Formed in New Jersey by guitarists Tom Malach and Danny Arakaki, the band took a few years to find their flying shape, solidifying into a lineup with Danny’s brother Cesar on drums and Derek Spaldo on bass by mid-2016. Ramping up their acceleration around the time of their 2018 Cosmic Cash debut on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records, they’ve blasted through residencies and new songs and sessions and collaborations, relocating to New York, picking up two new members in keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Pat Gubler and bassist Andy Cush, and leaving a trail of live tapes in their wake. This year, they’ve delivered not one but two new albums for BBiB: the sleek and song-oriented Natural Facts and the sprawling improvisatory opus of One Step Behind. 2019 also saw the first performances by the full Garcia Peoples lineup, a six-person behemoth with Spaldo on third guitar.
With a stash of live recordings accumulating at the Live Music Archive, Garcia Peoples’ music is very much a living entity. Since the release of their previous two albums, songs have started to expand, jam suites have grown, and experiments have been undertaken. The first part of 2019 has seen Garcia Peoples back Philadelphia guitarist Chris Forsyth (an expanded Solar Peoples Band has hit double-drummer overdrive several times now), and joined with guitarist Ryley Walker. They’ve improvised on WFMU, and jammed with the sounds of ocean waves and falling rain at strange late night happenings. Probably something else new and wonderful and weird has happened in the Garciaverse since I wrote this.
Whether or not you thought you knew Garcia Peoples’ music, One Step Behind is something new and beautiful, for new heads and old. No matter where you stand–behind, beyond, or another plane altogether–One Step Behind is ready. For those about to get on the Bus, we salute you.
Booking: Al Marano / firstname.lastname@example.org
Management: Dom Miniaci / email@example.com
US Press: Nathan Walker / firstname.lastname@example.org
EU Press: Rachel Silver / email@example.com
Label: Beyond Beyond is Beyond / firstname.lastname@example.org
Licensing: Pete D'Angelo / email@example.com
Other Inquiries: Garcia.Peoples.Jams@gmail.com
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“The weaving and cohesive guitar work of Malach and Arakaki called to mind the most classic guitar tandems—think the tasteful runs of Television’s Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine mixed with the high-velocity riffing of Dickey Betts and Duane Allman, with some Jerry Garcia thrown in for good measure.”
- Live for Live Music
Early Praise for One Step Behind
“One Step Behind is not as much an album as it is a world, one that doesn’t reveal itself in haste but rather unfolds over time and through multitudinous layers.” Uncut
“It’s the epic title track that carries the whole thing, making One Step Behind another step beyond for these Peoples.” Wire
“New Jersey rockers’ fresh-minted productivity sends them outwards and upwards.” MOJO
“Garcia Peoples may wear their influences on their sleeves, but over three albums they have evolved into one of the most exciting bands on this planet.” Echoes and Dust
“One Step Behind sees Garcia Peoples continuing their rapid, curious evolution. That the band can take such a huge leap from their previous material in such a short period of time points to an even more radical exploration of what's to come.” AllMusic
“…there’s more than a little Grateful Dead in their sound, along with a general love of ’60s West Coast psych, but you can hear homestate heroes The Feelies and Yo La Tengo in what they do too.” Brooklyn Vegan
“Quite simply this collection is up there with anything that has been touched by the hand of the psychedelic geniuses such as Syd Barrett, Arthur Lee and Jimi Hendrix.” GigSlutz
“Fans of the first two records will have their minds blown by what they hear on One Step Behind. Now the only question that remains is, where will GarcPeoples possibly go to from here?” Record Crates United
“High Noon Violence” compresses the dreamy, jamming peaks of David Crosby’s 1971 space-out If I Could Only Remember My Name with a taut double-guitar chime descended from Television. “Break Me Down” makes you wonder how the Dead’s American Beauty might have sounded with songs written by the Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley.
Garcia Peoples trace a line between ’60s West Coast psych and Jersey indie roots. Natural Facts explores this intersection, volleying between considered songwriting and ideas that sound born of all-night jam sessions.
The earthy, Dead-like harmonies of standout "High Noon Violence" are paired with a snaky riff that could have come straight from Television's Marquee Moon. Elsewhere, the overcast melodic pop of "Break Me Down" feels more akin to indie peers like Real Estate or Kurt Vile. Having formed in 2012, Garcia Peoples are well-known for their dynamic live shows, and a jam-oriented cassette-tape community has since coalesced around them. In the studio, though, with just two LPs to their credit, they've already forged an unexpected creative path that feels like it could go any number of ways.