Chicano Batman returned on Wednesday with a pair of new singles “Dark Star” and “Pastel Sunrise”, released both digitally and as 7″ physical records. Produced by John Hill (Portugal. The Man, Santigold, M.I.A.), these singles mark the first new music from the Los Angeles psychedelic soul outfit since 2020’s Invisible People.
On the A-side there’s “Dark Star”, which earns its title with the dark intro as frontman Bardo Martinez hums “The war is here / Spread thy fear,” as he is awash in distorted guitar. Throughout the single, the band gradually moves away from the Black Sabbath overtones of doom and overdrive as Martinez and company dive into the dreamy chorus that is more authentically Chicano.
“The hardness of the track lended itself to a more ominous meaning,” says frontman Bardo Martinez. “The lyrics are multidimensional, in America there are so many layers of trauma that we all have to deal with that seep into our everyday behavior and attitudes towards each other. Genocide and slavery is embedded within the dna of American culture and the social strife gripping America today exemplifies this. ‘Dark Star’ is about an honest feeling that seeks to break the status quo, tear down the physical and mental walls that hold us back from simply being ourselves.”
Related: Chicano Batman’s Bardo Martinez Announces Debut Solo Album, ‘Everything Reminds Me Of Space’ [Listen]
Flipping over to the B-side, “Pastel Sunrise” is instantly recognizable as Chicano Batman canon from the opening synthesizers. The return to the psychedelic soul motif comes as a welcome embrace for fans following the bold experiment that is side A. On “Pastel Sunrise”, Chicano Batman is able to deliver a little bit of L.A. to everyone as the band musically rolls down the 1, feeling the warmth of the “Pastel Sunrise”.
Stream “Dark Star” and “Pastel Sunrise” by Chicano Batman via the player below or on your preferred streaming platform. Physical 7″ copies of the single are available to order through the group’s Bandcamp. The new music also comes on the same day Chicano Batman is set to perform a livestream concert at The Roxy. Slated to begin at 6 p.m. PT, the virtual concert is a benefit for Sweet Relief, which continues to support musicians affected by COVID-19. Tickets are available here.
Chicano Batman – “Dark Star” / “Pastel Sunrise”
Chicano Batman – “Dark Star” (Official Video)
[Video: Chicano Batman]