At just 20, Christian Gisborne has already been at the center of three Velvet Starlings albums, each moving incrementally further away from the songwriter’s starting point: his teenage crush on the Beatles and other mop-toppers from the 1960s. As he channeled his furious energy into garage-rock and psych-pop, Velvet Starlings began to reflect latter-day British invaders and assorted guitar-slingers with a scorched-earth approach.
Velvet Starlings’ new album, “Pacific Standard Time” (out this week), is an earful. To older listeners, it’ll be like finding a cool pair of bell-bottoms in the back of your closet. Others will find it a welcome addition to guitar-revival (if indeed there is such a thing happening right now) playlists of songs with rapacious hooks and pointed lyrics.
Along with lead single “Bullfight,” the groovy “Turning Point” is emblematic of the album’s appeal. It could be a relationship song; it could be about our endangered planet. “At the time I wrote it, I was thinking about climate change – we’re at a point where we could either start trying to fix it now and if we don’t, it could be too late, or you could look at it like you’re in a relationship that’s on the rocks,” Gisborne says.
Either way, it’s a shot of adrenaline, given a light treatment by director True Jackson’s wackadoodle video.
||| Watch: The videos for “Turning Point” and “H.G. Wells”
||| Also: Stream “Pacific Standard Time” in its entirety