While it might spring to mind The Fresh Prince of Ben Hur, the jokey pop culture name Carlton Hesston is in fact the chosen moniker under which one of Tulsa’s most fun-loving bands makes rambunctious psychedelic Americana rock music.
Any casual patron of Tulsa’s music scene has probably heard the name, especially of late. Carlton Hesston has been on a mean streak, incessantly hopping from show to show at venues ranging from dive bars to record shops to amphitheatres even as individual members continue to play in other projects. It shows a tireless dedication to the craft within the band. Furthermore, it’s a great time to saturate the scene because “Them Boys” have a new album ready for takeoff.
The band’s sophomore LP, titled The Valley, follows on the heels of 2017’s debut The Border and is slated to release on September 20th. The first single and music video from the new project, “Haze of Your Way”, dropped a few months ago, and the rollout continues today with the group’s second lead single.
Watch and listen below in this Make Oklahoma Weirder premiere of “Tie Together” by Carlton Hesston.
Shot in a hybrid vintage style that’s part 90’s VHS tape and part 70’s New Hollywood, the music video for “Tie Together” views the downtown streets of Tulsa through a gritty, drunken lens. Band shots bleed in deep blues, pinks, and purples while playacted character shots are desaturated, as if to suggest the music is representative of those characters’ wild inner head trips. Similarly and metaphorically, indoors and outdoors are stylistically set against each other but “tie together” in the video as a dichotomous whole.
Just as the music video is full of style, so is the song it serves. “Tie Together” is a smooth, heady jam that capitalizes on the psychedelic side of the band’s self-described “Psychedelic Americana” sound. Thoughtfully performed vocals and freeform guitar solos characterize the convergence of mind and spirit in Carlton Hesston’s work, and there’s even a surprise ending switch-up that captures Them Boys’ humorous flair for the unpredictable. Altogether, the single is a vibey jaunt into the visceral that does plenty to represent the group’s sound for newcomers while tantalizing fans with the new album. It’s good fun.
If you dig what you see and hear, you can play an important role in the album’s release, which is less than a month away. Carlton Hesston is currently running a GoFundMe campaign to maximize the release of The Valley for both digital platforms and physical media. $10 contributions net supporters a digital copy and sticker, while $20 gets a signed physical copy in addition to those awards. To be a part of it, head over to https://www.gofundme.com/f/releasing-the-valley-by-carlton-hesston
aka Jarvix, the Chief Executive Weirdo of Make Oklahoma Weirder. His out-of-the-box music coverage has been published by the Oklahoma Gazette, KOSU, and The Oklahoman among others. He also makes DIY music as a solo multi-instrumentalist live looper in his spare time.