San Francisco-based drone duo Barn Owl follow in the footsteps of provocative avant-gardists Alice Coltrane and Keiji Haino, while building on the doom metal foundation planted by Black Sabbath.
Guitarists Jon Porras and Evan Caminiti started playing music together soon after meeting in an American Indian science class at San Francisco State in 2005 and realizing they had similar backgrounds playing in metal bands and a shared interest in meditative, psychedelic music. The two made home recordings for the latter half of the 2000s while pursuing a number of side projects. Barn Owl's year of fruition proved to be 2010: as well as starting their own label, Electric Totem, the band released three albums -- Conjurer on Rootstrata, Headlands on Important Records, and Ancestral Star after signing to Thrill Jockey. The band kept up its head of steam by touring internationally as well as kicking off 2011 with the 24-minute Shadowland EP, which was recorded by Phil Manley (Trans Am) in San Francisco, and following the EP with the full-length Lost in the Glare during the summer of that year. Also recorded by Manley, the sound of the harmonium -- which was so prevalent on earlier releases -- was replaced by a Farfisa organ for this outing. In 2013 the duo returned with fifth proper album V, which expanded their sound to include subtle drum machines and electronics. ~ Jason Lymangrover, Rovi