Single of the Week: “East India Empress” by Shiva and the Hazards


Shiva and the Hazards are a neo-psychedelic, dreampop, garage, shoegazing, surf-rock band from Australia whose  high calibre of musicianship is on a par with the likes of The Temples,  Tame Impala and early The Verve. An experimental and spontaneous band, Shiva and the Hazards are masters of creating an abstract ambience with their captivating music . With their impeccable and progressive music, Shiva and the Hazards have all the makings to be a global success outside their native land. Although psychedelic rock is currently experiencing a new wave revival, Shiva and the Hazards have gone beyond the fuzzy drone, wahs, sitars and backmasking riffs, dabbling with new-wave synths, whilst taking mild excursions down more  jangly and shimmery paths.

With Doug Hind on vocals/guitars, Ruari Meehan on lead guitar, Paul Jarvis on bass,  Ashley Davis on guitar/keyboard and Leigh Baines on drums, Shiva and the Hazards are a versatile band and one that is definitely worth checking out. Now based in London, Shiva and the Hazards have been busy working with award winning producer Chris Potter, who has worked with The Verve, Elbow and Blur. Shiva and the Hazards’ debut single, “East India Empress”, has been mastered by Ian Cooper, who has worked with Oasis, David Bowie, Bob Marley and Iggy Pop.

Nominated as my Single of the Week, “East India Empress” takes you on a tranquillising journey, a kaleidoscopic whirlwind that leaves you in a  purple haze. It’s a mesmerising song, whose plexus of riffs reverberate and swerve along its Eastern path. Throughout the song the hypnotic vocals act like a vortex, a sort of meditative tunnel where all the scrapey riffs  build up steam and release their luscious layers. With its mantra of  “I will take on last time”, “East India Empress” takes you down a delphic passage where all the snakes and beasts reside in the nebulous corners of the song. Through the slumping  vocals,  “East India Empress”,  moves in slow motion against the swirly riffs that flicker and preen on a distant horizon. Musically textured, “East India Empress” transcends a psychedelic, dream-pop and shoegazing haze which effortlessly stream and manoeuvre against the mesh of descending riffs and bouncing beats.  It’s a majestic and voyeuristic song which races, drones, hammers and crashes, shedding old skin before reaching its climatic destination.

“East India Empress” released later this year.