In late 2020, Alex Maas - best known as the frontman for psych rock powerhouse The Black Angels - released Luca, an album of mellow psychedelia named after his son. With tours on hold, Alex and his band decamped to Bastrop, TX to bring the live show they had developed for the album to the world via this performance film, shot in the city’s historic downtown.
Alex explains, “We shot this down in an old opera house built in 1889 and a 100 year old German tailor mercantile building in historic downtown, which is now Astro Records. This session is a glimpse of what a tour on Luca would look like had we not been in a pandemic. It was a joy to get out and get back with the friends and collaborators I created this album with, and bring these songs to life. For now this is the world tour, and a look at what we’re looking forward to being able to do on stage when we are back up and rolling! Thank you to Jonas Wilson of Mr. Pink records who asked me originally to film this in the beautiful city of Bastrop."
The performance film premieres Saturday, March 27 at 7PM CST and features selects from Luca, along with three new tracks from his songbook, seen here for the first time, and performed with some of the collaborators he created the album with: Bryan Richie, Jake Garcia, Rob Kidd. These songs have been crafted over a decade in quiet moments between tours and albums with The Black Angels, are finally being released in the live setting on Levitation Sessions. Today you can catch a sneak peek of the session and one of the new songs -- “Too Much Hate”.
Alex on “Too Much Hate”: "I tried to touch on a few things on this song that would attempt to identify things that make the world more beautiful. I’ve been trying to give solutions and not just speak about the cancer that is eating our culture. Some problems of society are rooted in how we raise our children, how we treat each other and quick uninformed decisions when people shoot from the hip as opposed to sitting back and thinking rationally about how to act instead of reacting."
To purchase tickets to the full performance, visit Levitation.
"Maas originally set out to create an acoustic record, then planned to mix the folk feel of Leonard Cohen with the textures of the Wu-Tang Clan; there are echoes of those previous directions in the samples, drones, stiff drums and occasional picked guitar, but the vibe is more Joe Meek producing The Madcap Laughs." - Uncut
"Having upheld the Texas tradition of the 13th Floor Elevators-style lysergic emanations with The Black Angels, Alex Maas has gone deep into himself for a beautiful solo debut..."[Luca] combines considered, personal songwriting with a late-'60s edge of hazy paranoia, most of it informed by the joys and responsibilities of fatherhood." - Mojo
"Throughout [Luca], ghosts of pre-rock crooners, dustbowl troubadours, torch singers and bobby-sox balladers converge in a backwoods cabin thick with the fug of good grass..." - Shindig
"Alex Maas possesses one of the most timeless voices in Austin music and now you can really hear it....his voice pierces vintage pop landscape."- Austin Chronicle
"Leaving behind the fuzzy guitars of his band Black Angels, Alex Maas picks up his acoustic for his first solo album, Luca...'The City' is especially intimate. "The enemy is always just outside the gates," says Alex of the track. 'Be ready for anything.'" - Brooklyn Vegan
"So many people eat hatred and feed it to their children. In "American Conquest," I'm trying to make the point that we collectively need to change the diets of parents if we expect the future to be bright." - Alex Maas
The lead singer of the Black Angels releases "American Conquest," the second single from the upcoming LP titled Luca (out on December 4, 2020).
Alex Maas of The Black Angels announces his mesmerizing and soul-bearing solo debut, Luca. Named for Maas’ firstborn, whose name means “bringer of light,” Luca was a long time coming, with some of its songs dating back almost a decade, put together piece-by-piece over the course of a couple years. A powerful work of gentle psychedelia, and a notable sonic departure from the heavy, pulse-raising sound that Maas has become renowned for, Luca was co-produced by Maas and Jack White’s front of house, Brett Orrison. The album showcases “a whole different part of my brain,” according to Maas. “I wanted to go someplace musically that I’ve never gone before.” What resulted is a hypnotic detour along the wild trails of Maas’ homestead of Texas, driven by nature and colored by a swirl of meditative thoughts about its creator's son, the often-scary world he was born into, and how to navigate the perils of modern society. Listen to the first single off the record, "Been Struggling" and read more over at Brooklyn Vegan & Clash.