TRACK PREMIRE: HEALING GEMS “TIJUANA MUSHROOM (DRIVING ON LSD)”
Exotica is a bizarre and sometimes uncomfortably … complicated genre-slash-phenomenon, but the sensation of being somewhere else is more than welcome right now, and nobody makes a living room seem like a distant lagoon more than L.A.’s Healing Gems. They make songs that sound like Moon Gas meets Ennio Morricone with happily saturated production dripping with cinematic effects and unpredictable instrumentation, often soundtracking deadpan lyrics about ancient curses, legendary ruins and dreams so real they override waking life. There’s a pulp-y spaghetti western-style affection for misadventure here, too—songs by and for the mysterious strangers at the end of the bar, and for the last dance before last call.
A week from today Healing Gems take a step into another new world when they release Fiesta Pack: their long-awaited vinyl debut, collecting three digital EPs each more lush than the last. “Tijuana Mushroom” is a new version of a song from their 2017 debut—a cheerfully bleak song about how the desert and interpersonal disappointment will persist til the end of time, delivered with lots of “la-la-la”s and the lightfooted agility of proto-exotica standard “Brazil.” Fiesta Pack (mastered by Mikey Young of Total Control) is out a week from today on mango-flavored vinyl on L.A.’s Mock label and you can pre-order—or RSVP?—a copy here.