TRACK PREMIERE: BALTO “MAGNET / MIND”
Singer/songwriter Dan Sheron and his band Balto have a backstory that’s a better beginning to a beatnik diary-slash-barbaric-yawp than a band bio, culminating in a trans-Siberian railway trip through Novosibirsk, arguably the Detroit of central Russia. (Which is a reverent compliment.) Somehow he made it back to L.A., and now with Balto he’s shaking off the cold and distance both.
The new “Magnet / Mind” is of course lit in part by acknowledged inspiration from Neil Young, one of the inventors and perfectors of this kind of melancholy by guitar. But there’s a little of Gene Clark’s surface-street cowboy blues, too, as well as some of Asylum Records 1970s mellow, which you can divide or assign as you like between Ned Doheny, Jackson Browne and maybe even the Eagles, depending on how exactly you’ve calibrated your personal mellow-meter. Engineer Riley Geare (Unknown Mortal Orchestra) and mixer Sean O’Brien (L.A. RECORD cover alum Moses Sumney) put a little extra glow on this to help make it actually sound like right now instead of back then, and to ensure that it fits nicely next to something like a slow one by Dinosaur Jr. If people were still allowed outside, it’d be perfect for a long walk carrying a lot of heavy thoughts. But it has enough gravity to stay grounded when everything else is standing still, too. Sheron remembers the exact drive that got this song going for him:
“A long, strange 3 AM trip from Vermont to Cahuenga down Santa Monica ended at an all-night diner just before morning. I found myself thinking about a particularly perfect Neil Young song from the early 90s, and that led me to what the song revealed itself to be about: quixotic idealism, mental health, and, hopefully, the subconscious outlasting the conscious in love.”
Balto’s “Magnet / Mind” is available here and lyric video with Star Wars crawl below!