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Since 1998, Ben Chasny -- the guitarist, and brains behind the psych folk outfit Six Organs of Admittance -- has released more than a dozen albums of spectral meditations and ragas, and countless more collaborative works…part of a sonic clubhouse sometimes known as “New Weird America.” Over the years, SOoA has been a largely acoustic affair -- but not this time.
The new album, Ascent, which comes out on Drag City on August 21st, is a blistering, explosive listen. And for good reason – it finds Chasny reuniting with his old bandmates, San Francisco psych rockers Comets on Fire. Some of the tracks on the album, like the scorching opener “Waswasa,” are brand new tracks. Others are songs from the back catalog that get a heavy reinvention. Like “One Thousand Birds,” which first appeared on the 2002 album Dark Noontide.
I called Chasny up to get some more context on the recast song – one that he told me he has likely played more than any other in his life. Re-recording “One Thousand Birds” for this album, he told me, was like “literally visiting with an old friend.” Who better to record it with, than old friends?