Fluff & Gravy Records, March 22, 2024
SotVR‘s new album „Ghost Ranch“ was recorded at Red Barn Recorders in Morongo Valley/CA and co-produced by Gar Robertson with Jay Bellerose on drums and Jennifer Condos on bass. It features Jolie Holland on backing vocals and violin. Marc Ribot guests on electric guitar.
SON OF THE VELVET RAT
Son of the Velvet Rat is the alter ego of songwriter Georg Altziebler and his wife Heike Binder, who a decade ago left their hometown of Graz, Austria and the cloistered safety of the Continent for the endless highway of America. They came to rest in Joshua Tree, on the edge of California's Mojave Desert -- an alien, alluring landscape that no less than Neil Armstrong once christened the closest to that of the surface of the moon.
This spectral, off-world character has finally found purchase in their jagged folk-pop melodies and forbidding ballads, infusing the cabaret traditions of Old World masters like Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel and Fabrizio De André with the Old Testament prophecy and Kabbalistic visions of Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.
On their new album, Ghost Ranch (Fluff & Gravy Records), drum loops and saloon piano, violin and cicada drones, hanging chimes and pounded metal combine to create a jittery soundtrack for all the true believers and false messiahs, county fairs and shooting ranges, feral banners fluttering atop battered pickup trucks, and the roadside carnage of an accidental police state ratcheting into focus. All delivered in, what accidental fan (& collaborator) Lucinda Williams who caught their set one night at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood calls, Georg’s “great sexy-gravelly voice,” leavened by Heike’s translucent harmonies, like desert roses circling a tattooed heart.
PRESS FOR SOTVR‘S FORMER ALBUMS
"Georg Altziebler’s distinctively deep smoky voice carries the melody on its journey, as the falling sweat seems to evaporate before ever hitting the cracking dirt“. —Paste Mag, US
"One of the most wonderfully personal, beautiful and difficult albums I've ever heard“. —Fatea, UK
"There is a deep and soulful purity to their music. Georg is not just a lyricist. He is a songwriter’s songwriter. There is a haunting beauty in each and every song that stimulates intrigue“."
—Coachella Valley Weekly, US
„There‘s some dark majesty at work here.“—Logo magazine, UK
"Mesmerizing“! —Magnet Magazine,US
"A dark trip into the American psyche.” —Blabber‘n‘smoke, UK
"Haunting and soulful"—Folkradio UK
„Altziebler's voice takes lead, sounding like a cross between Dylan, Tom Waits, and a dry lakebed. This is a voice that takes on the cadence and the patient proselytizing of folks like Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Lambchop, Townes Van Zandt, Waits, and even Joni Mitchell, at times (as on "Blood Red Shoes").—Weekly Volcano, US