Hold time is over now. With Cuenca on bass, lead singer Rakkar on guitar/keyboards and Jeff Gerardi back behind drums, the dreamy surf rock creators on Friday released a new music video an old-ish song, “Space Prom.”
“The third time we recorded was with Rick Greenwood out of Denton. It took three freaking years to get the song recorded,” Rakkar said about “Space Prom.”
The song was initially recorded in 2018, but the duo and Gerardi returned to Arlington’s The Cove Studio with Greenwood, who they said has an ear for their style. It’s been a long time coming, but they’re happy with the result, Rakkar said.
“As far as writing music, it kinda comes from doodling around,” Rakkar said. “Usually, it’s a vocal hook, but in fact “Space Prom” started with the bass line, but it always starts with the hook the Phantomelo way.”
Being in the moment and picking up frequencies in the ether are what the band looks for when jamming and composing a song, Cuenca said.
“Your body is a tuning instrument where you can tune into the frequencies of the universe if your mind is quite enough and you’re in the moment doodling on guitar.” Cuenca said. “It’s out there, but you just have to be receptive to it.”
“Space Prom” is lyrically different compared with what he’s written before, Rakkar said, with its contrast between a light, bouncy melody and dark lyrics.
“’Space Prom’ is more of a complicated song,” Rakkar said. “It’s about an alien who infiltrates the human species and is trying to wrap his head around the human experience. The alien fits in too well and ends up murdering people and then gets executed. It’s about the human experience and how something completely alien to our world would think that we’re kinda fucked up.”
The video for “Space Prom” is the third the group filmed with Coffee Pot Films, along with “Tempest” and “Gum Love.” A fourth music video with Coffee Pot Films is in the works, they said.
It took two days in production to shoot the latest music video. Rakkar said the Coffee Pot guys were a dream to work with. Rakkar said he feels like the film community really wanted to help with the new music video project.
The video was filmed at Arlington’s Sunshine Bar off West Division Street and stars Fort Worth indie rock Garage Barrage frontman and Coffee Pot Films editor Ian McKenyon. It was directed and produced by Anthony Melton.
“Anthony solves problems,” Rakkar Said. “This guy is next-level brilliant. He’s one of those people who if you bring an idea to him, and as hard as it sounds to you, he can figure out a way to do it.”
Rebekah Elizabeth and Joe Tacke (Mean Motor Scooter, Cloudland Recording Studios) contributed with puppetry for the video along with Rakkar. The puppets were made by Elizabeth. “Everyone in Mean Motor Scooter helped it in a way. It was during the pandemic, and it was really cool seeing them since we missed everyone,” Rakkar said.
The pandemic rocked the group last year, but the duo said they used the downtime to create. “It’s been a joy being back with the trio,” Rakkar said. “We filmed the music video for ‘Tempest’ during the pandemic and ‘Space Prom’ was filmed during the pandemic and we are about to film the next song for ‘Shark Attack.’”
The group also has another song they’re working on that was inspired by the pandemic’s loneliness, called “Wait For You.” Rakkar said the song is about overwhelming isolation and the idea of being stuck on a deserted island. “We’ve got some big plans for the winter time and we are gonna go full on 1960’s with this one,” they said.
You can catch the group at Lola’s Saloon in Fort Worth Oct. 8 for their release show for “Shark Attack.”