Psych rock indie pop quartet the Gift Machine features the husband/wife team of Dave Matthies (originally from the Pacific Northwest) and Andrea Matthies (born and bred in Carlsbad).
Dave Matthies grew up in the Skagit Valley Washington/Mount Vernon area, where he started the earliest version of the band, before moving to San Diego in 2016. He has run a video production company, Cowboy Mustache, and has collaborated with Northwest notables including the Microphones/Mount Eerie, Little Wings, Karl Blau, the Murder City Devils, and more. He also ran KNW-YR-OWN records with Bret Lunsford (Beat Happening, D+) and was co-founder of the What the Heck Festival in Anacortes, WA. His day job involves creating special effects graphics for reality shows.
With a lineup featuring the Matthies backed by Dan Chambers on guitar and keyboards and Felipe Benavides (Red Fox Tails) on bass, the band released their full-length Hard Facts Are Still Uncertain in February 2015. A split seven-inch with another local husband-and-wife band, the Oxen, was released in October 2017. "We'll be releasing two videos for each of the tracks and cameo in each other videos, as well as some guest appearances from other North County bands," said Dave Matthies at the time.
Their vinyl album New Tangles was released in October 2018 on the Tucson, AZ-based PIAPTK label, with the Matthies now backed by bassist Alanna Cassidy and guitarist Matt Lawson. The album was mastered by Frank Arkwright (Arcade Fire, The Smiths, Joy Division) at Abbey Road Studios in London, made famous by the Beatles. "The back cover photo was actually taken by me getting off of the Magical Mystery Tour bus in Liverpool, at the Strawberry Field stop," Dave Matthies told the Reader. "We lifted the font from the back Abbey Road cover for our back cover photo as well."
The record was promoted nationally by Tiny Human in Seattle, WA, who has done publicity for Death Cab for Cutie, Lee Hazlewood, Laura Veirs, and others. 100 copies were released on white vinyl, 100 yellow, and 100 purple copies. In early 2019, they played 13 dates all the way up the coast to Seattle and further north, in celebration of their SDMA nominations, including Best Rock Band.
(Photo by Jens Ochlich, provided by the Gift Machine)