Listen to a belter pre-gig mixtape by West Coast trio L.A. Witch
This article is part of Playlists – Tunes to live by

Toil and trouble come in equal measures for L.A. Witch. Following months of hard graft the band are putting the finishing touches to their debut full-length record (tentatively titled Volume 1 and affectionately referred to as their ‘love-child’).

Sade Sanchez (vocals/guitar), Ellie English (drums) and Irita Pai (bass) may hail from sun-drenched California, but the group’s dark aesthetic belies their heliophilic roots. Take their lead single Kill My Baby Tonight, a romping aggregate of prowling guitar and drawling refrains, it’s straight up surf noir wrapped in a plucky Kim Fowley vision.

And it all stems from a visceral passion for music, here they mix their inspirations into a killer playlist that’ll have you on your feet in approximately 0.02 seconds.

Jaguar Shake by Les Jaguars
Sade: “Some of my favourite guitar music comes from this band. They used to put holes in their amps kinda how Link Wray (another favourite) used to, to get fuzz and distortion.”

Jack the Ripper by Screaming Lord Sutch
Ellie: “The live video of this song rules! The audience seems to be having the time of their life. I love how funny Sutch is and that he doesn’t really sing but talks or yells the whole time. The whole thing is very witty and fun.”

A Fistful of Terror by The Bomboras
Irita: “I love the chord progressions in this song, it’s got perfect 60s evil villain/surfer vibes.”

Mystery Man by The Shadows
Sade: “I found a record of theirs when I was in Tijuana for 4 Pesos and I had it on heavy rotation front to back for a really long time. I got a lot of influence for a lot of the stuff I wrote from this band.”

Little Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
Ellie: “I love the wolf howls in this song. It’s super entertaining and I love the harmonies.”

Salvaje by Los Saicos
Irita: “It’s really hard to pick just one song from Los Saicos, there’s a lot of great songs in their catalog. Sticking to the archvillian party theme.”

66-5-4-3-2-1 by The Troggs
Sade: “I got this song stuck in my head after being on tour with The Kills. This was their theme song when coming on stage every night. It’s just a badass song.”

See Emily Play by Pink Floyd
Ellie: “This song is the second single ever released by Pink Floyd and one of my favourites. It was written by Syd Barrett when he was still the front man of The Floyd.”

Readin’ Your Will by The Human Expression
Irita: “I think a lot of bands nowadays try to copy this sound, but sometimes you can’t beat the original.”

Orphan Boy by Half Pint and the Fifths
Sade: “Got this one from a Back From the Grave comp. I love that you can hear a little bit of his East Coast accent ‘cos I love East Coast accents. Especially when he says “Through the snow”. I just love that line.”

Heart of Darkness by L.A. Witch
Irita: “We shot this video in between touring, enjoy!”

L.A. Witch play at Soda Bar in San Diego, CA tonight, tickets are available here.


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