Tag Archives: Botany single

Botany Reveals New Track From Lava Diviner (Truestory) And Never Heard Before Song, Laughtrack

In anticipation of his forthcoming album Lava Diviner (Truestory) which is set for release on 29 October through Western Vinyl, Texan beat-maker Botany has unveiled album stand-out track, Quatic.

Spencer Stephenson AKA Botany

Spencer Stephenson AKA Botany

Bubbly synths flow against hard-hitting percussion with droplets of delicate sounds to create a song that shows you exactly what Botany is all about. Similarly to the album, it provides a journey for the listener to explore some of the natural, mystical features of the earth.

With his debut album Lava Diviner (Truestory) out on Tuesday, sonic shape-shifter Botany has also shared a special non-album song, Laughtrack, which was recorded in collaboration with Father John Misty (also known as J Tillman). As well as this, Botany has unveiled a full album stream of his upcoming debut LP through Dazed & Confused.

Speaking about his working with Father John Misty, Botany AKA Spencer Stephenson said: “I produced the track using a lot of Brit-folk samples as I was a huge Fleet Foxes fan trying to bridge the gap between that style and my own for the sake of the collaboration. It didn’t fit into the overall scheme of Lava Diviner but I didn’t want it to rot on my computer so I remixed it and set it free.”

Stephenson explains his influences for Lava Diviner: “On Lava Diviner, I wanted  to conjure that same head space that artists like Roger Dean, and even Zdzislaw Beksinski, project in their iconic paintings.

“I tried to evoke those grand, colourful, surreal landscapes that are mind-bending yet oddly comforting – sci-fi and epic and holy, all at the same time.”

Following 2010’s quietly applauded Feeling Today EP, Lava Diviner (Truestory) was created at various Texas locations using a jumble of equipment, from aging desktop computers, samplers, guitars, bells, flutes, tape recorders, turntables, violin playing room-mates and much more besides. Guest vocals from Brainfeeder artist RYAT were added to the mix and the final creation was mastered by Matthewdavid (Leaving Records / Stones Throw).

As the product of a lengthy gestation period, Lava Diviner (Truestory) follows Botany on an intensely personal journey as he makes his way home within himself, returning to his celestial centre.

Loosely a concept album documenting a religious sect that prays for a volcano to erupt, Stephenson set out to make a kind of instrumental storybook of an album, using only the emotional tone that his theme might evoke.

Botany

Artwork for Botany

However, by the time the record was finished, it became clear that the emotional tone was really coming from hos own life, rather than any concept or allegory.

“As work on the record progressed, I began to realise that the musical journey was a direct reflection of my most hard-to-quantify life experiences,” Stephenson explains.

“Lava Diviner is about very real transformations in my being, so it’s a true story in that sense… I always imagined my first album being like a volcano, with years of pent-up emotion and musical ideas bubbling up to a cathartic release. So, I always knew that symbolism would end up being a part of my first full-length.”

The volcanic sense of release is palpable. Lava Diviner (Truestory) easily moves past stale tropes of beat-based music, and brings to life a fully-realised, album-length outpouring of profound human emotion.

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Botany – Lava Diviner (Truestory) Album Review

Botany AKA Spencer Stephenson from Denton, Texas is due to release his debut album Lava Diviner (Truestory) on 29 October.

Following 2010’s quietly applauded Feeling Today EP, Lava Diviner (Truestory) was created at various Texas locations using a jumble of equipment from ageing desktop computers, samplers, guitars, bells, flutes, tape recorders, turntables, violin playing room-mates and much more besides. Guest vocals from Brainfeeder artist RYAT were added to the mix and the final creation was mastered by Matthew David (Leaving Records/Stones Throw).

As the product of a lengthy gestation period, Lava Diviner (Truestory) follows Botany on an intensely personal journey as he makes his way home within himself, returning to his celestial centre.

Stephenson said: “On Lava Diviner, I wanted to conjure that same head space that artists like Roger Dean and even Zdzislaw Beksinski project in their iconic paintings.

Botany

Botany

“I tried to evoke those grand, colourful, surreal landscapes that are mind-bending yet oddly comforting – sci-fi and epic and holy, all at the same time.

