“Desert Island” by Mystic Braves

Based in Echo Park, Los Angeles—home of a white-hot garage band revival of which the Braves are at the forefront—this five-piece musical sensation started out as a hobby, but for the musicians involved has become much more.

When the band isn’t touring across the state, playing alongside bands like The Zombies or providing the soundtrack for can’t-miss fashion events like Saint Laurent Paris’ Spring-Summer 2015 collection, it’s holed up in an L.A. studio recording its third album and plotting a series of tours that will take its intoxicating brand of psych-pop across the country and the world.

And while the group—made up of Julian Ducatenzeiler on guitar and vocals, Tony Malacara on bass and vocals, Shane Stotsenberg on guitar and vocals, Cameron Gartung on drums and Ignacio Gonzalez on organ and tambourine—isn’t straying far from what Ducatenzeiler describes as a “a blend of influence and sound that is unprecedented in contemporary music,” there are certainly some changes afoot.

“These new songs are along the same lines as what we’ve been doing, but we’ve elevated the songwriting,” Ducatenzeiler says. “We’ve always been a pop-structured psych band and we’re continuing along those lines, but we’re trying some new things out as well.”

Indeed, the group is experimenting with more exotic instruments on this album such as a Mellotron keyboard, sitar, etc., and is building a library of new songs to show off its invigorating style not only in the studio but at a series of big-ticket festivals including Burgerama, Desert Days and the Austin Psych Fest.

It’s quite a long way from how the group began. “We had no idea when we started that we’d come as far as we have,” Ducatenzeiler says. “But from the moment we put our demos online, people were responding to them.”

It was the song “Trippin’ Like I Do”—and the charmingly beachy video that accompanied it—released in 2013, that first got the band noticed. It also didn’t hurt that the Echo Park studio the band used would become home to the influential indie label Lolipop Records. Mystic Braves were the first band recorded at Lolipop, and out of this collaboration, a psych pop revival was created.

Since those early days, Mystic Braves have gone on to release two full-length records—both recorded at Lolipop.


01. To Myself
02. No Trash
03. Now That You’re Gone
04. As You Wonder (Why)
05. 5 Minute Dream Girl
06. Spanish Rain
07. Corazon
08. Down On Me
09. Great Company
10. Born to Get To You


09.01 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ
09.02 – Club Congress – Tucson, AZ
09.03 – SOhO – Santa Barbara, CA
09.04 – Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA
09.11 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA
10.24 – The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
10.29 – The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA
10.31 – Bandit Town – North Fork, CA
11.05 – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA