Santa Monica-based band The Popravinas recently released its fourth album, “Goons West,” which features 11 new tracks of indie California gold. Photo Courtesy of The Popravinas

The Popravinas’ new album “Goons West” helps listeners escape the pandemic

By Holly Jenvey

Santa Monica-based band The Popravinas is set to release its fourth album “Goons West,” showcasing 11 indie songs that will transport listeners to a state of relaxation.

“Goons West” may be The Popravinas’ fourth album, but it’s the first they’ve made together amid the pandemic. The band said that “Goons West” is their best record, even though the musicians weren’t physically together for its production.

According to Spotify, last year The Popravinas’ music was streamed over 241,800 times and had more than 12,900 hours of listening time. Their tracks were also listened to in 40 countries.
The new album embodies The Popravinas’ indie sound with a combination of both humor and freedom. By sharing their personal experiences, listeners can resonate with the songs while escaping from reality.

“[On] The last record, John and I actually tossed this title around,” said Eddy Sill, lead vocalist, bass guitarist and songwriter. “I’d mentioned ‘Goons West.’ He said, ‘That’s got a good ring to it.’ And I said, ‘Well, we’ll file it away.’ And this time it came about. I’ve seen other bands do a record called ‘Go West,’ so you could say this is sort of a play on that also. But again, these are things that I tend to come up with in my head and I file a lot of them to use them as time goes on.”

The titles of the songs might have a different meaning than what audiences could perceive. One of the tracks is “Zoom to the Ocean,’’ which the band started working on prior to COVID-19 and before everyone was using Zoom. Instead of virtual meetings, “Zoom to the Ocean” takes listeners to the beach.

Another song from the album is “Self-Made Derecho.” Sill came up with the title after seeing how storms over last year were called derechos and developed the meaning of meeting a woman who causes a storm.

However, as the Popravinas get airplay in other countries including Spain, Sill received comments about how the song can be interpreted as “self-made right” since “derecho” is the Spanish word for “right.” With the quirky titles of their songs, The Popravinas enjoy how their music can be open to interpretation.

“I think (the songs) Eddy and I like have that (a) universal and personal quality because they’re kind of descriptive and tell a story and have a character,” said John Adair, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger for The Popravinas.

Even as their songs were streamed in many countries, “Goons West” tells the stories of California, Nevada and Arizona. The track “Bunkin’ in Reno” is an upbeat and comical song detailing Sill’s experiences with a previous band. It explains how he could be elsewhere, like Los Angeles or Texas, but makes light of the mundane and setbacks taking place.

With the easygoing and twangy nature of the songs, listeners are transported to the beach, can jam out to the soundtrack on a desert drive or have the music take them wherever they want to be. They can also enjoy a solid mix of slow and fast-paced tracks.

Due to COVID-19, The Popravinas had to cancel many performances across California and divert plans for shows across the country and in the Midwest. Like many bands who produced new music last year, The Popravinas couldn’t record their music in a studio.

Fortunately, with Adair’s technical abilities and the band’s persistence, they were proud of their sound, even more so than what was produced for their prior three albums.

“Everyone stepped up, it was kind of interesting because over the years, everyone has been on their own developing how to do things (and) record,” Adair said. “The biggest obstacle with recording for bands is recording the drums because that involves the most technical setup and all the equipment. And usually we would record drums at our friend’s studio because I didn’t have a studio anymore to record drums. And once we got the drum tracks, I could do everything else and record everyone else on my own.”

Aside from Sill and Adair, the other members of The Popravinas are Dean Lyons (rhythm guitar), David Rodgers (drummer), Byron Haney (keyboards and piano/touring member) and Steve Markowitz (touring member).
The Popravinas hope to begin touring again soon with aspirations of opening for other bands or booking a movie or TV spot. They are on the search for management as well.
“Goons West” is available on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, Amazon and other platforms. The album is available on CD with limited copies available.

The Popravinas
Instagram: @thepopravinas