Nashville’s DEDSA wields psych-rock like a flaming sword to illuminate sci-fi tales of love and medieval debauchery. The band’s debut full length, Salmon Velocity, melds electronic music, psychedelia, metal and shoegaze into a powerful musical elixir. The project is an unholy pact between drummer Grant Bramlett, bassist/keyboardist Ben Carreon, guitarist/vocalist Stephen DeWitt, and keyboardist Robbie Ward.
“Nothing is off limits if it sounds like fun,” says the band, “we’ll try anything once in a song.” That mentality arises throughout the album as the listener delves into vintage Japanese electronic music, Mellotron tones, harpsichords, swerving guitar effects and more.
Salmon Velocity is a tome of dichotomy. It whips from cinematic grandeur to pure rock 'n' roll nonsense. Lyrics contrast utter hopelessness with complete elation. Those elements are captured visually in the band’s hand drawn and animated “Annihilation” video by keyboardist Robbie Ward. “Robbie aimed to create a dual feeling of dread/anticipation and a calm acceptance of fate or destiny,” says the band. ”The imagery strives to strike a balance between beauty and the grotesque.”
Ward’s animation in film has garnered well-deserved attention for DEDSA. The band’s “Lighter Click” video was selected in the top 9 videos of nearly 700,000 submissions to be showcased in the Slamdance Film Festival in the Anarchy Shorts category. The video is set to be featured in the 2017 Ann Arbor Film Festival. The Nashville press took note as well, with the Nashville Scene proclaiming the video to be “on another level.”
Though their videos keep gaining attention, it’s DEDSA’s live performances that keep people interested. Nashville’s Independent Radio Lightning 100 has featured the band as Artist of the Week. No Country For New Nashville says the band is “simultaneously catchy, crunchy and strange,” adding, “they’ve got a great live show to back up their impressively imaginative recorded music.”
Founding DEDSA members Robbie Ward and Stephen DeWitt met in Nashville in 2010 as transplants from Colorado and Alabama. Ben Carreon joined the project shortly after. The three recorded their first EP, Thrash Plastik in 2013. Though their original sound lacked live drums, the introduction of Grant Bramlett to the band allowed the group to explore more complex acoustic and electronic percussion sounds. The band recorded Salmon Velocity in their own home studio with each member contributing as producers in recording and mixing. Salmon Velocity is set for a March 3, 2017 release.