Deap Vally Invite Creative Collaborators Into Their Rock ‘N’ Roll Marriage

Photo Credit: Ericka Clevenger/Kelsey Hart

The musical marriage between Lindsey Troy and Julie Edward began a decade ago when they committed their respective rock ‘n’ roll talents to Deap Vally. Their long friendship and professional partnership has been creatively fertile in the last two years, culminating in the release of their third album, Marriage, released November 19 via Cooking Vinyl. It follows two EPs released earlier this year: in February, they dropped the Digital Dream EP and in June, American Cockroach.

Both the EPs and Marriage are the products of the “collaboration series” the duo began after releasing their second album Femejism in 2016, which was produced by Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs notoriety.

“After Femejism came out, we did quite a bit of touring in the US,” says Troy. “We were on the road a lot, and then, once we finally got time to do some more writing, we were trying to figure out how to shake up the writing process and make it exciting for us again, because we’d spent so much one-on-one time with each other.”

Reaching out to potential collaborators – something that happens often in EDM and hip-hop, but not so much in the rock ‘n’ roll world – proved to do just that. One of their first acts they got in touch with was The Flaming Lips, with some unexpected results.

“That ended up turning into a full record!” says Troy. “We released that first, but originally that was meant to be a song as part of our collaboration series.” The Deap Lips album, a scuzzy, hazy-glam, psyched-out antidote to the pandemic blues, whet their appetites for more creative partnerships. The possibilities open to them as they expanded beyond their two-piece lineup felt suddenly real and immediate, as evidenced by the bleepy, trippy, Wayne Coyne-flavoured track “The Pusher.”

“The beauty of collaborating is that you can always take something new away from witnessing and participating in someone else’s approach,” says Edwards. “Although we had many of our collaborations already in progress when we wrote with the Lips, it was inspiring to see their seamless blend of practical work ethic with spontaneous inspiration. Definitely recording at the Flaming Lips studio in Oklahoma was a true highlight so far.” 

“So far” refers to the ten years since Edwards and Troy formed Deap Vally in 2011. When they met in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, Edwards had been a vocalist, drummer, and keyboardist for LA-band The Pity Party alongside Marc Smollin since 2005, which toured and released EPs until 2012. Meanwhile, San Diego-born singer-guitarist Troy had (child-prodigy style) teamed up with her sister Anna to form The Troys, recording their debut album for Elektra Records in 2002 but never releasing it (Lindsey was just 15 at the time, and Elektra closed shop soon afterwards). The sisters released their solo projects in 2006: Anna’s Ain’t No Man LP; Lindsey’s Bruises EP months later. Lindsey had been doing her own solo thing until meeting Edwards, in the last place you’d expect given their hard-hitting sound.

“Lindsey actually came into my shop, The Little Knittery, and I taught her how to crochet and knit, and that’s how we met,” says Edwards. “At this point, there’s pretty much no downtime to make stuff, but we used to knit compulsively on the road and sell our handknits at shows.”

They shared more in common than a love of crochet. The two women spoke the same language when it came to rock, bonding over a love of Led Zeppelin.

Their own raw, noodling, punk-garage-blues rock relies purely on guitar, drums and frank, feminist lyrics delivered in a full-throated holler. The duo signed to Island Records in 2012 on the strength of their first single, “Gonna Make My Own Money;” the raucous, frenetic drums teamed with fuzzy, savage guitar riffs and a Karen O-style guttural-yet-melodic moan was undeniably a anthemic feminist cry in the spirit of Bikini Kill, L7 and Babes In Toyland. It would appear on their 2013 EP Get Deap! alongside three additional tracks that Spin declared “a burst of self-reliant aggression.”

“It’s unapologetic, heavy and groovy,” the duo stated in their trailer for the EP, in which the furious, fabulous “End Of The World” soundtracks footage of Troy and Edwards looking suitably rock ‘n’ roll with their big hair, swigging hard liquor straight from the bottle and ferociously swinging their instruments about on stage. That was but a sampling of the 11-track debut to come: Sistrionix, recorded in LA with producer Lars Stalfors of The Mars Volta, dropped in June of that same year. With instant acclaim came festival spots at Latitude, Leeds and Reading Festivals in the UK, and tours with The Vaccines, Muse, Wolf Mother, Marilyn Manson and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The same album spawned one of my favourite Deap Valley bangers: “Baby I Call Hell,” a hot, hollering, anthemic rock beast in which Troy demands of her lover, “Are you gonna please me, like you swore you would, or is it just to tease me? Better treat this woman good!”

