Their debut full-length, 2015’s Grow, established their mathy, forward-thinking take on the genre, while 2017’s Homey furthered that sound while incorporating brand-new influences like effect-pedal-heavy elements of electronic music and trip-hop and debuted at No. 66 on the Billboard 200. Now, with CHON, set for release on June XX through Sumerian Records, the trio once again have kicked down their musical guardrails — but in a way that balances their more eccentric impulses with a steadying dose of clarity and restraint.
“We really wanted to make songs with more simplistic structures, but also the craziest parts we’ve ever had musically,” Mario Camarena explains. “I think our music is already so weird that when the structure is also crazy, it can be hard to follow. I really wanted this album to appeal to people who maybe don’t listen to this style of music.”
It’s true that CHON streamlines some of the band’s grandiose, free-flowing musicality in favor of more traditional sonic structures. But, most importantly, simplifying their sound doesn’t mean resorting to being boring. If anything, CHON is brimming with some of the most forward-thinking, intricate musings the band have ever attempted, from the deep progressive propulsion of first single “Peace” to “Spike,” which spins the band’s youthful tech and metal influences together into a flashy riff-athon.
Of course, they’re coming prepared: While writing and recording the self-produced album in San Diego, the band put a lot of thought into calibrating their new music to fit the expansive crowds they knew they’d soon be playing in front of. The result is a collection of songs that plays just as well to the front row as the very last.
“We knew we were going to play these songs at big festivals, and it was in the back of our minds,” Mario says, pointing to the tribal-inspired rhythms on “Gift.” “We were just thinking of Electric Forest when we wrote that song: It’s kind of psychedelic and hippy. It’s going to be really fun to see how big crowds react to these songs.”