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From: TX, United States

Alternative/Alt. Rock, Psychedelic Pop, Trip Hop

HeadShy is an American alternative rock band that was formed in Austin, Texas in 2012 featuring singer songwriter Lisa Lipkin and former members of the psychedelic, space rock band Seven Percent Solution: Reese Beeman and James Adkisson. They are currently recording their followup release featuring drummer Clive Deamer ( Portishead, Radiohead) and bass player/producer Simon Edwards (Talk Talk, Billy Bragg, & Beth Gibbons).

Their debut album La Belle Epoque - The Head Chord, The Heart Chord, The Base Chord released in 2014 is composed of three EPs. The EPs highlight their diverse songwriting abilities which cross over into multiple musical genres including: psychedelic, trip hop, darkwave, dream pop and americana.

La Belle Epoque has been widely praised by the press. Their first single, Coma, was debuted by My Old Kentucky Blog and premiered on My Old Kentucky Blog Radio on SIRIUS XMU before the release of the album. Their second single, Light That Guides The Blind, debuted on PopMatters. The band also appeared in The Big Takeover Magazine with songs from each EP featured on DJ Jack Rabid's BreathThru Radio Show, Magnet, and The Aquarian Weekly.

The album has charted on radio stations all over the U.S. According to the CMJ Radio 200 charts, some of the stations include WVFS Tallahassee FL (P1) #5 (charted for 5 weeks), KVMR Nevada City, CA (P1) (A) #8 (charted for 4 weeks), KVCU Boulder CO (P1) #17 (charted for 3 weeks), WXAV Chicago, IL #18 (charted for 3 weeks), WUSB Stonybrook, NY #12 (charted for 4 weeks). Light that Guides the Blind was was featured on NPR station WUGA Just Off The Radar in Atlanta, GA and they receive regular airplay on The Avant Garage on CJSW Radio Calgary, Canada.

"Just like a musical chord, a perfume chord contains four essences, or notes, carefully selected for their harmonic affinity. Each perfume contains three chords: the head, the heart and the base, necessitating 12 notes in all. The head chord contains the first impression, lasting a few minutes before giving way to the heart chord, the theme of the perfume, lasting several hours. Finally, the base chord, the trail of the perfume lasting several days. Mind you the Egyptians believed that one can only create a truly original perfume by adding an extra note, one final essence that will ring out and dominate the others…"

So explains aging perfumer Giuseppe Baldini, a chief character in German author Patrick Süskind's acclaimed 1985 novel Das Parfum. Taking a cue from the fictional fragrance legend's theory on the intertwining of sound and scent, Austin, TX's HeadShy unveil their own sense of artful redolence on their debut full-length La Belle Epoque.

And what this uncanny combination have created with La Belle Epoque is nothing short of breathtaking in its luminous fusion of ENO-esque atmosphere, the 4AD label at its loveliest, Wild Bunch-style groove theory and the hefty depth of Boatman's Call-era Nick Cave.

"Before I knew about Brian Eno, I was intimidated and stunted with music from a skill standpoint," admits Adkisson. "After reading interviews with Eno I realized making music could be more about imagination and taste. Not just memorizing scales and music theory. And that actually sometimes knowing all the rules can be limiting. You need to leave room for happy mistakes."

"My main writing and singing influences are mostly people who didn't let the obvious flaws in their voices (Stipe's accent, Young's warble, Cave's near atonal delivery) stop them from delivering honest and emotional performances," proclaims Beeman. "These guys write about life, sadness, love, and every other real thing in the world instead of where the next party is, how much money they make, or how they really want to screw you (baby)."

"I have always loved male singers," adds Lipkin. I listened to a lot of Peter Gabriel when I was young. I always wanted to sing like a man. Except for women like Nina Simone, Sia, and Beth Gibbons, there is an emotion that men put into music that I miss from most female singers. Perhaps it was because I always had to listen to my mother's opera singing. I can appreciate it but I don't really care for opera. I will, however, pull up my feminine voice if the song calls for it."

But to consider La Belle Epoque a proper long player is to miss the point of its creation entirely. Similar to what The Beta Band did in the late 90s, this recording is actually constructed from three separate EPs titled in concert with Giuseppe Baldini's perfume/sound theory, each of which brandishing its own specific style and substance.

"The Head Chord has an acoustic quality, The Heart Chord has a trip hop quality and The Base Chord is bigger and more complex," Lipkin explains. "It's like climbing steps to a place you can't see until you get to the top. If you use steps as an analogy of the songs, if you only climb the first step, you will have no concept of what the collection is as a whole. For instance, I change my voice to suit the song and the way I sing the first track sounds completely different from the rest of the tracks I sing lead on."

To drive the conceptual point of La Belle Epoque home, in addition to its proper CD release, the group is also making the collection available as a specialized box set handmade by Beeman that will contain three perfume bottles containing a flash drive comprised of the songs featured within the parameters of each separate EP.

"Legend had it that an amphora was once found in a pharaoh's tomb, and when it was opened, a perfume was released," Baldini goes on to say within the pages of Das Parfum."After all those thousands of years, a perfume of such subtle beauty, and yet such power, that for one single moment every person on earth believed they were in paradise."

With La Belle Epoque, HeadShy are ready to set their own unique formula of aural effervescence airborne for the world to breathe in.

-Ron Hart

Freelance Rock Journalist