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Talking Albums: Peter McNestry

By John McDonald on June 18, 2020

Peter McNestry. Photo provided by the artist.

Peter McNestry has taken musical collaboration to a different level. In addition to his solo music, he is involved with six other projects, worldwide. His main focus is the “psychedelic shoegaze” project The Pink Elephants, but there’s also Marble Apples, The Red Daggers, Blakkr Nio, Gravity’s Rainbow and Deep Lord.

“I connected with these people over Soundcloud. They had their own solo stuff, as did I, and I reached out to them. We all love underground psychedelic music like Spacemen 3, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dead Skeletons, and Swans. So we found common ground with creating music together. I reach out to people I feel have a certain energy, I send them files (guitar, drums, synth) and they add to those files. Then I do the final mix. Once we have an album together, I used to send it to magazines and radio stations to get press. Now we get press organically, and people write, and reach out to us from all over the world. This music has been over the course of five years.”

The Pink Elephants are Peter and two core members, Arthur Pegis and Sophia Mammasi, both of Athens, Greece. “The other members (from the U.K., Crete, the U.S., and Canada) come and go. It’s been a fun experience. I even travelled to Greece a couple of years ago to meet Art and Sophia.”

With so much musical activity, where would Peter think a listener should start?

“The two albums that are a great intro to my stuff are At The Gates of Heaven and Mirrored Times by The Pink Elephants. Those two albums have our strongest work. All my projects are very different, so check them all out.”

Peter McNestry:

I have been working on two new albums. One for my main project The Pink Elephants. It’s entitled God’s Children Breathe The Ether While Holding Up The Sky and will be out in July. Another project I’m doing with my friend Alex is called Marble Apples. The album, which is entitled Virtual Window, will be out September 2020.

I collaborate online with musicians all over the world, and have been working this way for the last six years. We have put out 25+ albums. I have a busy schedule, so finding time to meet for rehearsal can be tricky. We have done well building a name for ourselves throughout Canada and internationally.

I have also been putting together music videos for the latest songs we have put out. Apart from that, I have been back at my job since early May.

What I have been listening to over the last four months… One is Oh Sees’ Face Stabber. I love John Dwyer’s songwriting style and production. I have been to California a few times and love the music scene there. We get a lot of support with our own music in L.A. and San Francisco due to the psychedelic nature of our project The Pink Elephants. I like a lot of music out of California and the Oh Sees are a great band in recent years.

Then there’s Ummon from Slift. This is a newer band I discovered randomly. They are from France, and I really like the production and style of this band. Really psychedelic, neo-futuristic music. I have been listening to Ummon quite a bit. I love French psychedelic music, whether it’s electronic or guitar-based. They touch on sci-fi and retro-futurism a lot, which I like. There has always been a slick style to their approach of psychedelic music.

One last song I’ve been listening to is The Clientele’s “Closer.” It’s a new single which is actually a cover of a band called Shack. The Clientele are always great, classic British psych-folk. I really love this song and the way they cover it. It reminds me of growing up in Ireland and living in England twice in my 20s.


About Oh Sees – Face Stabber

Allmusic calls Oh Sees “a combo that mixes wild garage-punk noise and unhinged psychedelic exploration with occasional bouts of prog and metal.” Pitchfork wrote that Face Stabber is “endearing and absorbing even when it stumbles….the bright spots are dazzling, though.” Consequence of Sound said that “there is a vast smorgasbord of influences that mesh together so proficiently… some of the guitar riffs take on the styles of Television and Thin Lizzy while “Henchlock” places an emphasis on jazz.”

About Slift  – Ummon

The Elite Extremophile wrote that Ummon “is not a record for the faint of heart. It’s 72 minutes of garage-kraut-doom with barely any breathing room”. Louder Than War said “you’re never completely sure of exactly where each song will take you, and that’s what keeps you inside their world”.

About The Clientele – “Closer”

Their music has been described as “kind of eerie, distanced pure pop, stripped to its essentials and recorded quickly to 4-track analogue tape.” This song, available on Bandcamp, is their first new music since 2017. The band tweeted that “It’s a cover of a beautiful song by Mick Head. Everything it makes will be donated to #BlackLivesMatter.”


More from Peter McNestry:

The Pink Elephants – “Pretty Little Fool” (from Mirrored Times)

Marble Apples – “If You Were a Worm

The Pink Elephants on Bandcamp

The Pink Elephants on Instagram

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Marble Apples on Bandcamp

The Red Daggers on Bandcamp

Blakker Nio on Bandcamp

Gravity’s Rainbow on Bandcamp

Deep Lord on Bandcamp