Today we are pleased to join forces with the release of Christopher Hill & The Stardust Crush’s new single titled “The Coronavirus Prison Blues,” a topical song that was inspired by Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues and the current Coronavirus outbreak that has been ravaging the prison system since the beginning of the pandemic. The eerie tune takes on a nightmarish twirl inspired by Latin rhythms. Chris Hill attempted to capture a prison-like atmosphere with percussion experimentations with spoons and coins. The song comes from Hill’s forthcoming full-length LP KAABA (Keep America All Better Again).
Seattle band Christopher Hill and the Stardust Crush are very much a multi-genre experience but are self-described as “Death-Folk-Rock” and “Post-Psychedelia.” Mason Jennings meets Black Mountain. Bob Dylan meets Radiohead. Perhaps it’s the sound of Bob Dylan guiding a handful of wide-eyed, sweating tourists on an Ayahuasca retreat.
The music goes many layers deep, in addition to traditional rock instrumentation there is a focus on found object recording. Such as doing percussion by banging on the inside of a dishwasher (The Coronavirus Prison Blues). In “A Guided Tour of Lafayette Park” and “Squatter’s Right’s,” there is synthetically created machinery, marching boots, sirens, dog howls and whimpers along with drone strikes, bombs and breaking glass. A cacophony dogfights like WWII fighter planes through the mid-air of the songs. But you’ll also find the cool hum of distant UFOs. The strange tones of metallic discs, hovering and zipping across a dusty sunset. Guitars are finger picked acoustic or electric, either cleanly recorded or shimmering and crackling with blown-out amp saturation… These are chiming notes wrapped in fat balmy fuzz, pin-balling down a canyon of echo. Music theory is warped, sliding from major and minor keys into discordant tritones and back again. Vocals are layered into a chorus of singing characters. The lyrics speak of hard times but look carefully around the corner at hope. They secretly gawk with little breath or blinking as they peer at this distant light.