Meet your latest rock/new wave obsession: Los Angeles brother trio The Ceremonies.
Let’s just get one thing out of the way: Matthew Cook, the leader singer of Los Angeles rock/pop/new wave outfit The Ceremonies, is a dead ringer for The Doors’ Jim Morrison. And we’re not just referring to his tight, fitted pants (rawr), strategically unbuttoned shirt, pensive stare, necklace chains, and brown, floppy hair. (Again, rawr.)
And here’s where being an English major comes in handy! As self-proclaimed art and literature fans, The Ceremonies cite influences like British futurist writer Aldous Huxley and British poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake. And who else liked to reference / borrowed their name from Huxley and Blake’s favorite phrase, “the doors of perception”? Yep… The Doors!
But! Unlike The Doors’ trademark bluesy/psychedelic rock sound, The Ceremonies’ jangly vibe is teeming with upbeat earworm melodies, pastoral, Fleet Foxes-esque harmonies, a smattering of horns, and twinkling synths.
Read more about The Ceremonies after the jump.
Consisting of brothers Matthew, Michael, and Mark Cook (Matthew is the oldest; Mark and Michael are twins), The Ceremonies got their start when Matthew heard ’80s post-punkers Echo & The Bunnymen’s take on The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.” After that, Matthew was a goner. He quickly spread the post-punk gospel to his younger brothers, and the three formed The Ceremonies while Michael and Mark were still in high school. (That’s what you call dedication, aspiring musicians.)
Though they currently have a solid collection of singles out (their rollicking debut “Land Of Gathering” chief among them), the brothers are currently hard at work prepping their debut EP, which they self-produced with the help of Danny Garibay.
While you wait, though, you could get familiar with The Ceremonies by listening to “Land Of Gathering,” an uptempo, sunshiny track that kinda sounds like The Strokes having a field day picnic with pastoral harmonizers Fleet Foxes. OR you could watch the track’s video, which looks like a straight-up cartoon homage to “The Phantom Tollbooth” and/or “Peter Pan.”
Even more impressive is the brothers’ ability to diversify their sound on “Ballroom Bones,” which starts off slow and echoing, but quickly intensifies with pounding percussion, rhythmic falsetto chanting, finger snaps, and eerie xylophone. Think: a cross between The Cure, the band’s beloved Echo & The Bunnymen, early Kings Of Leon, and — OK, fine — The Doors.
So, what’s next for MTV’s Artist To Watch (other than releasing their highly anticipated EP)? The Ceremonies are hitting the road this fall to support The Fratellis, with their tour kicking off in NYC on Nov. 1 and concluding Nov. 12 in L.A. Look out for The Ceremonies’ debut EP, dropping this fall via Atom Factory Music/Capitol Music Group!
+ Download The Ceremonies’ “Land Of Gathering.”
+ Watch an exclusive interview with The Ceremonies.
Photo credit: Capitol