EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Piranha Rama Streams Their New Album – “Omniscient Cloud Cover”


Richmond’s genre-defying music collective Piranha Rama will drop their new album Omniscient Cloud Cover tomorrow, September 30th, 2022 via boutique label Brokers Tip Records. The eclectic group wears their varied influences on their musical sleeves, much to the delight of fans! Not mere dabblers, the group has the uncanny ability to seamlessly hop from style to style within the same song, but never in a way that seems contrived. All enmeshed with poetic lyrics and great vocals. Jam out to the new album here at Ghost Cult, and order yourself a copy today!

 

Vocalist & lyricist Chrissie Lozano, commented:

“Piranha Rama loves playing hopscotch across genre lines, after all, what’s a party without a great playlist? Our particular hodgepodge comes from the different influences we bring in, of course, but more so it’s the feverish fixation: we all tend to deep dive into whatever has our attention. While that can run the gamut from pop diva earworms to spaghetti western soundtracks, it all comes together to form its own sound. With OCC we made a more decisive effort to journey through these sonic spaces. From the way the album was recorded piecemeal, with different sets of players coming in each time, to the heavy influence of otherworldly literature in the lyrics, the album evokes a journey, where the end of each song opens into a beginning that is very different from where we came.”

 

She added some notable literary influences you might have picked up on from her lyrics:

 

“Obviously there’s Alix Harrow’s 10,000 Doors to January, then Nino Cipri’s Finna: a madcap novella where a wormhole opens in the chaos of a Swedish furniture emporium, and also To Be Taught If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, where the characters are marooned as they explore habitable planets. Albert Camus’ The Fall informed Water, You Thinking, along with a mid20th century boys’ adventure magazine’s instructions for constructing your own diving gear from household items. Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower/Parable of the Talents was another look into rebuilding a world for yourself and the ones you love when it is dangerous or even hopeless to try. Finally, I live for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, which reminds me that life is unbearably silly and small, especially when we’re trying to take it seriously.

 

I read about a book a week in 2020, mostly fantasy, a wee bit of literature, and plenty of satire.

 

Chop Suey Tuey and Fountain Bookstore are the local treasures in Richmond where I try to spend 10% of my income each year. I’m tithing!

 

 

Piranha Rama Tour Dates 2022

October 8th – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern (*opening for Pavement*)

October 9th – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern (*opening for Pavement*)

October 11th – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater (*opening for Pavement*)

October 12th – Dallas, TX – Main at South Side

October 13th – Memphis, TN – Lamplighter Lounge

October 14th – Nashville, TN – The 5 Spot

 

Bio:

Piranha Rama – Omniscient Cloud Cover (out 09/30/2022 – Brokers Tip Records)

 

For Richmond, VA psychedelic rock & roll collective Piranha Rama, there’s always room for more. After their formation in 2017, the genre-bending outfit’s numbers quickly grew, developing a spirit of community that drives their brilliant experimental-pop endeavors. On their exceptional third LP, Omniscient Cloud Cover, Piranha Rama dive headfirst into maximalism with a rotating cast of twelve different players performing eight psych-pop tracks that defy categorization while exploring humanity’s need for connection and the importance of community.

 

Sonically, Omniscient Cloud Cover runs the gamut from festival-ready indie-pop earworms to big band jazz-tinged psychedelic rock and hazy bedroom-pop, constantly shifting in a way that feels simultaneously meticulous and unpredictable. Though the band plays jump rope with genre-lines, their masterful arrangements and pop finesse keep the songs from ever feeling disjointed.

 

“This record started during quarantine as an instrumental meditation, stuff to kind of space out to,” says multi-instrumentalist and producer John Sizemore. “Once I brought it to the band, everyone wanted to jump on it and was really excited, so we just decided to see where we could take it.”

 

The core trio of Piranha Rama—Sizemore, vocalist & lyricist Chrissie Lozano, and drummer Tim Falen—started tracking Omniscient Cloud Cover at Sizemore’s studio, The Bat Grave, while under shelter-in-place orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, utilizing Sizemore’s production prowess as a means to experiment with song structures and sonic landscapes, before eventually relocating to Richmond’s Virginia Moonwalker to finish up recording.

 

“Doing all of the production in-house was a kind of different approach than what we’d done before,” says Sizemore. “We really took things way farther out in the sonic spectrum than we probably would have if I had just brought these songs to a live practice; there was so much room to experiment.”

 

“When we went to Moonwalker, instead of doing building-block recording from scratch, we got to focus on layering on top of something that was already mostly done,” adds Falen. “We went at it kinda crazily, it really gave us a fresh perspective on the record.”

 

In addition to Sizemore, Lozano and Falen’s contributions, Omniscient Cloud Cover also features performances from a cadre of Richmond’s finest including trombone player & vocalist Reggie Pace (Bon Iver, No BS! Brass), trumpet player Bob Miller (The Mountain Goats, Matthew E. White, Foxygen), saxophonist Gordon Jones (Black Masala), pedal steel guitarist Stephen Kuester, twelve-string guitarist Kyle Harris, flutist & vocalist Lauren Serpa, harmonica player & vocalist Russell Lacy—who also co-engineered alongside Sizemore and Falen—and vocalists Kenneka Cook & Kelli Strawbridge.

 

“Having all these different players in town is great, you can just call people up with an opportunity and they’re like ‘Tell me when and where,’” says Falen. “It’s really non-restrictive, we can kind of do anything.”

 

Omniscient Cloud Cover opens with the jangly guitars and chiming synthesizers of “Daylight,” a grooving psych-pop track that showcases Lozano’s emotive vocals atop atmospheric swells of pedal steel as she sings an ode to the friendships that make it possible to overcome life’s obstacles. Next, the lilting 60s pop melodies of “A Door” create a hypnotic atmosphere for Lozano’s pensive musings about escaping to alternate realities, inspired in part by Alix E. Harrow’s acclaimed novel The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

 

“At the start of the pandemic, when I realized I was going to be stuck inside for a while, I bought all the recommended fiction from a local bookstore and became fascinated with the idea of other worlds,” says Lozano. “It became a kind of overarching theme in my writing and really informed a lot of the material on the record.”

 

Elsewhere on the album, “Golden Blues” finds the band at their most danceable, with prog-inspired guitar riffs and steady backbeat drums punctuated by stings of brass and woodwinds as multiple vocalists explore the paradox of isolation in a hyper-connected world.

 

“I kept thinking about how odd it feels to be so sad in a time when you’re so removed from everything around you, but you’re also more connected than ever,” says Sizemore. “It’s weird not being able to communicate in the ways you need when you can technically communicate so easily.”

 

There are multiple tours in the works in the wake of Omniscient Cloud Cover’s release, including dates with indie-rock legends Pavement, whose multi-instrumentalist Bob Nastanovich has championed Piranha Rama for years and who will be releasing Omniscient Cloud Cover on his vinyl-only record label Brokers Tip Records. It’s only a matter of time before Piranha Rama’s community becomes much, much bigger.