Little Galaxies is an alternative Venice Beach band formed by Jeanne Fournier and Amir Eshraghi that includes Andreas Sandnes on bass and Lucas Crouch on drums. Photo CREDIT: Ojo de Loba

Venice Beach psych-rock band’s latest album inspired by car accident

By Nicole Borgenicht

Little Galaxies is a band that was founded in Venice Beach by Jeanna Fournier and Amir Eshraghi. After one gig at the Roxy together, they fell in love, wrote on the beach and played their music around Venice, establishing Little Galaxies in 2013.

Their cosmic sound developed early on with Brian Sumwait on drums and Adam Yasmin on bass for their first album “Patterns.”

“We’ve since had some exceptional musicians join us in different formations over the years for shows up and down the West Coast and to Austin, and after taking a hiatus following our first album due to a car accident I was involved in,” Fournier said.

Little Galaxies includes bass player Andreas Sandness and drummer Lucas Crouch. Sejo Navajas is the engineer and “producer-extraordinaire” for the group’s latest album, “One with the Waking Sea.”
Fournier and Eshraghi are cowriters, coproducers and both play guitar. They often write the music and Fournier writes her lyrics with a positive slant.

“Our latest album, ‘One with the Waking Sea,’ was mostly inspired by a car accident that happened five years ago, so I think the themes and sound are a little heavier than when we were starting out, but the lyrics still serve to inspire,” Fournier said. “It’s a bit more rock infused, while still bringing in our influences of folk, pop and soul.”

Yet a cosmic sound penetrates the vocal pitch steadiness Fournier shared is through Eshraghi’s theremin solo, vocoder performance and pedalboard effects.

Before the pandemic, they were part of the Westside Revival music scene playing gigs, but the pandemic and rental costs drove many people away. Fournier continues to love the area.

“There’s also something about the vibe here in Venice and the Westside that we identify with,” Fournier said. “The audience just wants to enjoy the music and have a good time. We feel that musicians and the people of the Westside deserve a music scene and it’s up to all of us bands here to do what we can to help keep that alive.”

“One with the Waking Sea” was inspired by a traumatic experience Fournier endured. Her graceful and expressive vocals have a soothing and healing sound, tantamount for universal resuscitation of shock or stressful situations.

“In December 2014, I was driving down Main Street in Venice and a truck pulled in front of me from a parking lot without looking,” Fournier said. “My SUV was totaled, and I was told that it flipped 8 to 10 feet in the air before spinning 100 feet down the road and landing on its tires. Chronic pain from injuries to my neck, shoulder and arm, in addition to PTSD, forced me to take a break from music. We had only been active for a little over a year at that point and not having a way to express myself through my voice and guitar was challenging.”

Fournier feels that Eshraghi experienced the trauma by being at her side and was able to translate the theme “with the power of love and the universe.” Many songs for “One with the Waking Sea” were written while undergoing the trauma of the accident.

“To become one with the waking sea is to accept that many things are out of our control and to find peace by getting closer to what brings us joy and makes us feel most alive,” Fournier said. “’It’s Natural’ ties into this message with the chorus ‘…you can’t stop the rain from falling down, you can’t stop the world from turning ‘round, but we can let nature take its course…’”

In terms of music style of music, Eshraghi considers Little Galaxies to be a psych-rock band. However, he added, “With elements of pop, folk and soul with atmospheric tones, leading to an overall spacey but grounded sound, which is guitar based, but often mistaken for synthesizers on recordings.”

Other common names for an amalgamation of sound might be alternative or eclectic. Nonetheless, Little Galaxies has a progressive rock thread that is unmistakable.
In October, Little Galaxies released a new music video entitled “Another World.”

Little Galaxies
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