Among the latest to emerge from a Texas psych-rock tradition that goes back more than fifty years, Houston’s Cactus Flowers announce the November 17th release of their sophomore full-length Elation with the new video for “Dead Moon Rising.”
Once again, frontwoman/bandleader Jessica A.M. channels the power of a live volcano through her guitar rig, her tone pouring through your speakers like scorching lava. Meanwhile, her mystical lyrics convey a dreamlike, starry-eyed romanticism spiked with a bite of attitude. Raised by a mom who photographed bands for Rolling Stone during the magazine’s counter-culture heyday, Jessica was, believe it or not, a late bloomer when it came to playing rock music. Originally, her path seemed to point in the direction of her formal violin training. But once she discovered the electric guitar in college, the die was cast. And when she met drummer and musical soulmate Mark Carcamo, a chemical reaction catalyzed, giving rise to Cactus Flowers’s intoxicating cocktail of psychedelia, fuzz, doom and classic rock.
“It took me like 7 or 8 years to craft my sound,” Jessica explains. But once it clicked, there was no turning back. Recorded by Grammy-winning producer Steve Christensen (Khruangbin, Steve Earle), Elation is a super-charged, almost monolithic realization of the band’s vision, which now includes bassist John Griffin (who produced the band’s debut full-length, 2019’s Incantations). Fittingly enough, the band wrote the bulk of Elation on numerous desert drives from Texas to the West Coast. Taken together, the songs take the listener on a fuzz-soaked musical journey of inner self discovery.