The group was founded by multi-instrumentalists Rob Habel and Patrick Sweeney, who have been collaborating within various projects since high school.
The duo convened in late 2013 to begin writing and recording new material after having recently split from previous bands. While Rob had a desire to attempt composing material outside of his usual genre of psychedelic rock, Patrick was looking for an excuse to try experimental recording and production techniques.
Their shared love of experimental hip hop, electronica, and psychedelic pop formed the foundations of the deeply layered sound that became Petaluma's self-titled debut.
Basic loops would be sampled and altered. Textures of found sounds would be cut into percussion sections. Even some of Rob's flowing vocals were recorded by Patrick's home made microphones submerged in water.
While the duo played scattered shows at venues like the Witch Room and Starlite Lounge, the live performances served as a proving ground for experimentation. How can complex electronica be as improvisational as a live jazz band? The goal was to create a musical experience that explored the potential of such a contradiction.
The album, Petaluma, has been described as "mesmerizing" and "hypnotic." Heralded by Walter L of MusicallyEnthused as "...a truly exciting release that reveals potent musicianship and vision." Following the release of their debut, the group has recruited Melissa Garcia for drums and percussion, David Baez for synths, keys, and bass, Bre Prasad for keys and vocals, and Ty Marshall for guitar.
Artwork by Marina González Eme
Design by Daniel Díez