Federale Reverb & Seduction (Burgundy)

Release date:
July 12, 2024
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Over the last 20 years, Portland, Oregon's Federale has carved out a unique niche within the indie music landscape, blending their signature spaghetti-Western instrumental sound with increasing doses of moody vocal arrangements in the spirit of Lee Hazlewood or later-period Leonard Cohen. Still, through it all songwriter (and lead singer, when there is one) Collin Hegna has maintained a strictly retro vibe, and Federale's records have always sounded period-correct for an alternate-universe 1971 where rock and roll never caught on. Reverb & Seduction, Federale’s sixth studio album, marks the band’s 20th anniversary, and finds them beginning to color outside those Ennio Morricone lines. Perhaps Hegna—who also spent the last 20 years as a dues-paying member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre—has finally decided to give his psych-rock alter ego a seat at the Federale table. “Before, I'd have an idea and think, ‘Well, that can't be a Federale song’, because it had distorted guitars or whatever,” says Hegna. “But then I thought, 'Well, why not?’” This openness to a broader palette of influences allows Reverb and Seduction to veer into psychedelic and even gothic territory—think Love and Rockets or Sisters of Mercy—that the 2010s Federale might have considered off limits. The album's first single “Heaven Forgive Me,” for example, draws on Goblin (the Italian prog-rockers who scored Suspiria) and perhaps even a little Depeche Mode, while “Advice from a Stranger” borrows the fuzz and feedback of DIG!-era BJM and The Electric Prunes.

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