Frankie Sunswept and Moselle Spiller aren’t your average young married couple.
They spend most of their time traveling cross country playing music as the independent duo Crushed Out, which has been building its fan-base for six years with music that combines carefree surf guitar, expansive spaghetti western scores, ’50s rock n’ roll, psychedelic visuals and creativity that remains unbridled by trends or expectations.
Its latest album, “Alien Ocean,” is awash in water references and an energy that wasn’t as overt on its more laid-back last album, “Teeth.”
“With ‘Teeth,’ I was starting to turn toward my experience growing up by the ocean in L.A. and who I was back then,” explains Sunswept from New Orleans. “A few songs contain characters that come from those experiences and I think I continued that with this album.”
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The title “Alien Ocean” worked on multiple levels, he says.
“When we came up with the title it was like a lightbulb exploding. That is our life as independent musicians, that’s how so many people are feeling right now,” he says. “A lot of themes of water were coming out from very different angles. We have a song from the perspective of war refugees crossing a desert. Being out there in America you can feel lost like an alien and the wide expanses of the country can feel like an ocean. ‘Alien Ocean’ is also the feeling you’re looking at something that had always been familiar, but there’s a new perspective.”
Sonically, the record is upbeat with gnarly riffs alongside Sunswept and Spiller’s sweet, soulful voices.
“I think this record is maybe more cohesive than any we’ve done,” he says. “With our last two we went a little wider in sound and genre. With this one we returned back to some of the influences we had at the beginning – Link Wray, heavy guitars, returning to the original energy of the band, a positive version of manic. A wildness.”
That wildness is present in songs like “Mammoth Love,” an ode to the wooly mammoth.
“That was a riff we came up with during a really productive time in Brooklyn,” says Sunswept. The couple now reside in New Hampshire when they’re home. “We recorded this fun, fuzzy riff to lurching drums.”
He read about efforts to clone the wooly mammoth using bits of DNA from fossils and the song really started to come together – although it really came together for the video, a trippy clip for which Spiller crafted a giant mammoth head.
“I’m glad we wrote that song so she could do the video,” he says.
When: 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Where: Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St.
Details: 704-561-1781; www.snugrock.com.