Purposefully keeping their online presence scarce, Ecstatica has cultivated a mystique about them that is not easily replicated; they prefer to let their music do the talking. And talk it does.
'Everything Else Can Wait,' the latest album released by Ecstatica, is nothing else if not a testament to the group’s considerable musical prowess. The album feels alive; it feels and ponders and despairs before ultimately setting itself free by the project’s conclusion, and it makes sense that the album's creation was as organic as it sounds. When Ecstatica speaks of the creation of 'Everything Else Can Wait,' there’s a reverence with which they refer to the project.
"Pure Intentions" starts the album with a soothing, cheery opening track. Bright like a summer day, there’s a feeling of vitality throughout. “The road to purity in your voice is never straight / Can we go deeper now?” Ecstatica asks, playing with the easy confidence that what’s coming next will blow you away; they’ve struck gold and know it.
Building off the vitality of “Pure Intentions,” “Metal on Metal,” and Ecstatica’s echoing and unbounded vocals herald the arrival of a new day. “You gotta figure it out / There's only today,” Ecstatic sings, reflecting on personal growth and the ability to take things one day at a time. As the vocals fade out, Escastica simply jams out, treating the listener’s ears to some good old-fashioned psychedelic rock.
If the opening tracks for 'Everything Else Can Wait' were the boundless and free introductions to what the group can do, “Broken Buddha” feels like Ecstatica getting down to business, plain and simple. With instrumentals that add a flair of what feels like funk, there’s an increasing feeling of urgency. “Flip the switch /Light the fuse / Blow shit up With attitude,” Ecstatica sings as the guitar gets increasingly hectic. Building and building towards something only Ecstatica can see, a sick little riff on the conclusion brings a change in mood for the sinister-sounding piano intro of the next track, “Halloweed.”
Although a sinister piano intro seems like a sign of dark times, light is on the horizon. “Hallowed” feels like a confession of someone who, once enveloped in darkness, is finally moving towards the light. It's a story of rebirth and rejuvenation; as Ecstatica sings, “Life’s transported when an elder reform / into a starburst forever reborn.” When Ecstatica sings “Over and under / around and through / all of the time” to close out the spoken part of “Halloweed,” it feels like a weight has been taken off your shoulders.
"Halloweed" may have seen Ecstatica take a weight off their shoulders, and “Exile on Wall Street” sees the band ease into melancholy. It's a commentary on modern society and the personal indulgence and greed that drive society today. Although the instrumentals are soft, mellow and easy on the ears, don’t be fooled; they disguise lyrics like “You gotta pay with every drop of blood just to strive to be free.” The contrast between the soothing instrumentals and conscious lyrics feels almost surreal, but by this point in time, it’s part of the course for a band that is clearly operating at the top of its game.
Next up, Ecstatica takes you up to the stars; “Don’t Axe” feels like a journey through the twisting expansion of space. The reverence returns as they chant, “What we want/is here right now” and “Don't ask why / or when / or how” over and over, working towards some impossibly lofty goal we can’t quite see yet. Enhanced by what feels like mystical bongo drums in the background, Ecstatica takes you on a five-minute journey of psychedelic goodness.
Having fully cleansed the darkness of “Halloweed” and the melancholy of “Exile on Wall Street” through the psychedelic freedom of “Don’t Axe,” Ecstatica return once again to their upbeat, free and unbounded selves. Liberating and energetic, “Flow State” sees Ecstatica take you soaring through the sky as you’re “Rising Free.” Ecstatica jams like they’ve escaped their mortal bodies and have transcended, freeing themselves as “rising free” occasionally reverberates in the background, tethering the listener to the beat as 'Everything Else Can Wait' races towards the perfect conclusion.
Ecstatica concludes 'Everything Else Can Wait' with “The Quilt.” It feels like a solemn lullaby; soft, fleeting and perfect. “silence is a from a peace in the night / when we sleep,” Ecstatica sings. And just like that, they were gone as quickly as they were here.
Ecstatica’s 'Everything Else Can Wait' is a winding, psychedelically inclined testament to the band’s significant musical prowess. It sees Ecstatica progress through a cycle of freedom, darkness and rebirth and sometimes feels as alive and liberating as anything else. Above else, Ecstatica plays with the kind of unfettered freedom that is ultimately contagious. Whenever you’re ready to free your senses, tap in and stream Ecstatica’s 'Everything Else Can Wait,' available now on all major streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Ecstatica. Wow. Just wow, 'Everything Else Can Wait' blew us away. We must ask, where did you get the inspiration for this project? You mentioned that a lot of the processes happened organically. Is that usually how you approach your music?
Drew: Our work has always been a product of circumstance. We used to do a lot of abstract, experimental, groove/jam, and ambient noise stuff because we simply didn’t have the time to focus on songcraft. Plus, throwing paint like that is fun and liberating - and in those early recordings, we developed a sound, style and workflow that served us when we tried to harness some song structure, which led to EECW. Erik: After five releases of mostly instrumentals and a Grateful Dead covers album, the next creative challenge was to try to write lyrics together. In one session, Drew texted me a bunch of stuff I spouted in our random conversations, along with his own hilarity. We began crafting lyrical themes around the working titles, drawing from our influences… Lou Reed, Dylan, and Bowie…but through our own lens. With each release, we get better at being us. What was your favourite part of bringing this project to life? Did you have any setbacks you had to overcome? Drew: We laugh a lot. That can be a setback in itself. Erik: Deciding on when the album was done after we weeded through a couple of dozen potential songs was a highlight. Writing the lyrics together was the most fun I’ve had. As for setbacks, the pandemic didn’t make things easy. There were long stretches of not being sure exactly what we were doing. But we finally landed the plane. If you had to pick a favourite track off 'Everything Else Can Wait,' which track would it be and why?
Drew: “Halloweed” is unique and beautiful. It’s a Taylor Swift song on acid. Erik: Pure Intentions, because it’s our Lou Reed tribute. What message do you want fans to take away from 'Everything Else Can Wait?'
Drew: These are songs about songs, about the magic of creativity. If you spend some time with the lyrics, you’re going to come away with a few nuggets you can use daily; we’re here to help in that regard. If the music shakes you to the core in the process… all the better. Erik: Yeah, “to the core!” What’s next for you guys? Can we expect to hear new music soon, and if so will it be similar to what we heard on 'Everything Else Can Wait?'
Drew: We've got ideas for more music and are interested in seeing if this music can bring a new band to us. We hear the whole Shabazz: guitars, percussion, keys, bells, whistles, lights, livestock, all of it. But first things first… laundry is next. Erik: As a recording project, we’ve never played out live, so we hope to find the right people to bring this sound to the stage. We’ll just try to serve the song the best we can for the next album. We never know what it will sound like in the end. When it’s us, we’ll know it.