In an age where band names seem to mean less and less, it’s nice to know that some groups really do attempt to use their title to define themselves. Such is the case of the Upwelling. Those fine folks at Merriam-Webster define an upwelling as a “the process of rising to the surface and flowing outward,” and while frontman Ari Ingber rarely croons about seaweed or cross-currents, the music found on the band’s self-titled debut EP certainly adopts the properties of the trio’s SAT-ready moniker.
The Brooklyn-based Upwelling traffic in the sort of spacey, watery rock that floats, builds, and overflows the way the best psychedelia does. Ari fronts brother Josh on drums and Massachusetts-born Conor Heffernan on keyboards and a series of pedals that act as the bass, which gives the band a rhythmic, pulsating low end. The band mixes the stoned-out moods of Dark Side of the Moon with the more grandiose orchestral maneuvers of latter-day space rockers Spiritualized and Secret Machines, and Ari’s powerful falsetto would put Chris Martin to shame, especially since he’s a far superior lyricist. When he drops lines like “It’s passing like every time she walks by / Her ghost is so much sweeter than her face / Her body feels like snow” on “American Night,” who wouldn’t want to contemplate that during a laser show over some special brownies?
Amazingly, the Upwelling recently made history, becoming the first-ever unsigned band to be named to the Virgin Megastore’s Recommends Series. In addition to being featured in-store, they were also included on a special Virgin Megastore compilation. Their hypnotizing live show gained momentum during watershed performances at this year’s South by Southwest festival (view photos) and at various spots across the U.S., further cementing their reputation as a band that can make you feel groovy while still packing a punch. With the buzz still building, the band named after a watery uprising seems poised to surface in your record collection pretty soon.
In fact, let SPIN.com give you a head start. Download “Murdered by a Big Bomb,” a cut that deftly showcases the Upwelling’s ability to balance woozy head-trips with sweaty, visceral rock’n’roll in one massive whirlpool of sound, naturally overseen by Ari Ingber’s arena-ready crooning. A full-scale tour, as well as a full-length album, will be flowing your way soon, so have your waders (and your collection of black light posters) at the ready.
The Upwelling tour dates: 8/10, New York, NY (Mercury Lounge)8/29, London, UK (93′ East)8/30, London, UK (Water Rats)9/2, London, UK (Spice of Life) * (* – acoustic)