Deep into the desert with Josh Homme and friends
Josh Homme is bringing listeners back to the desert with Desert Sessions 11 & 12, a collaborative collection of artists including: ZZ Top’s Billy Gibson, Les Claypool from Primus, Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa, Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters, Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr, Autolux and Jack White’s Carla Azar, Matt Sweeney, comedian Matt Berry as well as unknown artist Töôrnst Hülpft and newcomer, Libby Grace. These musicians from different backgrounds all meet up in Rancho De La Luna, a studio found in the depths of Joshua Tree, California, a place known for all types of magic. This magical and whimsical place is the perfect spot for these artists who have mastered their crafts, coming together to not only conjure up some creativity but also to have fun doing what they love.
You can hear the energy in these sessions from the stars that surround Joshua Tree. The tracklist features a variety of instruments, even a cowbell—hell yeah. Beginning the session with “Move Together,” Gibbons takes the lead and sings some very colorful and creative content from a very lively lineup of musicians.
Homme’s harmonious vocals are brought to light in the second song, “Noses in Roses, Forever,” a fun track that has a bad-ass guitar solo. The switch-up towards the end of the song brings along a free sound that hints at the band’s enjoyment. “Far East For the Trees” follows, alternating speakers and mixing sounds from shakers and strings, incorporating a bit of Asian musical influence. This acoustic song bears a resemblance to the sounds of Tame impala. It is apparent that the group is joyous.
On “If You Run,” the fourth song, Libby Grace shows the world her extremely haunting, yet sweet, smooth and seductive voice. Her twang overpowers the ominous background sounds along with the high energy and intensity of the song. The rich vibrato pairs nicely with the feel of the free-running session. The next song, “Crucifire,” is the shortest track on the session, but it most definitely is not short-lived. A song comparable to one of Queen’s, Mike Kerr leads the explosive song. It is followed by “Chic Tweetz,” a most definitely unique and outlandish song, lead by Töôrnst Hülpft. “Matching tattoos and sending nudes” are some of the funky lyrics that highlight this far-out song.
Clearly, this compilation is all about the “imagination” that the group sings about on the seventh track. The different avenues and walks of life that have brought these musicians together produce something truly enchanting on “Something You Can’t See.” “Easier Said Than Done” closes the set, lead by Homme in a solid finale. The endless metaphors paint great visuals and the colorful lyrics display the “metamorphoses” that is this collaboration, reflecting the creativity of this all-star, musician lineup.