Femejism followed in 2016, and 2017 saw the duo touring with Blondie and Garbage on the Rage and Rapture Tour. But their marriage was feeling frayed at the edges and the creative spark had been dulled by domestic demands (both Troy and Edwards have very young children). The thrill of releasing music as Deap Lips only confirmed that collaborations seemed to reignite the muse, and Marriage showcases that renewed passion.

“High Horse” features KT Tunstall and Peaches. “She’s brilliant as fuck, bold, funny, and completely down to Earth,” says Edwards of Peaches. “She’s a blessing to humankind, truly.”

Eagles of Death Metal bassist Jennie Vee is a primal force on “I Like Crime.”

“A few years ago, we played a really great rock festival called Aftershock…one of the bands playing was Eagles of Death Metal,” recalls Troy. “I’m a huge fan of Eagles of Death Metal – they’re such a tasty, feel-good, unique, authentic rock ’n’ roll band. We were watching them side stage and Julie and I were like, ‘Holy crap! Who is this woman?’ We didn’t know they had a female bass player… she’s incredible, she had such good stage presence, she looked so cool. We were blown away.”

The mutual love affair resulted in studio time in LA, with “I Like Crime” completed in three days.

On “Look Away,” the dreamy, sadly romantic Warpaint vibe is unmistakable thanks to jennylee. It’s a bittersweet, ’80s-style ballad in which the refrain “This is heart, this is heart, this is heartache” smarts with the raw, hopeless lonely fog of a breakup.  

“We booked a day at the Cave Studio in LA with engineer/producer Josiah Mazzaschi and we went in with jennylee, and basically the way we started writing together was just with spontaneous jamming in the live room that Josiah recorded,” recounts Edwards. “We jammed out a few different spontaneous ideas that were just springing up and then took a break to listen to what we came up with. Listening to jams can be painful and funny, and we embraced that. Then we picked which jam we all agreed was our favorite, and we started to build on that. We got most of the structure and ideas done in a day, and then did two more days to finish the song. It was really fun and easy. The whole point was not to overthink it and to surrender to the song that was forming, rather try to control the outcome.” Spontaneity and surrender: the perfect recipe for a rock ‘n’ roll marriage likely to go the distance another ten, if not twenty, years.

Follow Deap Vally on Instagram for ongoing updates.

PLAYING DETROIT: The Belle Isles, SHELLS, Stef Chura and Mega Bog

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Erin Birgy of Mega Bog Photo by Andrew Swanson

My first musical outing of 2016 was also the first of the year for The Seraphine Collective, “an inclusive, supportive, and active community of feminists designed to foster creative expression and camaraderie among underrepresented musicians and artists in Detroit.” Our venue? Lo and Behold record and book store, a tiny and toasty hideaway wedged in Hamtramck (or Detroit’s “Little Poland”) perfectly suited for the freezing temperatures outside and our shared, palatable mid-week ennui. Taking to the stage (well, floor, respectively) were three dear-to-Detroit local artists alongside a quietly celebrated up and coming national touring act, all of which provided a unique and unified inspirational soundscape for the year ahead.

The Belle Isles

Owner of Lo & Behold Richie Wohlfeil debuted his two-week-old brainchild The Belle Isles (named, of course, after Detroit’s beloved state park paradise). A slinky lo-fi three-piece (Richie on the mic and guitar along with Conor and Deb on drums) reminiscent of Mayer Hawthorne and MC5 with hints of John Frusciante vocals. The song “Detroit Funk” was a hodgepodge of funk and “do-do-do-do’s” straight from that song by The Cure with all of those “do-do-do-do’s.” “Hey, what should we do next? The Summer Song? I don’t remember the words but fuck it. I’ll make it up.” Richie swigs a beer and rails into a song that he did in fact forget the words to. Good thing we were in a book store, as there were a few he could borrow.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][bandcamp width=350 height=442 track=2167295929 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false]



Shelley Salant is a one woman Velvet Underground/Wilco/Brian Jonestown Massacre, but most importantly, entirely herself. Barefoot with nothing but a borrowed electric guitar and a loop pedal SHELLS made seismic waves in our tiny venue. Vocal-less and relying entirely on her ability to collage multiple chord progressions without hesitation or transition was, for me, one of the most impressive moves I’ve seen in a long time. Her songs spoke without words: an abridged novel of noise. Every piece had an exposition, conflict, and a sweeping resolve.

