Oakland, California–based trio Mortar & Pestle is set to release its debut EP on May 7th via the local label Post Primal. They’re the kind of band that makes the kind of “this reminds me of the summer when…” songs that stick. These are tunes which bring up the feelings that make memories, bridging genres and weaving the past and future into a retrospective ride towards tomorrow. The loss, pain, anger and triumph are heard in Lambert’s soulful voice; a voice that gets right to the heart of the matter, and like a female Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, her pure emotion sits perfectly complimented by her band’s electronics. The arresting first single “U.V.” recently premiered via SPIN. “‘U.V. is about the effect love has,” says lead singer Janaysa Lambert. “It’s warm at first, and fills us with expansive joy, but not unlike the rays of the sun, it can age us quickly.”
The sounds of a pinball machine in the opening of the tune might say fun, the same way PartyBingo says fun, but make no mistake; the song gives way to a darkness that is real. Born on the kitchen piano of a studio apartment, days after Lambert and keyboardist Paul Shinichi first met at a mutual friend’s party, the two were joined within the year by drummer Sean Paul Duke. Tragically, the friend who brought them together met with an untimely death shortly after she gave the band its name.
“She wanted to be the one to name us,” says Shinichi. “We were struggling with a name for months, and then she came up with Mortar & Pestle. I think honoring her life is one reason why we are together. This album is really about her.” The band is also now completing a music video for “U.V.” that is as moving as the song itself. And, even with the upcoming release of Mortar & Pestle’s debut, the band is already writing its next release.
Listen/download: Mortar & Pestle – “U.V.”
Mortar & Pestle Live
05/10 Oakland, CA @ The Uptown Record Release Show
05/12 Portland, OR @ The Lovecraft w/ Not from Brooklyn
05/15 Seattle, WA @ The Redezvous/Jewelbox Theatre w/ Not from Brooklyn
02. Pristine Dream
03. Lady 7
05. Switchblade Bandita
06. Electric Angel