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Jennifer Pearl, Christopher Badger and Scott Spaulding will follow up VUM’s 2013 album “Psychotropic Jukebox” with “Cryptocrystalline,” out March 25 on their own label, Secret Lodge Recordings. Pearl likes applying science concepts to music and art, which is how she landed on the album title, a word referring to the “underlying, ordered, molecular structure in rocks that is not apparent to the naked eye, but only revealed when examined under a microscope.” The latest single, “New Girls,” is actually the first song the band wrote together on New Year’s Day 2008, then dug up again, wrote some new lyrics and redid the guitar parts. The underlying rhythm to this haunted track feels like walking into a dark tropical bar in Thailand inhabited by fiendish characters, with a glowing beat-up jukebox in the corner, supporting the chorus, “Help, I’m only dancing.” Escape forms part of the lyrics, which she describes as “a collage of sentiments I have about the dread I feel regarding our ongoing, international warfare, the forfeit of our privacy in response to threats — real or imagined, my own feelings of personal isolation despite nonstop connectivity, and the desire to shed all the heavy stuff for a few minutes and “only dance.”
||| Stream: “New Girls”
||| Live: VUM performs Feb. 25 at LA Mother and Feb. 29 at the David Bowie Tribute at The Echo.