Rotary Downs, masters of soaring, tautly crafted psychedelic rock are back with Traces, the band’s follow-up to 2010’s Cracked Maps and Blue Reports, which Filter Magazine described as “perfectly New Orleanian” and 2007’s Chained to the Chariot, hailed by NPR as “a stunning collection of psychedelic art-pop”. “Traces” is a psychedelic dream in many moods but with a harder edge and lower lighting than previous offerings, tighter and sharper than ever before. The songs have a vivid, abstract poetic sensibility inspired by travel abroad, experiencing the thrill and the isolation of spinning through worlds far from home. Much of the album is infused with a warm, unfocused quality of distance—an almost romantic alienation that finds its expression in the rollicking ecstasy of “Anthony’s Odyssey”, the fuzzy, echoing surf fantasia of “The Sandwich Islands”, and the swirling march “aka Godzilla”. Other cuts on “Traces” depart those hazy shores of acid rock and edge closer to the dance floor—like the dark and glossy “Tent City”, the propulsive Bowie-style dispassion of “Country Killers” or the grand and grooving “Incognito”.
The band recorded most of its basic tracking and overdubs at New Orleans’ Marigny Recording Studios run by bassist Jason Rhein and Rick Nelson. Award winning local producer and engineer, Ben Mumphrey, mixed the new album out at his Studio in the Country (Bogalusa) where he has mixed artists like; Ani DiFranco, Greg Duli, BB King, Pixies, and The Breeders. Mastering was taken on by local award winning engineer Misha Kackkachishvili at Esplanade Studios in New Orleans.
Rotary Downs has of its songs are featured in the Rock Band video game, and the song “Djinni Stomp” was featured in the third season of HBO’s New Orleansset drama Treme. The band has won best rock band honors multiple times from the New Orleans alt-weekly Gambit and monthly music publication Offbeat, and has performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, Bonnaroo, SXSW, the High Sierra Music Festival and the MIDEM music conference in Cannes.
Rotary Downs is: James Marler (guitars, lead vocals), Chris Colombo (guitars), Jason Rhein (bass, vocals, synth), Zack Smith (drums), Alex Smith (guitars, bass, vocals), Anthony Cuccia (keys, percussion, vocals).