Ethereal trip-hop quintet Sun Gods to Gamma Rays is the next band to assume Vita.mn and 89.3 the Current’s Minneseries residency at the Nomad World Pub. Every Thursday in May, they’ll perform a free show featuring support from artists of their choosing.
Their back story: The band came together when vocalist Brianna Kocka was asked to join the “Absolutely Cuckoo” project at First Avenue in 2012, where 69 local artists chose one of the songs from Magnetic Fields’ “69 Love Songs” to cover. Approaching the project as a collaborative operation, Kocka reached out to her now-husband Peter Bregman (keys) and his friends — Paul Flynn (guitar), Brian Gollnick (bass) and Mitch Miller (drums). The gang decided to keep things going and began writing indie-rock songs characterized by open, spacey vibes. In 2014, they released their first full-length of psychedelic rock music, “A Ghost to Find.”
Their current going-ons: Kocka sees the Minneseries residency as a “good opportunity to put our brand out there and let people experience us in a more ritualized and regular way.” Since the band is influenced by a wide array of genres — from trip-hop to electro-pop to psychedelic rock — they’ve chosen a different genre or theme to emphasize each night. “The idea is that even if we play some of the same songs, we’re going to play them a little bit differently. We’ll play up a different aspect of those songs,” said Bregman.
Their plans for the future: The Sun Gods are currently writing new material, but this time they’re planning on taking things a bit slower to fully enjoy the process. For their last album, they enlisted the help of noted Twin Cities producer Joe Mabbott (Atmosphere, Snoop Dogg), whose work on the record complemented the group’s increasingly R&B-influenced style. The band is also seeking out a wider range of interesting gig opportunities. “We’d love to do a weird show at an art gallery or score a silent film,” said Bregman.
Our impressions: Sun Gods to Gamma Rays have chiseled a unique style of their own. The group experimented with spacey, atmospheric sounds on their cosmic debut EP, 2013’s “The Water, the Wave,” and switched to a catchier indie-rock style on their full-length record. But the Sun Gods seem to be landing on their own particular brand of sexy, psychedelic R&B. That formula should pair well with their talent for creating sparse yet cavernous sonic spaces reminiscent of London Grammar or the xx. Playing up different elements of their songs each week at the residency should prove useful for their writing process. The Sun Gods could have wildly successful results on their next release.
Minneseries feat. Sun Gods to Gamma Rays
With: Beasthead, Phillip Morris + Tony Phantom.
When: 9 p.m. Thursdays in May.
Where: Nomad World Pub.