LA Priest, aka Sam Eastgate, announces his ocean-inspired, wobbly-pop filled third album, ‘Fase Luna’ – due for release May 5th via Domino. Following 2020’s ‘GENE’, named after a modular drum machine that Sam designed using 150 electrical circuits he’d built himself, ‘Fase Luna’ strips things back to little more than Sam and his guitar: nine sunshine-streaked tracks of pure bliss.
Alongside the announce today, the first taster from the album arrives in the form of the funked-up love song, ‘It’s You’. An instant LA Priest classic, it sticks in the mind of the listener long after the final closing notes.
“It’s about a guy who falls in love with a sea mermaid or water spirit and has to choose between life on land or life in the ocean,” Sam explains. “Some of it sounds like he's on the edge of madness.”
The video for ‘It’s You’ was directed by Eoin Glaister (Glass Animals, Joji) and tells the story of a woman, played by Juliet Cowan (The Power, PhoneShop), who falls helplessly in love with a sewage fatberg. Touching, sweet and at times, slightly grotesque, it’s a simple, beautiful depiction of love really being found in the strangest of places.
Variously known as Sam Dust, LA Priest and L.A. Priest, Eastgate has built a reputation as a subversive, unpredictable musician, consistently innovating over the course of his work with his now defunct breakout band Late Of The Pier, his cherished Soft Hair collaboration with Connan Mockasin as well as his solo work under LA Priest.
Following the release of ‘GENE’, Sam received requests to build drum machines around the world, with one correspondent from Belize eventually inviting him over to work at their studio. And so, at the beginning of 2021, Sam upped sticks to swap the Welsh borders for central America, only to find upon arrival in Mexico that he would be unable to actually get into Belize due to travel restrictions. In that instant, what would become the third LA Priest album changed completely. Marooned by the beach in Puerto Morelos, Sam found inspiration from the sea.
From the gently warped guitars on the super-chilled opener ‘On’, through to the slow and tender closing track ‘No More’, each song on ‘Fase Luna’ weaves and undulates into the next, creating an immersive whole. Recording in Mexico and the rainforests of Costa Rica, Sam was struck by each area’s mythical history and ancient connections to the ocean, drawing heavily on both to pack ‘Fase Luna’ with stories of spirits and imaginations of life on the ocean bed.
Without a synthesizer in sight, this is the purest LA Priest record yet. And with drums laid down by local musician Carlos Gabriel Favela Manzano in Mexico as Sam hummed the melodies, the closest the record gets to modern technology of any kind is the translation tool he used to write the Spanish lyrics of far out fairy story, ‘Sail On’. Raw and unfiltered, ‘Fase Luna’ offers a one-way ticket to another world.
“I want to give people a feeling that they’re free when they listen to it,” Sam concludes. “It’s not bringing you back to reality, it’s escapism.”
Listen to LA Priest’s ‘It’s You’, the first taste of upcoming album ‘Fase Luna’, HERE.