1-2 Weeks
Dark Shadows


Vivid peyote-induced psychedelia from Texas sounding like an impossible meld between the Elevators and the Velvet Underground but possessing a strongly unique disposition. Recorded in 1970 but never released at the time, featuring future members of Roky Erickson's backing band Bleib Alien/The Aliens. Formed in Austin in the late 1960s by visionary lyricist and autoharp player Billy Bill Miller and his friend Tom McGarrigle on guitar, Cold Sun evolved from a band called Cauldron (later Amethyst) which at one point featured drummer John Kearney from Roky Erickson's first band The Spades. Miller, a proto-Goth figure always dressed in black, highly influenced by Joe Meek and vintage sci-fi/horror movies, started to experiment with weird noises out of his electrified autoharp, favoring the audio-oriented drug mescaline over the LSD associated with hippies. Amethyst jammed with musicians such as Benny Thurman from the 13th Floor Elevators and Steve Webb from the Lost And Found. It was through Mike Waugh's friendship with Elevators drummer John Ike Walton that Billy Miller and the band hooked up with the local label/studio Sonobeat, who expressed interest in recording an album with the intention to shop it to a major label: thus, the now-legendary Cold Sun album was born. The band, driven by Miller's strange electrified autoharp sounds plus the massive fuzz guitar of McGarrigle, dressed with feedback and futuristic lyrics, laid down several tracks in between rehearsals at Miller's house on Castle Hill (west Austin). Never released at the time, the Cold Sun album languished in oblivion and the musicians moved on to other things. It wasn't until 1990 that the Cold Sun album was finally released on vinyl by the Rockadelic label (in a tiny edition of 300 copies), followed by a new edition on German label World In Sound in 2008, now out of print. For this new edition, Guerssen tried to imagine how the Cold Sun album could have looked like if it had been actually released in 1970. It comes in a hard cardboard sleeve with vintage styled artwork by psychedelic illustrator Callum Rooney. Sourced from the same audio master as the original Rockadelic LP, the sound has been vastly improved thanks to the meticulous and careful restoration/remastering by audiophile engineer Ezra Lesser, who has also penned the definitive story of Cold Sun for the liner notes.