“I always imagined my first album being like a volcano with years of pent-up emotion and musical ideas bubbling up to a cathartic release. So, I always knew that symbolism would end up being a part of my first full-length.”

Botany’s Lava Diviner is certainly clever stuff. There’s thoughtfulness throughout the intricate constructions which while perhaps experimental in basis are worked into fully formed and harmonious mood music.

Austinist reviews Botany’s music: “…pieces together incredible songs with found and recycled sounds. The music he creates is dreamy and glitchy, inspired a lot by bands like Caribou and Four Tet…”

Lava Diviner (Truestory) works well as a whole. No tracks jar as being hugely different or nonsensical. Anchor has a beat, a dreamlike quality of sunshine and waves bringing in a Peter Gabriel-esque vocal chant.

The instruments are multi layered with Per Eon showing choral work threaded with harp and strings both ethereal and expectant. Simple Creatures takes you into a trance like state with the female vocals being very reminiscent of Bjork.

Quatic is particularly pleasing being prettily constructed with steel drums and a beckoning beat. Small Keys is suited for those Ibiza chill-out albums but like all the tracks, it definitely has its individuality.

The title track Lava Diviner truly brings to mind a lava flow yet the album reaches far beyond that literal interpretation. If this type of music appeals in general, Lava Diviner (Truestory) is recommended for bringing greater dimensions and colour than usually found at sundown on an exclusive Spanish party beach.

By Kate Dexter

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Introducing…Botany

Botany, the Texas-native, announces his debut LP, Lava Diviner (Truestory) through Western Vinyl on October 29 and has recently debuted his new track Anchor.

Botany, otherwise known as Spencer Stephenson, never resorts to shallow MPC trickery or contrived mix-tape clumsiness.  Instead, his proto-new age textures float elegantly atop hip-hop influenced beats to paint a detailed, rhythmic mural.

Anchor is no exception to this. The song rises and falls in the right places. It has a beat that will instantly relax even the most unsettled mind.  It’s perfect for the summer with the beginning displaying some higher pitched and unusual electronic noises which come forward and then slowly recede into the background. Set these synth noises against the hip-hop drum beat and the song becomes magical. The softly played vocals can be heard, just about, leaving the listener with a melody in their head. The vocals sound foreign and even have some Indian influences, especially the female ones. If you like Bonobo, you’ll love Botany.

Botany

Botany

Stephenson explains his influences for Lava Diviner: “On Lava Diviner, I wanted  to conjure that same head space that artists like Roger Dean, and even Zdzislaw Beksinski, project in their iconic paintings.

“I tried to evoke those grand, colourful, surreal landscapes that are mind-bending yet oddly comforting – sci-fi and epic and holy, all at the same time.”

Following 2010’s quietly applauded Feeling Today EP, Lava Diviner (Truestory) was created at various Texas locations using a jumble of equipment, from aging desktop computers, samplers, guitars, bells, flutes, tape recorders, turntables, violin playing room-mates and much more besides. Guest vocals from Brainfeeder artist RYAT were added to the mix and the final creation was mastered by Matthewdavid (Leaving Records / Stones Throw).

As the product of a lengthy gestation period, Lava Diviner (Truestory) follows Botany on an intensely personal journey as he makes his way home within himself, returning to his celestial centre.

Loosely a concept album documenting a religious sect that prays for a volcano to erupt, Stephenson set out to make a kind of instrumental storybook of an album, using only the emotional tone that his theme might evoke.

However, by the time the record was finished, it became clear that the emotional tone was really coming from hos own life, rather than any concept or allegory.

“As work on the record progressed, I began to realise that the musical journey was a direct reflection of my most hard-to-quantify life experiences,” Stephenson explains.

“Lava Diviner is about very real transformations in my being, so it’s a true story in that sense… I always imagined my first album being like a volcano, with years of pent-up emotion and musical ideas bubbling up to a cathartic release. So, I always knew that symbolism would end up being a part of my first full-length.”

The volcanic sense of release is palpable. Lava Diviner (Truestory) easily moves past stale tropes of beat-based music, and brings to life a fully-realised, album-length outpouring of profound human emotion.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News, Reviews