The Velvet Starlings’ “Back of the Train” Is a Gritty Reflection on Life’s Unwavering Shifts

It's the first single from their debut album, Technicolour Shakedown, out August 27.

Los Angeles’ The Velvet Starlings are 2021’s answer to psychedelic, gritty garage rock that sparked elation in the 1960s. The band was founded by guitarist and organist Christian Gisborne at the age of 15. Now three years later,  Velvet Starlings are a four-piece—featuring brothers Foster and Hudson Polling along with Ashton Minnich—that’s prepping to release their debut album Technicolour Shakedown. The first single off their upcoming full-length—which was written, produced, engineered and mixed by Gisborne—is the unrelenting rocker titled “Back of the Train.”

“Back of the Train” recalls ’60s garage rock forebear like their LA ancestors The Standells and The Seeds, along with their blues predecessors that relented about the passing of time and life’s heavy toils. The track is anchored by Gisborne’s howling vocals—a timbre in the same kin as Roky Erickson’s eerie croon.

Gisborne tells us the inspiration behind the new single: “The song is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. ‘Back of the Train’ centers around a sneaky low note ’60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He further describes it as the story of “paying dues and making sacrifices, while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

Watch the song’s video directed by Megan Blanchard below. Technicolour Shakedown is out August 27 via Sound x 3 Records/AWAL/The Orchard.


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