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Traveling Circle
psych rock of the new age
by: Jesse Damm - May 6, 2010

Traveling Circle is one of the Brooklyn-based psych band everyone should see and hear. They take obscure influences from the past to form a modern sound that matters. Hear the vibrant melodies and feel the dark rhythms. It’s a bit like listening to a shape, while feeling an odd touch, somehow transforming what’s foreign to familiar and rocking, while reminiscent of bands like The Fallen Angels, Neu!, and Gandalf.

You’re described as surrealist pop? Is the music more surreal or more pop?

“Surreal” is a way to let others know that we’re a psych band without saying it. “Pop” means there’s an element to our sound that makes us accessible to a broader audience, rather than being confined to just a psych niche.

Are you a three-piece, a power trio, or a triple wonder?

Three doesn’t make circle, so it shows that we travel differently. In fact, Traveling Circle hovers. But yes, Traveling Circle is a three piece. We’ve toyed with including a fourth during recording, but the chemistry of the band and our ability to write unique sounding songs comes from our relationship as a trio. Three people allow us to stay focused on maintaining the sound that we want to play. Though we wouldn’t mind working with a children’s choir of any size.

Are your songs better inhabitants of daydreams or nightmares?

We hope to mesmerize people during the day while they trot about working and at night while they sleep. Perhaps we can cater to priests and vampires, as well as the honest day workers. Our songs are influenced by our senses all day. Today we listened to some Spacemen 3 and tonight we’ll have a beer and hear Amon Düül II. It sounds like a countdown, but the music we listen to is similar to the music we make, in that the third time you listen to it tells a different story than the first.

A show, a single, or a video. What’s your favorite ride right now?

TV licensing. That’s a train that we’d like to ride. Our songs are primary, but I think most people would agree that we have a visual component to our music that we like to express in other artistic mediums as well. Our surreal fliers are made by the artist Erin Klauk, as are our t-shirts and satchels. Plus, two videos (one for “Cylindrical Time” (dir. Danielle Zorbas) and the other for “Tie a Bow” (dir. Matt Murphy) are up on myspace. They both capture our vibe: one part pastoral and one part dazzle.

What’s next for Traveling Circle?

Our manager in England has connected us with Richard Norris, a purveyor of psych music across the pond. Just as we are trying to make more people receptive to our psych tunes, he seeks to take the entire genre into some new territories. So it appears to be an appealing fit. And eventually, we’d like to deliver an LP into the hands and ears of our friends.


"We wouldn’t mind working with a children’s choir of any size."

Traveling Circle
"Self Titled"

listen to "

what it is

(Surreal) Psych Pop