The Whistles & the Bells - "Cosmic Torpedoes" (video) (premiere)

by Sarah Zupko

24 February 2016

Cadillac Sky's Bryan Simpson steps out into a new world with the Whistles & the Bells.
 

Bryan Simpson built his career with progressive bluegrass ensemble Cadillac Sky, a group that developed a huge following in bluegrass and roots music circles. Now Simpson is stepping out on his own with the new project, the Whistles & the Bells, which affords him far more opportunity to get more experimental and explore a range of roots genres. On “Cosmic Torpedoes”, from last year’s stellar self-titled album, Simpson builds from an Americana base, adding soulful beats and a bit of wacky, far-out pop that occasionally conjures up the spirit of XTC. The Whistles & the Bells is very much a Christian album that charts Simpson’s journey towards finding God, but these songs also have a real openness and speak to universal questions, belief and faith.
  
Bryan Simpson tells PopMatters that “‘Cosmic Torpedoes’ was born from a Yahoo news feed headline when I opened my laptop one morning right before I was gonna make the record… I simply read ‘Cosmic Torpedoes’ and immediately it incurred all these other worries that had been trying to worm their way into my brain. I had just gotten back from a trip to Africa and had heard all about these ‘infected mosquitoes’ and then of course the theme of the last few years… ‘the terrorists are assimilating’ or more accurately ‘insurgents incognito’. I’m happy to say that ‘no rhyming dictionaries were harmed in the writing of this song’. I tried to squeeze ‘winnebago’ into the lyrics, but ‘motorhomes’ simply aren’t much of a societal nuisance. My boy Joshua Britt made the lyric video and he’s simply a mad genius. We’re staring at stuff that shouldn’t breed anxiety but combined with the music and the filter they do—that’s what I feel like the “catastrophizers” are promoting 00 coloring our eye with anxiety. The struggle to not nail plywood on the windows and keep the monsters out—real or imaginary—is real.”

TOUR DATES
March 1 - Santa Fe, NM @ Skylight *     
March 2 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *   
March 3 - San Diego, CA @ Voodoo Room @ HOB *
March 4 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe *
March 5 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
March 8 - Seattle, WA @ The Triple Door * 
March 9 - Portland, OR @ Dour Fir Lounge *   
March 10 - Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett *
March 11 - Bozeman, MT @ Filling Station *
March 12 - Laramie, WY @ Phoenix Ballroom *
March 13 - Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater *
March 16-18 - Austin, TX @ SXSW  

//related
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article