Over the last six months Riley Flood from Sacramento, USA has released a couple songs, and now with the release of “Voodoo” he completes his debut EP “Phases”. His sound of classic psychedelic pop and modern rock immediately caught our attention. We asked how he started and where he gets his inspiration from. This is his story of all the phases Riley needed to go through, to find his current sound.
Even young musicians find inspiration in old music. When Riley Flood accidentally downloaded the Beatles discography at an age of 14, he was hooked. “I can’t remember what I was trying to download, but I instantly fell in love with their music”, he tells about his discovery.
“That summer I took guitar lessons with a friend, but I only stuck it out for 2 weeks. I did stick with the instrument though and just began teaching myself. I started playing bands way before I was good enough at playing”, he laughs, “but I think that’s a good choice for any musician.” Riley was always writing his own music, and at some point he decided to form his own band. He admits that they were awful, “but I loved it!”
“A year after that when I was 18, I started music production school, and that’s when I began taking everything really seriously.” The most important phase! Riley started a band called Nylon Lyonn. In 2015 they recorded an EP which contained three psychedelic (surf) rock songs. Among them was “Sunshine“, that he revitalized for his solo EP.
His solo version sounds tighter and rocks more than the original version. You can even here some grunge influence. After Nylon Lyonn disbanded he decided that going solo was the thing to do to create his own sound. “I also began recording other bands at this time, which really helped me as a producer”, he adds.
“Being in a band, however wasn’t right for me, I found, so I decided to start recording my songs under my name, a project I undertook with co-producer, co-engineer JR Thompson. and that’s how “Phases” came about.”
And now his debut EP is here, featuring “Sunshine” and three new tracks. All songs have a modern rock vibe, but with clear 60s influences: the melodies, pop-sensibility, and that overall psychedelic touch, which is emphasized by the artwork and logo. Riley cites The Beatles and The Beach Boys as inspiration, but also modern psychedelica from the likes of Animal Collective and Tame Impala, which can best be heard on the second track, the uplifting and orchestral “All That Commotion”. His modern poprock influences (Arctic Monkeys and Phoenix) can be heard on the uptempo love song “I Need A Message”. The fourth and last song “Voodoo” is our favourite, with that driving rock sound, catchy hooks and a classic guitar solo. We love it!
To conclude, “Phases” is an amazing EP which showcases both his songwriting and production skills. We think we’re going to hear a lot more of Riley Blood!