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Heaven’s Club Take Listeners on a Wild, Cosmic Ride With ‘Today’

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For their new track "Today," Shiv Mehra and Christ Natividad of Heaven's Club collaborated with animator Tammy Nguyen on a psychedelic music video. (Photo: courtesy of the artist, illustratoin: Kelly Heigert)

Welcome to Pass the Aux, where KQED Arts & Culture gives you our favorite new tracks by Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage here.

I’m a sucker for a nostalgic sound. And Heaven’s Club (multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Shiv Mehra and co-songwriter Chris Natividad) know exactly what they’re conjuring on “Today,” a dreamy, trippy, ambient pop song that teleported my brain straight back into the early naughts, when I listened earnestly and very emotionally to songs like Air’s “Playground Love.”

“Today” is the second track off the duo’s EP All That Was, which travels in just four songs from a strummed guitar and sweet, if nihilistic vocals (“all of it’s going to come to an end”) on “Pull Me Away” to the spare piano and glitchy drones of “This Place is Dead.”

According to Mehra, the album addresses the “dejection of the present.” And while such a guiding principle may not sound like lighthearted listening, transcendent moments in each song make them far more than elegies to the human and natural worlds.

“Today,” especially, combined with its Lisa Frank-on-acid animated music video by Tammy Nguyen, takes the listener on a wild, cosmic ride that either snidely gives us permission to ignore the world’s pressing woes, or offers some form of rallying cry: “Today, we won’t be afraid anymore.”

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Regardless, the song is just as transportive to me now as “Playground Love” once was to my teenage self, creating a floating sense of freedom tinged with the utter darkness of reality.

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