Fool’s Gold was originally formed in Los Angeles by Lewis Pesacov and Luke Top as a large open-ended collective, at times ranging between 12-15 membersAfter many tours following the release of their self-titled debut (2009), the once sizeable collective organically evolved into a tight-knit five-member “Band,” featuring vocalist/bassist Luke Top, guitarist Lewis Pesacov, drummer Garrett Ray, multi-instrumentalist Brad Caulkins, and percussionist Salvador Placencia. Confident, focused and much more personal, this new line-up allowed for the dynamic of the group to blossom, redefining and sculpting their sound for the sophomore LP: Leave No Trace.
Much of Leave No Trace was written between Christmas Day 2010 and New Years Day 2011, during late night and early morning sessions in a rented house in Wonder Valley, CA, an unincorporated rural area at the edge of the Mojave desert. The music is built on soulful vocals, evocative lyrics, driving beats, tightly wound percussion, and warm synthesizers all woven together with the interlocking, nimble and slashing guitar lines.
Says co-founder Lewis Pesacov: “I grew up listening to music from the Caribbean and Africa, as well as 60’s soul and blues. When we first Fool’s Gold, Luke and I were fascinated by the similar musical thread stitched through all of these different sounds. As we went deeper, we realized that also shared many other musical influences from growing up with older siblings in LA during the late 80’s/early 90’s—the sound of synth-based English new wave. I started to realize that there was a serious overlap in the Venn diagram of the guitar tones and playing styles of my favorite Malian or Congolese guitar players and that of Johnny Marr or Robert Smith.”
An obvious distinction in the new record is that it is sung predominately in English. This was an intuitive choice, much in the way the debut album leaned towards Hebrew. “Singing in Hebrew on the first record allowed me to find my voice; it helped me to come out of my shell and push myself into letting go, both as a performer and songwriter” says singer Luke Top. “As the words and themes for this record started to take shape, I knew I had to express them in English, my first language. Being that this is a far more personal and nuanced collection of songs, it was important to me that my ideas were expressed as clearly as possible, both to myself and to the listener.”
Leave No Trace was produced by co-founder Lewis Pesacov (who also produced last year’s acclaimed Best Coast LP). Says Lewis, “We recorded at infrasonic studios in Alhambra in East LA, which I like very much as the people who run it have the same intense, if not embarrassingly nostalgic lust for analogue gear and the golden age of studio recordings as I do. The majority of the album was recorded live, all playing together in one large tracking room. Recording as a live band is essential for us to play off one another, to feel the heat, to push thepoly-rhythms we’re so used to in the live concert setting. Recording at an anachronistically slow tape speed on an old 2” tape machine was the perfect format to capture the sonic warmth of the hazy, late night musical space these new songs engender.”