Summer may be gone and won't be back for a seemingly long time, but Iration will put everyone in the summer frame of mind when they play the DC101 Meltdown at The Anthem in January alongside Sublime with Rome, Lovelytheband and Dreamers.
Iration was founded in 2004 near University of California Santa Barbara by a group of longtime friends who grew up in Hawaii. Their first official release was an EP called New Roots in 2006 which set the stage for what was to follow. Since then, they've released two more EPs and a total of six studio albums, including the Billboard Reggae Chart-topping Automatic (2013) and Hotting Up (2015). The band's most recent album, the self-titled Iration was released this past May.
Iration's music has been classified as "sunshine reggae," a unique distinction that the band did not come up with themselves but nonetheless have come to fully embrace. When asked to describe the band's sound without using genre names, lead singer/guitarist Micah Pueschel describes Iration using the words "fun, catchy, bass-driven, island, grooves." Guitarist Adam Taylor describes how the band first got their sound, saying "I think it started very traditional, roots reggae. We were covering a lot of music like Bob Marley... But yeah, as we progressed, I mean, California rubs off on you. A little more rock n' roll, a little heavier guitar - so that added a little bit more of a rock element to the way Michah sings and writes."
In regards to their latest album, the band spoke about the need for change in Iration. Micah Pueschel says,
We added Micah Brown and at this point he's a prominent vocalist and songwriter in the band. So we felt this album needed more variety as far as the vocals go. I'm still singing on the majority of the songs and he's having a huge part in in the back-up vocals, he's singing on some songs and then we have some guest vocalists [J Booh, Tyrone's Jacket and Slightly Stoopid]... We wanted to make a record that encompasses the total span of our sound, influences and style. I think we're one of the more eclectic bands that are in this genre. Automatic had a lot of lot of rock, working with Lincoln Parish of Cage the Elephant who produces big, massive rock records. We've worked with hip-hop guys in different realms and reggae producers as well. So with this one, we wanted to kind of get the full range of our sound. It's so big and so eclectic that it's hard to sum it up with one title or one song. I think that's why we just called it Iration and when people look back, this will be the definitive sound of the band.
When speaking about what to expect when you see Iration live, Pueschel says, "I think we're going to change it up. Just because we have new songs that we could play from the new record. We only have 50 minutes to an hour... so it comes down to whatever we're feeling."
Check out "Fly With Me" from Iration's latest record: