California dreaming, or rather a dreamy California sound is what Ash Reiter’s music evokes from the opening of “Oakland”—the first track off of Reiter’s EP, Heatwave. The phasing effect in her wispy voice adds to the ethereal quality of her music in such a way there’s a kind of depth to the light and airy feel she conveys in her music. That’s not to say that Ash Reiter (the band and the leader of the group) don’t groove on their songs (they do), it’s just that even within their groove, the songs kind of lull the listener into daydreams of long summer days where time kind just kind of floats.
My fellow Popdose colleague, Michael Fortes, spotlighted Ash Reiter on his Parlour to Parlour feature back in April, and since hearing the band’s music, I was struck by the lightness of their sound. And maybe I’m not the first person to point this out, but Reiter’s style would fit quite nicely in a David Lynch film — and maybe that’s why I warmed up to their songs so quickly. Also, it seems that a lot of groups who don the label indie pop sometimes force the hooks on the listener, but Ash Reiter does the opposite by letting the hooks slowly surface through the layers of sound– making repeated listens to Heatwave such a pleasure. I’ll admit that upon my first few listens to Heatwave, I didn’t warm up to it right away. But upon multiple spins, the hooks and songcraft took hold and pulled me in – especially “I’m Gonna Try” (Download) and the title track. And while regionalism in rock music really doesn’t exist anymore, I think if there’s a “California Sound” for this day and age, Reiter could certainly be the poster child for it.
So, if you’re in California (specifically the Bay Area), you can see Ash Reiter play their dreamy California groove sound live at the following venues:
November 3rd at the Brick and Mortar in San Francisco
November 4th at the I Am We House in El Cerrito
November 5th at McGovern’s Bar in San Mateo
November 10th at The Crepe Place in Santa Cruz