For Immediate Release: March 22, 2019
Ladada -- the Virginia Beach based four-piece helmed by Josiah Schlater (Mae, We Are Trees, Jake Clemons) -- have released their long-awaited debut album Heaven On The Rocks. The album premiered at Yack! Magazine, and is now available on all digital streaming platforms, and on vinyl via Gold Robot Records. Heaven On The Rocks ricochets between punk and shoegaze, and is an energetic expansion of Schlater's well-honed surf-rock sound that Post-Trash calls, "A shimmering kind of retro-fuzz pop that pulls from both 60's soul and garage rock."
Ladada's self-titled debut EP, released back in 2014 on Gold Robot Records, won praise from Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, and Wondering Sound for its exquisitely composed and undeniably infectious lively and sun-drenched songs; "Songs like these come along every once in a while and cannot be overlooked" (Indie Shuffle). The Hi Five EP was released next, in 2016, and was surprise-injected with the secret sauce from Schlater's punk project BAMM BAMM. Heartbreaking Bravery, among others, praised the new direction, saying, "Song after song, hook after hook, Hi Five sees Ladada proving themselves to be a serious force. As a standalone EP, it's a revitalizing piece of music. As part of the band's discography, it's undoubtedly positioned itself as a calling card for years to come."
The album's title, Heaven On The Rocks, stems from a misunderstood conversation between a bartender and Schlater, who had asked for "Evan, on the rocks," as well as from a tubing trip down the James River with a group of friends. While seemingly floating through paradise, rocks would scrape backs at random, and Schlater was struck by the peace and solace that was occasionally interrupted by shouts of pain from across the water. Post-Trash premiered the title track, and Impose Magazine had the video premiere. In the clip, directed by Schlater's brother Felix Schlater, the band poses as an anxious gang of ruffians speeding to find help for an injured band-member after an apparent brawl. Impose says the video "brings to life that heartland wanderlust vibe, as Ladada unfurls their golden-hued, artfully layered rock."
Earlier this week, Ladada released "My Van," which premiered at Various Small Flames, in the form of a video game, whereby players can drive the band's tour van (named Miles) through the suburbs. Various Small Flames said the game is "essentially ‘My Van’ rendered visually, mixing the attitude of a feel-good, windows-down cruise with swirling, psych-tinged textures that bring to mind the 60s heyday of chemically-induced peace." The "My Van" video was created by Janice Pang, Barry Harbour, and Neil Pullman -- a trio that works full time at the creative tech agency Grow, where they craft interactive experiences for Google, Adidas, Spotify, and more.
Peace and self-love is a theme that's woven throughout the album. When The Wild Honey Pie premiered "Float Away," for example, they wrote, "It’s obvious that [this song] is tied to a memory or feeling of euphoria." Additionally, there are songs like "Western Wash," in which the band have turned a mundane task (washing the dishes) into a fun, old western-inspired song. Another track, called "Dynamic Dogs," borrows and reshapes the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (made famous by Mary Poppins), which means "extraordinarily good, wonderful."
"Heaven on the Rocks is a state of existence," says Schlater. "You're floating through life, going through everyday activities, loving everything and everyone, pushing forward, and then BOOM! A rock hits, car troubles, relationship issues, unprovoked violence, political turmoil," says Schlater. "There are a myriad of short-term remedies for the pain, and I hope this album can be one of them for you.” Learn more in a special Q&A with The Virginian Pilot.
For interview requests and other media inquiries, please contact Caitlin Pasko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"A shimmering kind of retro-fuzz pop that pulls
from both 60's soul and garage roc."
"The '60s crossed with the '90s, delivered with an immediacy that feels like right now."
"It’s obvious that [“Float Away”] is tied to a memory or feeling of euphoria."
- THE WILD HONEY PIE
"A blissful trip down a calm, winding river... Gorgeous, languid..."
- WONDERING SOUND
"Bursting with jangling guitars and a peppy melody, the track's ramshackle charm will have you hooked in no time."
- CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
This lovely bubblegum pop jam is exquisitely composed, and presents an undeniably infectious tune... Songs like these come along every once in a while and cannot be overlooked."
- INDIE SHUFFLE
"Whether it's the half-paranoid lyrics, the scintillating guitar work, or the rhythm section's tendencies to veer off into near-tribal territor, 'Hi Five' finds myriad ways to stake out its position as a standout release."
- HEARTBREAKING BRAVERY