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=293188728 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false]

Mega Bog


On an ambitious 43 show tour Seattle-based Mega Bog stopped by our little haven. The most playful of the night, they infused Jenny Lewis’ whimsical style with Fleet Foxes’ (but only if they had been listening to Best Coast records). Erin Birgy fronts and mothers Mega Bog. She is effervescent in the way her voice hops around, reminding me of the way Regnia Spektor used whimsical manipulations of vocals on Soviet Kitsch, which is perfectly paired with the Mega Bog’s dissonant, dreamy instrumentals. Any band that actively uses a triangle, I’m in.

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=1414100094 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false]

Stef Chura


Stef Chura alongside boyfriend and Jamaican Queens drummer, Ryan Clancy filled the space with what felt like a collaboration between Karen O and The Modern Lovers Jonathan Richman if they scored a 90’s teenage runway film. Stef’s voice is dominant with a confident meekness that is shrill by means of catharsis. So much so that guitar and drums seem secondary. Her vocal playground is purposeful, warped, and effective. It’s a freeing expelling of emotion but stripped down and wonderfully messy like early Flaming Lips recordings.

[fusion_soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

NEWS: Wayne Coyne goes on record store tour

Flaming lips

Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne will hit the road this Thursday, December 19th, for what is being billed as his Record Store Tour. Coyne will be meeting and greeting fans and signing copies of the Lips’ first-ever EP, The Flaming Lips 1st EP, and The Flaming Lips 2nd Cassette Demo.

Wayne will be selling an extremely Limited Edition version of the EP which will be housed with a hand-crafted, custom-made solid chocolate skull. Anatomically correct and life-sized, of course. Each skull will contain a special Golden Coin that is redeemable as admission to any headline show by the band in the world. See below for all of Coyne’s upcoming tour stops.

This product contains quite a substantial amount of high-quality, gourmet chocolate accompanied by tthe very earliest music created by The Flaming Lips in their original incarnation and pressed onto color vinyl.  A feast for the senses, indeed.

The Flaming Lips 1st EP  will be available as a limited edition 12-inch on green vinyl and signed by Coyne. The last time this recording was available on vinyl was in 1986. It was originally recorded in two sessions at Benson Sound in 1984 and released on the group’s homemade label Lovely Sorts of Death Records. This edition has been remastered by Lips bassist Michael Ivins and given a reimagined cover by freak artist Charlie Immer.

Also for sale, will be The Flaming Lips 2nd Cassette Demo (recorded in 1983), which will be available as a limited-edition 7″ on blue vinyl, also signed by Coyne. Originally recorded in 1983, it captures the group in a transition from its primitive shambolic drug-damaged punk-pop to the primitive shambolic drug-damaged hallucinogenic cosmic brother death rock heard on the 1st EP. The music has been remastered by Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock and the cover photo is by Wayne’s brother, Dennis Coyne. Both items go on sale from participating record store retailers on December 24th and only 2,000 copies of each piece will be made available.

Wayne Coyne’s Record Store Tour:

12/19 @ 4pm       Nashville, TN        Grimey’s

12/20 @ Noon     Louisville, KY       Guestroom Records

12/20 @ 8 pm      Chicago, IL           Permanent Records

12/21 @ 5 pm      St. Louis, MO       Vintage Vinyl

12/22 @ 5 pm      Lawrence, KS       Love Garden Sounds

The Flaming Lips upcoming shows:

12/29    @ 7 pm                  Broomfield, CO                  1stBank Center

12/30     @ 9 pm                 Aspen, CO                        Belly Up

12/31    @ 9:30 pm             Aspen, CO                         Belly Up

01/10     @ 3:30 pm            Squaw Valley, CA               The Last Chair Festival

01/26                                  Riviera Maya, Mexico         My Morning Jacket One Big Holiday

01/27                                  Riviera Maya, Mexico         My Morning Jacket One Big Holiday

01/28                                  Riviera Maya, Mexico         My Morning Jacket One Big Holiday

01/29                                  Riviera Maya, Mexico         My Morning Jacket One Big Holiday

