Golden Drugs, “Appalachian Blood”

John Ambrosio

Oakland’s Golden Drugs (a side project of Twin Steps’ Drew Pearson) just debuted the music video for “Appalachian Blood”, a song we introduced last September, and, much like the setting of Deliverance it shares its name with, there seems to be something more unsettling under this song’s pleasant appearances.

The song starts out as a basic garage rock tune, with distorted vocals and guitar parts, but soon opens up, adding synth tones, a whispered bridge section, and a much more experimental second half. The only constants are a dancey drum beat and a few repetitive synth lines, which help create a nice, almost hypnotic effect. While it’s by and large a tender song, there’s always a sense of something sinister beneath the surface, whether it’s the crunch of a distortion pedal or the mysterious masked figure in the accompanying music video.

The video is full of strange, sometimes surreal imagery which flashes before the screen only briefly. The only section of the video that provides a brief respite to the visual assault is the middle minute or so, in which an indistinguishable pink blob dances in front of the camera as Pearson sings with a lonely piano. The shot doesn’t last long, and is replaced by a series of shots of a masked figure playing music superimposed over videos of a field. The overall tone of the final section, and indeed the video as a whole, is a dream that feels like at any minute it could slip into a nightmare. The images of the field are disrupted only occasionally by the creepy masked man, but that’s more than enough to create a worry. Check out the video above and look for Golden Drugs’ new album Midnight Sun or Stubbornly Persistent Illusion, which comes out in September via Porch Party Records.

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