music that transcends decades, set for release on April 6 and will be launching their new wares at Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel on March 23.
East India Empress is firmly aligned with its psychedelic predescessors in Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead, but there’s something undeniably current about it, too. Driving percussion and a constant, rhythmic vocal allow the space for the guitars to do their thing – and that thing is massive, and floating, and intriguingly expansive. Speaking on the track, drummer Leigh Baines enthuses, “We got this song together in Melbourne a while back, then after a soft mix at our friends studio in Mornington, it actually ended up sounded quite good as is. It sounded very organic. It wasn’t until we sent East India Empress to Chris Potter (The Verve) who replied and said he would be interested in producing the track. Essentially, we had the core of the track I guess, we just needed someone to bring it to life. We flew over, recorded in his amazing studio in London and came out pretty bloody happy!”
The video is an interesting one – it’s difficult to look away from, too. Meticulously crafted using found footage from vintage Bollywood films, it suits the music perfectly; and it’s just as hypnotic as the song itself. A woman dances in time to the music as the image distorts, doubles and warps – it’s a minimalistic approach but it works perfectly. Leigh says, “The concept behind the clip was basically – let’s do something that really works with the song; simple, but mesmerising at the same time.”
East India Empress is only partly indicative of the rest of the tracks on Future Cult Classics. Produced by the renowned Chris Potter (The Verve, Elbow, Blur, Richard Ashcroft) in his London studios, Metropolis Studios, and Mark Gardner (RIDE), each track has undeniable shoegaze and psychedelic flavours, yet each song is a surprisingly varied shift from the one preceding it. False Prophets evokes blues influences, with a heavy, stomping beat that persuades the listener to move. Queen Without A King is a heartfelt acoustic number, with minimal arrangement or production to distract from the beauty of the melody and harmony at work, and My Dear Mary-Anne comes full circle again, with a Warpaint-esque groove.
To celebrate the release, Shiva And The Hazards are set to light up the Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne on March 23. The band are thrilled to launch the EP, as lead vocalist Doug Hind gives fans a taste of what to expect from the live show, “It’ll be tune after tune! We’ve got loads of ‘em! We are loving playing these songs live from the EP, plus the others which make up the set. Expect some cool samples. And a bit of tension! I reckon you need tension to make a good show. I’m sure we’re capable. If people leave happy, we’ll take that!”
Shiva And The Hazards are Doug Hind on vocals, Jet O’Rourke on lead guitar, Andy Plisi on bass guitar and Leigh Baines on drums.
East India Empress will be available on March 16 and Future Cult Classics is set for release on April 6.