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.
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.
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.