“Jamie dreams in films,” Pumarosa singer Isabel Munoz-Newsome says of her bandmate, guitarist Jamie Neville. Neville then goes on to explain a very psychedelic dream he recently had where he went through a floor face down only to come over on the other side in a room that was entirely purple. “I suppose we have active imaginations,” Munoz-Newsome explains. “When we play together, everything sounds so luscious and can get a bit orchestral at some points.”
Pumarosa aren’t typical in any way. With their debut album, The Witch — released in May 2017 — the British band have been making huge impressions in their home country and garnering mass critical acclaim for their unique take on rock music. In fact, a lot of The Witch is the sonic equivalent to Neville’s dream. Something very unexpected, colorful and all together stimulating.
Before their show in downtown Los Angeles’ Resident bar, Munoz-Newsome and Neville expressed their eagerness of making the same impact stateside that they have back in the UK.
“We’re at a totally different stage over here,” admits Munoz-Newsome. Neville adds about American crowds: “The audience responds to the way you play. There’s a bit more respect [here than in the UK].”
With that respect being received from American audiences, Pumarosa can bring forth their form of rock music and further disprove the age old myth that rock music is dead.
“I think [that thinking rock is dead] is totally missing the point,” Munoz-Newsome says. “Because of the internet and technology, it’s everything. It’s plural. You can do whatever you want. We’re trying to say something’s dead to make it more simple when in fact it’s fucking complicated.”
Neville mentions that “different types of music affect different types of feelings” all of which are dependent entirely on the listener. “Dance music, often, is incredibly tranquil in a lot of ways. There’s an order to it,” he continues. “With live bands, there’s much vulnerability to it because it’s reacting to everything else as it happens very organically.”
On stage, Pumarosa exudes that vulnerability. While their execution on The Witch is precise and expertly crafted, there is improvisation and that unexpected factor that can reaches its peak with real rock music.
Now that the band is taking a full swing at conquering America, there is one song in particular from The Witch that seems all the more fitting just ahead of their LA gig.
“Hollywood” — as Munoz-Newsome describes — is about a relationship that eventually gets destroyed by Hollywood. Written before the band had ever even visited LA, did their vibrant imaginations foster any some of truth this time around?
“I think I hit the fucking nail on the head,” laughs Munoz-Newsome. “It’s a sad song, I suppose. This place — people idolize it so much but when they come here it consumes you in one way or another.”