Music

LA Indie Outfit GYPSUM Gives A Salute to Math Rock With Angular Single “Kaleidoscope”

Los Angeles Outfit
GYPSUM
Gives A Salute to Math Rock
With Angular Single “
Kaleidoscope

Self-Titled Debut Album Out Now

GYPSUM 
L-R:  Anna Arboles, Sapphire Jewell, Jessy Reed
Photo credit: Wes O’Connor

NOVEMBER 16, 2021 (Los Angeles, CA) – “I probably spent a year on a million variations of this main guitar riff before landing on the version that I liked,” says Gypsum’s guitarist and vocalist Sapphire Jewell about the indie rock outfit’s new track “Kaleidoscope” off their critically-acclaimed self-titled debut album (released on October 12, 2021viaSonic Ritual). “I have a voice memo that’s 11 minutes long of me just vibing on that weird mathy riff because I loved playing it so much. It’s definitely one of those riffs that physically feels good to play.” Rounded out by drummer Jessy Reed and guitarist and vocalist Anna Arboles, Gypsum is a synergistic exercise in collectivist arrangement, dissolving artistic ego into cooperativity. Rock NYC lauds that the live version of “‘Kaleidoscope’ is a powerhouse, “with an all-voices chorus synergizing with guitars and drums so perfectly the music could have been able to move the ceiling of the venue.”

As a group, Gypsum cites influences as diverse as punk, prog, jazz and psychedelia and takes inspiration from genre-hopping jazz and punk acts like Hiatus Kaiyote, DIIV and Foals. For “Kaleidoscope,” the band leaned heavily into their math rock influenceJewell adds, “It was a challenge at first for the band to lock in the timing since it’s changing time signatures almost every bar, but we love playing it and now it’s second nature. We also lost our minds when our mixer, Gavin Paddock [From Indian Lakes, Bob’s Burgers], added something to punch up the pre-choruses that we’d never thought of but fit perfectly. It’s one of my favorite parts on the album too.” Arboles chimes in saying, “My approach for this song was stepping on all my guitar pedals at once.” Reed adds, “For those about the math rock, we salute you.”

GYPSUM

Track List
1. Follow Me
2. Lungs
3. Gull Lake
4. Give It
5. Snow White
6. Grafting
7. Kaleidoscope
8. Satisfied
9. Margaret
10. Disappear

Gypsum was recorded over a 14 day period at Station House Studio with engineer Mark Rains (Tanya Tucker, Alice Bag) and is a deeply rewarding listen dense with mystery, complexity, darkness, majesty, and beauty. A great showcase of some of the album’s themes and textures comes from the previously released singles: the lustrous, percussion-driven “Follow Me” which was inspired by the people throughout history who have been forced to leave their home and seek refuge, “Give It” about self-determination and identity and features mesmerizing hi-hat work and chasmic, stop-and-start waves of Sleater-Kinney-esque guitar interplay and their most collaborative track “Lungs” which features outer space riffs cacophonously coalesce over sophisticated snare patterns and is about breaking out of your own body to get what you want.

Assembled through the knotty intersections between guitars, imploring harmonies and exploratory rhythms, Gypsum features all three members on backing vocals, Jewell and Arboles’ voices blend with atomic affinity, rich alto leads encircled by hazily imploring harmony stacks. Reed, whose interest in Brazillian polyrhythms and Latin percussion inflect her performance, used a hodgepodge of kits ranging from the 1930s to present, swapping out toms regularly and changing snare tunings to accommodate her “sounds and vision” for each track. While the guitarists’ lifelong love of riot grrl and grunge inform the dynamic builds of their intricate fretwork.

WHAT THE PRESS ARE SAYING
“The self-titled debut album from Los Angeles-based post-punk trio Gypsum has been a long time coming, but it’s well worth the wait. The group has its roots in jam sessions and continues to write that way, something which manifests itself in the recordings through unusual song structures and unexpected twists. Gypsum’s highly rhythmic music brings powerful vocals together with different guitar styles and effects, often bringing an ethereal edge to the intricate arrangements.” – Chaos Control Digizine

“‘Lungs’ finds the band drenched in feedback and effects, with Arboles and Jewell trading layered guitar lines and celestial harmonies all anchored by Reed’s winding snare patterns. It’s a striking meeting of light and dark, with Arboles’ guitar adding layers of murky fuzz and distortion while Jewell explores spacey, cosmic melodies.” – Under The Radar on “Lungs”

“A sonically intriguing record that’s characterized by a high, soaring, reverb-heavy lead guitar that tugs against a grounded, sturdy rhythm section, all while the voices of singers Sapphire Jewell and Anna Arboles stand firmly in the center of it all.” – Rosy Overdrive

“Gypsum is a satisfying concoction of the bands and genres that the trio grew up with.  Tastes of punk, psychedelic, and Brazilian music can be sampled no matter where you start or stop the album, in the best way possible.” – Melodic Magazine

“Only their first record, Gypsum is a seamless blend of genres. Lyrical guitar playing, powerful vocals, and clever lyrics combine to create an enjoyable listen, front to back.” – Play Too Much

” [‘Follow Me’ is] a percussive and persuasive indie rock track that serves a reminder that to appreciate what we have.” – Vanyaland on “Follow Me’

“I am certain that their haunting sound, their rich tonalities and guitar dexterity combined with their unique vocal harmonies made a long-lasting impression…” – Rock NYC

“Gypsum have been meting out their complex, immersive post-rock to sophisticates on the L.A. scene for more than six years. Now they’re ready to make a larger statement…” – Buzzbands.la

“You can — and will — get lost in these tracks. There’s so much atmosphere and otherness embedded herein.” – Hornet

Gypsum is Sapphire Jewell (guitarist and vocalist), Anna Arboles (guitarist and vocalist), Jessy Reed (drums). Gypsum and “Kaleidoscope” are available on DSPs via Sonic Ritual.

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