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SUMEAU Share New Single 'Vitamin Weed'

The nine-piece "bliss-cult" implores you to "inhale" and "exhale" the euphoric vibes on this expansive and punchy track. 

SUMEAU Share New Single 'Vitamin Weed'

Today is a holiday for some. Los Angeles dream-pop outfit SUMEAU aims to celebrate with a nod and a wink, sharing the aptly titled new single "Vitamin Weed." The nine-piece "bliss-cult" implores you to "inhale" and "exhale" the euphoric vibes on this expansive and punchy track.

It's the latest look at the band after they made waves with their 2020 LP This is Not a Dream, a ten-song odyssey that takes the listener on a healing journey of love, light, empowerment, hope, and unity. It surely provided a light in the dark for many listeners during the most dreadful hours of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grimy Goods declared the band would "restore your faith in community," and Alt-Citizen praised the band as "delightfully refreshing." LA WEEKLY described them as "a giant force."

Today, that force is awakened once more as we turn the corner on the pandemic. "Vitamin Weed" is the perfect way to usher in a new era of bliss whether you're a midnight toker or just a casual smoker.

Los Angeles music collective Sumeau wants you to join their cult.

The nine-piece dream-pop band often dresses in themed outfits onstage: all-white, denim, retro fanny packs. And they invite fans to participate in the structured whimsicality-blurring the line between performer and audience. Kat Primeau-the band's co-founder, lyricist, and lead singer-calls her bandmates "bliss babies." So by extension, you're also a bliss baby. We all are. Just strap on a fanny pack and stroll into their secular psychedelic temple.

Primeau and her now-husband Chris Sousa natives of Ohio and Massachusetts, respectively, co-founded Sumeau (His "Su"+ her "Meau"="Sumeau," like the wrestler) while working on staff at Hollywood's renovated EastWest Studios, the famed former recording base for legends like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and The Beach Boys.

"We'd be there late at night, joking about how the ghost of Brian Wilson was hanging out with us," says Sousa. "You could feel that whole era. It still kinda smelled like cigarettes in the control room."

Sumeau was conceived in that very space: During slow studio days, they'd tinker with sounds, even recruiting musician friends to drop by after work. They eventually compiled enough songs for their self-titled 2014 debut, which featured a crucial guest spot from Alberta transplant Harrison Lee on Moog synth and Hammond B3 organ.

But Sumeau remained a duo until they realized their sound was too expansive for a scaled-back format, adding members until they reached their current core group with Lee (their primary orchestral player/arranger), guitarist George Chammas, keyboardist Dan Macken, violinist Julia Chalker, vocalist Molly Dworsky, drummer Alex Keenan, and aux percussionist Ian McAllister. "When it started, it was an amoeba," says Sousa. "And now it's a crazy, multi-celled organism."

It's easy for a band this huge to make cluttered, overstuffed music. Sumeau do not-as evidenced by the balanced, atmospheric approach of their second LP, This Is Not A Dream, which they tracked at EastWest in 2018 with versatile engineer Tyler Shields (The War on Drugs, Kamasi Washington, Mac Miller) and assistant engineer Braydon Germain. From the Beach House-y, #MeToo-inspired swirl of "You Do You" (which Primeau describes as the band's "f yeah" song) to the cascading, oceanic grooves of "Watermelon Sky" (which draws on the couple's summer vacations in Cape Cod), the album is lush but always anchored in melody.

This is Not a Dream emerged during a zen-like weekend recording stint, tracking mostly live in the room and utilizing Shields' sonic expertise. They were so transformed by the two-day session that Primeau sent out a Christmas card with the theme "Merry Bliss-mas." That phrase may describe Sumeau better than any other. "The idea of creating a sense of bliss, euphoria, magic in every experience-that weekend session was a reaffirmation of what we're doing," Primeau says.

"Every time we have rehearsal or play a show, I end up with so much more energy, with my face hurting from smiling. There's a really good vibe in the group, everyone contributing like little bliss babies."

Listen here:

Photo Credit: Eric Peterson / Edited by Ian McCallister


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