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Pattern-Seeking Animals
August 2023

Since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2019, Los Angeles-based quartet Pattern-Seeking Animals have been one of the prog scene’s most prolific outfits, following up with albums in 2020 (Prehensile Tales)  and 2022 (Only Passing Through).  Now, only a year since their previous effort, the band return with their 4th album Spooky Action at a Distance, an eclectic masterpiece with captivating lyrical narratives, from a Norse king's introspection to a pregnant teenager's quest for freedom, guaranteeing a captivating musical journey.  

Formed from members of the influential group Spock’s Beard, Pattern-Seeking Animals (P-SA) has staked claim to its own identity, forging a new path in the prog scene.  Named after a quote about human behavior from science historian Michael Shermer, PS-A is John Boegehold (keyboards and production), Ted Leonard (lead vocals and guitar), bassist Dave Meros, and the energetic and talented Jimmy Keegan on drums.

Boegehold, known for his film scores and innovative prog compositions, initially formed the group due to the desire to find a home for material that was not quite the right fit for Spock’s Beard. Sessions took place with Leonard, Meros and Keegan, and P-SA was born. Ever since, the group has been creating music that is ‘progressive and intricate while keeping things immediate and melodic,’ with critically acclaimed albums.

Spooky Action at a Distance continues to build on the band’s prior successes while branching out into new territory. Boegehold explains, “Because this is our fourth release in less than five years, my intention was to shift gears and not go over ground that's already been covered. In addition to using different sounds, textures and musical styles, we approached the vocals, especially backing vocals from a fairly different angle. In addition, the album was recorded, mixed and mastered at a different studio with a different engineer than our previous three releases.”

The different approach is not only noticeable in production and sounds, but in the lyrics as well. “The subject matter of the lyrics include a Norse king contemplating life while being conquered, an aging seeker on the path toward enlightenment, aliens hunting down humans trying to evade capture, the life of a conflicted soldier before and after WW1, a pregnant teenager leaving a bad situation at home, a reluctant hero victorious in her final battle and a guy’s girlfriend who leaves him because of his conspiracy theories.”

Fans will experience something new right out of the gate with the album’s first single and second track “Window to the World,” high-energy, up-tempo art-rock with a hint of ska and reggae. “Somewhere North of Nowhere” is straight-ahead lengthy prog track with a unique bridge section.  Meanwhile, “Underneath the Orphan Moon” is a somber ballad that deals with a teenage girl leaving a bad situation.  Evocative and cinematic, it is not unlike the feel of a classic Elton John song, complete with a real string section.

PS-A has long put to rest that this is a part-time project. Spooky Action at a Distance finds Pattern-Seeking Animals more confident than ever, approaching new soundscapes and topics, combined with the DNA of their previous work for their most memorable and powerful album to date.

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