I recently had a great chat with Scott Werren from LA band Kesem to talk about all things Kesem and the latest release “Post Terra” which came out yesterday 24th of September. Hailing from Los Angeles, Kesem, originally formed in 2018. Meaning “magic” in Hebrew, the band’s name aptly summarises their sound. Inspired by the progressive and psychedelic, with some added punk rock influences, the resulting soundscape delivers a captivating effect. Their new album, ‘Post-Terra’, follows the release of their self-titled EP in April 2020.
‘Post-Terra’, Kesem’s first full-length album, was born with the help of the legendary L.A. punk icon Paul Rossler (Screamers/45 Grave/ DC3) to produce and engineer. The writing process for this album was fuelled by frustrations about racial injustice, the 1% ruling all, and the Trump administration. The result is an epic collection of songs about leaving the world behind and starting anew in the depths of space. ‘No Future’ dives straight into an angsty, rebellious punk setting with a twist of space-inspired synths and 70s guitar tones. A dystopian mood is constructed through white noise combined with vibes from punk shows with ringing amplifiers. In contrast, ‘Let Go’ delivers a serene atmosphere with the beautiful rhythm and blues piano melody, and soothing bass line. The build-up of heavier guitars elevates the track by adding further depth and texture, before emerging into tribal drumming and a seductive Oriental-inspired soundscape. The progressive nature of their music explores a diverse spectrum of light and dark ideas, all with the intergalactic narrative ever-present. The interplay of instruments across the album leaves no tones or textures off-limits.
Creativity flows seamlessly from track to track in ‘Post-Terra’, exploring multiple moods and atmospheres whilst retaining a sound that clearly belongs to Kesem. The emotional frustration and desperation from events over the past year has been poured into their art. Thematically the album explores a narrative that is not afraid to delve into the dark and disturbing. And yet, musically, ‘Post-Terra’ is a thrilling exploration not to be missed.
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