The new single from the Brooklyn neo-psych band explores expectation versus experience through the lens of California dreaming and disillusionment


A few years ago, my brother was moving to LA and excellent, caring—maybe kinda strange—sister that I am, I made him a playlist for the drive titled “JoEy’S CaLiForNiA RoAd TrIp <3~<3~<3”… which, as you might’ve guessed, was basically just a few dozen Golden State-themed songs (DM 4 link).

And it wasn’t hard to do. “California Dreaming,” “California Love,” “California Girls” (+ “California Gurls”)… There’s no shortage of music—plus other pieces of pop culture—romanticizing the people as gorgeous, the weather as perfect and the state as a sunscreen-scented utopia.

But while I appreciate some good ol’ West Coast optimism, in far more NYC fashion, shattering the illusion… well it sometimes makes for a much better song. And with THAT, I invite you to take off your rose-colored glasses and put on your “Malibu Grey Shades”—the new song from psych-pop outfit, Hanford Reach, which I’m super pumped to premiere here!

Ahead of the single’s release—the rad first single from the band’s debut full-length album After Image, dropping this May via Favorite Friend Records!—Chris Sherman of Hanford Ranch sent over some background on the groovy track, the (literal) trip that inspired it and a new, not-so-glamorous perspective on paradise:

“‘Malibu Grey Shades’ is essentially about disillusionment. I wrote it while experiencing two rare consecutive overcast days while in Southern California on a short trip and was thinking what it would be like if someone had moved to that area to pursue the ‘California dream’ and this is what their first two days were like. Would one’s perception be skewed moving forward when comparing what was expected versus what one experienced? So the song is about trying to live this idyllic lifestyle but seeing it all with grey undercurrents, through metaphorical sunglasses.”

Whether you see the glass (maybe of Malibu? it is Friday) as half-full or half-empty when that inevitable reality check eventually hits, I’m 100% sure you’ll love this sweet piece of pure psych magic…

Which, btw, I’m definitely going back and adding to that playlist.


Follow Hanford Reach at @hanfordreach, buy their music on Bandcamp and add them to your Spotify playlists now!

Feature image provided by the band.

Leave a Reply