By Lisa Talley | firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-headling the 30-date, cross-country Sunshine & Summer Nights Tour with Atmosphere, Iration brings their good vibes to Fresno on August 24 at the Rotary Amphitheater at Woodward Park. The Hawaiian and California-bred five piece are on tour to support their seventh full-length album, “Coastin’” – a record centered around living in the moment.
The second album after the departure of long-time vocalist, Kai, “Coastin’” is a clear display of Iration’s newfound musical identity.
“It’s the music we want to make going forward; it’s more focused, mature, and meaningful. It’s timeless. We wanted to make an album where it doesn’t like it sits in any particular time, decade or era of music,” shares lead vocalist and guitarist, Micah Pueschel.
Iration’s exploration of musical genre crossovers helped give “Coastin’” its ageless appeal. While reggae and island sounds are at the foundation of their music style, Iration has a profound appreciation and influence that spans the spectrum of rock, pop, R&B, and funk. The album stands out from the band’s previous 15 years of releases with the use of orchestral strings, the occasional saxophone, as well as elements of R&B, funk, Motown, and jazz.
But “Coastin’” is more than a musical buffet – it’s a 13-song musical journey inspired by the band’s real life experiences with a re-focus on pushing positivity and good vibes. The songs bring to mind warm rains, carefree days, and all the seemingly insignificant things that create the most beautiful memories.
Pueschel echoes the sentiment, “That’s the kind of feel that we want to bring – that feeling like there’s no worries, you’re not stressing about anything, you’re just putting on the music and [cruising, top-down along] the coast, enjoying the ride.”
While taking a quick break from the busy tour, Pueschel further took some time to chat with Fresno Flyer about the Sunshine & Summer Nights Tour and Iration’s journey over these last few years.
FF: It’s been a little while since Iration’s last concert in Fresno. What can new fans expect from an Iration show?
MP: They can expect a much more complete, fine-tuned show. We’ve been playing a lot since last summer and I feel like we’re playing the best music of our career. We’ve added a horn section and have really honed in our sound.
FF: Your latest release, “Coastin’” is described as an evolution from your 2018 self-titled album. What do you think has been most inspirational in your musical progression?
MP: I think the inspiration came from a lot of ’70s funk and soul. We wanted to make a kind of funky/jazzy record that pushed us to find new pockets and grooves and to explore different styles.
FF: What message or feeling would you like fans to take away from this album?
MP: I think the overarching theme is being present. Being able to enjoy the simple beauty of life and kind of getting through the everyday noise to find peace.
FF: Every tour is a new set of experiences and discoveries. What about this co-headlining tour with Atmosphere gets you hyped up the most?
MP: The biggest thing is being able to play for a different section of fans that maybe haven’t seen or even heard of us before. That’s always a great opportunity and we’ll work hard to show that we’re worthy of their time and hard-earned money.
FF: The pandemic was brutal for touring artists, including delaying Iration’s own promotional tour. After the long pause on live performances, what’s the morale like for the band heading into this tour?
MP: The morale is high. We’re really excited to bring a totally new production. We’ll be playing some new music as well so that is always exciting.
FF: Looking down the road into 2022, what can fans look forward to from Iration?
MP: We are in the middle of writing new music, so outside of the tour, we look forward to releasing some new songs to keep our fans happy.
FF: Fresno has a lot of Iration fans who have been eagerly awaiting your return to our city. Are there any parting words you’d like to leave them with?
MP: We’ve loved coming to Fresno since our days at Fulton 55, and we look forward to showing how far we’ve come since those days.
Iration will perform at the Rotary Amphitheater at Woodward Park, also featuring Atmosphere, The Grouch with DJ Fresno and Passafire on August 24. Tickets are available at IrationMusic.com. For more information about other tour dates and to keep up with all things Iration, follow them on Instagram @iration.