DBL A-Side from Brooklyn's Divining Rod has psychedelic roots firmly planted in southern soil. Tastes like Aloha.
Divining Rod Releases Record Before They Die: From Hawaii to Brooklyn and Back
A Psychedelic Songster Finds Meaning in Memories
Hidden to most, in a suburban neighborhood in Long Island, a forgotten studio where Eminem blazed bars and Mariah Carey invented a new brand of soprano, Miyuki Furtado, the creative force behind Divining Rod, is feeling the mojo. This is his second 14-hour day and it’s well past his daughter's bedtime (and a dad's pass-out time). The light wooden floor of the tracking room is freshly polished, but these dark walls have history, and Hawaiian-born punk-rocker turned psychedelic troubadour Furtado is there to carve his name in their peeling paint. Although he's made many records, this is the first one he's made truly for himself. On November 11th, the first two tracks will be released from Divining Rod's forthcoming record Return to Crystal Cove. When asked why he chose "Hemlock Blues" and "Love Come Tumbling" for the Double A-Side Single, he explains that they stand out as examples of the earliest and then the most recent paths his song-writing has taken respectively. Simply put, these two songs serve as bookends for a shelf containing volumes of life lessons Miyuki has gathered from years of touring, time spent with his father in Kauai and the childhood memories that being a dad to his own daughter has helped him reclaim.
"Growing up in Kauai, I was surrounded by live music. My uncles and aunts and cousins all played ukulele and guitar and sang. Any graduation party or birthday party, or any occasion for that matter...they'd put up tables and the tent. They'd play music and the kids would do hula dancing, run around...maybe show off some martial arts they were studying. I come from a pretty large family. Anything could be an event." It was this environment that gave Miyuki his early appreciation of live music. You can hear the familial influence clearly in the oceanic melody line of "Love Come Tumbling" as it lifts and dips on an island breeze over folksy finger-picked guitars lines and a tense build of barely bridled feedback.
This beautiful juxtaposition is made possible by lead guitarist Patrick Harmon's sweeping psychedelic soundscapes which ride the line of melody and chaos throughout Divining Rod's tunes. Perhaps he's drawing inspiration from his own new life as a dad--finding the beautiful moments amidst the madness. Miyuki feels for him, but teases him in his vulnerable new-dadness. "I told him he looked terrible. I said, 'Don't worry. You'll get to sleep in 18 years or so.' He's figuring it out."
Recorded in just a few frantic days by Grammy-nominated producer/mixer/engineer Brian Forbes, the pace helped keep the songs honest and intense. The first day of tracking, Miyuki drummed all 12 tracks. "We basically set up mics, got sounds, and played. What you hear is what you get. When we went in to record, we knew what we had to do and we did it." The songs benefitted from the urgency as Forbes expertly captured sounds in the once-famous room he now calls home.
What came out of these sessions was a record Miyuki had developed an obligation to make. "I was caring for my father in his final days right before I recorded this album. In a lot of ways, his passing created an urgency within me—a sense of my own mortality. I'd been putting off recording it, but that time spent with him helped me realize how fleeting our time here truly is. We stayed up all night and talked about our adventures--what we'd experienced and what we had learned. Over the course of these talks, it was never the big changes that we focused on like the move from Hawaii. It was remembering little events like a time we tripped and fell or something. We'd laugh about them. Little moments. That's what we take with us."
Divining Rod's forthcoming Return to Crystal Cove is a collection of those little moments as divined from the muse, and with the release of this single, the story begins.