What is the Age of Aquarius, exactly? Since popularized by the band The 5th Dimension and the play Hair, the moniker is now associated with the ideals of 1960s hippie drug culture. And North Texas cosmic country band Atlantis Aquarius wants to live in it, forever.
“I want this project to catch people’s ear, freak ’em out a little bit, wake ’em up, shake ’em up,” says frontman Jordan Cain, who is also the drummer of Rise & Shine and a new member of the Texas Gentlemen.
Cain's life philosophy is heavily influenced by what he calls the "far out ideas" in Sir Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis, which describes a utopian, intellectually and culturally rich society with no government.
This concept inspired Atlantis Aquarius, which is a rhythm & blues supergroup that includes vocalist Taylor Lumby (the Affections), guitarist Austin Morgan, drummer Ryan Ake (Jonathan Tyler, the Texas Gentleman) and bassist Scott Lee (Larry Gee, Jonathan Tyler, Matt Tedder).
At their first show at Three Links in February, co-vocalists Cain and Lumby already seemed able to communicate telepathically while experimenting onstage. Cain is used to playing drums in his other bands, but here he occupies more of a leadership role and his artistry can also be expressed vocally and lyrically.
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Lumby has seemed comfortable blending in as a support vocalist in the past, but now she has the opportunity to showcase her classically trained voice. “Early on in my childhood I got into R&B and got my white girl soul on,” she says, although she admits her real roots are in country music. She pulls out all of the stops for “Rock Me Baby” and it showcases her versatile voice.
“We’re writing songs on this record that will specifically feature Taylor,” says Cain. Their voices work perfectly when paired together — Lumby's milky, warm soul sound and Cain's twang and attitude adapted from influences J.J. Cale and Leon Russell.
But Cain is cautious about relying too heavily on sounds of the past. He says they also draw inspiration from modern bands like the Flaming Lips, Tame Impala and Australian psych-rockers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.
“Full Moon,” one of the first songs Cain has written, will be released as their first single this fall, and their debut album, recorded live at the Flying Saucer by Cal Quin, is set to be released early next year. Their next show is Dec. 10 at Crashed Toys, 7777 John W. Carpenter Freeway.