01/30                                  Riviera Maya, Mexico         My Morning Jacket One Big Holiday

03/08                                  Tampa, FL                          Gasparilla Music Festival

03/21                                  New Orleans, LA                BUKU Music + Art Project

03/22                                  New Orleans, LA                BUKU Music + Art Project

BEST OF: New Orleans 2012


It’s said that New Orleans’ seasons aren’t like any place else’s; instead of the usual spring, summer, fall, and winter, we get Carnival, Festival, Hurricane, and Football. This year, the majority of my live music experiences – in this town that is chock full of them – centered around the bookends to the Festival season, namely, the JazzFest and the Voodoo Music Experience, aka, the Voodoo Fest. Bringing up the rear of my short list of the best live is something we call lagniappe: a little something extra.

Top Headliners:

I didn’t expect Feist to be as much of a powerhouse performer at the JazzFest as she was – she was on one of the major stages of the festival at the same time as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were on a different stage, and the style of her singles and her more recent albums The Reminder and Metals seemed more intimate, countering the spaciousness built for bombast of the Gentilly Stage. Leslie Feist’s stage show was more than up for the challenge – she conquered the large crowd (large despite Petty’s presence across the JazzFest grounds) with her guitar work, the backing of some great musicians, her inclusive stage manner, and with some strong renditions of songs like “Undiscovered First” and “I Feel It All.”

In October, Neil Young and Crazy Horse mounted the even larger Le Ritual Stage at Voodoo Fest, and though they mostly physically confined themselves to a setup consisting of a Persian rug and some of the amps and instruments close-in around it, the sound they made was huge, heavy, and joyous. Occasional past gems like “Cinnamon Girl” and “Needle and the Damage Done” were interspersed with longer, old-is-new-again work from Psychedelic Pill. The shredding and stomping in “Walk Like A Giant” was worth seeing all by itself, but Young and the Horse kept that energy and fire alive all through the performance.

The Locals:

Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs are thus far underwhelming on their studio albums but incredible live, and JazzFest was no exception. Only Allen can whip out songs that decry the sad state of affairs of his best girl not having sex with him and tout himself as being an atypical rock star (in a song entitled “Typical Rock Star”) with a burning intensity that this time had him destroying a trombone a la Pete Townshend. The next moment, however, had him performing first with his young son and then with a troupe of young players he and the Underdawgs have been teaching music to on a weekly basis through the Silence Is Violence program in New Orleans – and everybody brought a spark of that same intensity to the stage. Allen is a hardworking mass of talent who remains open and free with his time and teachings, and it’s beautiful to see all of that live.

Even in New Orleans’ biggest festivals, a nod must be given to the local hip-hop phenomenon that is Bounce, and Katey Red’s Bounce Azztravaganza at Voodoo Fest was a convergence of far more than Triggerman beats and twerking – it was a chance for Cheeky Blakk to strut and call to a huge audience that seemed to appear out of nowhere once the show started. Blakk has a tough personality of her own that is one thing to hear on a recording but is absolutely stunning to observe in the flesh. Though Katey Red had scheduled other bounce greats to go on after Blakk, she set a bar for the rest that was tough to beat.

Lagniappe: The One That Got Away

A month before The Flaming Lips’ 24-Hour Tour was to come to town, I got some tickets for the final concert of the eight they were intent on doing – only to have to give them up due to a scheduling conflict. Still and all, I kept tabs of the Lips’ travels down through Mississippi and Louisiana via Twitter postings (not tough to do with the #OMA hashtag), got wind that they were coming to Baton Rouge’s Varsity around the same time I would be in town, and I lingered outside in the heat to see what I could see. Sadly, it consisted of a long line of mostly college-age kids waiting to get in – then the doors opened and those with the coveted armbands made it past the air-conditioned lobby entrance into the club itself. Ticket scalpers for the tour? There was no such thing in Baton Rouge, as this was a Class-A event that would likely never come to the area again. Besides, the bus was running a little behind schedule, a consequence of the Lips and their opening acts actually giving their all on the few songs they were performing at each venue on the tour. It was time for me to go.

The people who got my tickets for the New Orleans finale said it was a great show. One of them thought the balloons, confetti, and streamers Wayne Coyne fired off from the stage constituted the biggest mess the House of Blues had ever experienced in its history. I sit here in happiness for them, tinged with some jealousy – one of these days, I will see this band live.