PLAYLIST: Froth Identify the Mental Haze Which Inspired “Duress”

An auditory illusion that sparked an internet phenomenon wasn’t the only influence on the LA psych trio’s fourth album.

“This song is about a guy who listened to the Yanny/Laurel thing and he can only hear Laurel,” began the statement Froth issued along with their latest record’s lead single, the dazed and overcast “Laurel.” “He’s really passionate about ‘Laurel’ being the correct pronunciation to the point where he will die before admitting otherwise.”

As goofy a concept as that may sound, this mental haze lends itself wonderfully to the LA trio’s tripped-out brand of backyard-barbecue psych. Roving through Duress’s nine additional tracks lends itself to a particularly tranquil psychedelic state, softened by the intermittent dream pop sighs of frontman Joo-Joo Ashworth (brother of Sasami, not Owen). “Slow Chamber” sounds like Tame Impala on a hotter-than-usual summer afternoon, while the backing piano on “Xvanos” sounds like it wandered off from a particularly lethargic Wand single. By closer “Syndrome,” any sense of conviction is washed away, leaving behind a residual calm to match the minimalist electronic drumbeat and slowly wailing guitar.

It may come as no surprise that Froth had plenty of inspiration in designing the album’s unique sonic aesthetic. To get a sense of where the ideas behind the record came from, we asked them to share a few of the tracks that led to Duress’s final form. “This is a collection of songs that we were listening to and referencing for ideas while we were writing and recording Duress,” they explain. “A lot of them were being played in the van constantly on our last touring cycle and definitely sparked some ideas for later songs.” You can stream these songs via the Spotify playlist below, or here via Apple Music.

Duress is out June 7 on Wichita Recordings. You can pre-order it here.

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