Oli Heffernan, aka Ivan The Tolerable, makes the kind of drone-heavy psychedelic jams that would be just at home playing in your ears on one hell of an acid trip as they would soundtracking a post-apocalyptic road trip. The songs hang in the air like fog over daybreak waters, or wavering smoke rising off burning incense. Heffernan wants to paint hallucinogenic landscapes with guitar, saxophone, synthesizers, and hazy mood and put you right in the middle of it. Hazy vibes, heady trips, and somewhere between spiritual enlightenment and New Age death cult. That’s the decadent trip you’re going to take.
I first came across Ivan The Tolerable via the Library Of The Occult releases White Tears and The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, two distinctly unique releases yet both feel foundationally Ivan The Tolerable. Working in the macabre, the morose, and the defiantly unpredictable, Oli Heffernan made zone-out future classics with those records and a die-hard fan in me.
Heffernan returns on 3/31 with Ivan Tolerable Quartet and the dizzying Toft House Session, an album created via part improvisation and part songs played live by Ivan The Tolerable at the Astral Festival in 2022. Songs were recorded, improvised, then edited and spliced into the ethereal masterworks you hear on Toft House Session. There’s both instrumental tracks as well as guests vocalists like Mike Watt(“The Sphere”, “History Blurs”), Kevin Branstetter(“Black Ridges”), and Jad Fair(“A Blue Sun”).
“On Leaving” was the first single; a hazy, drone-heavy song that lays waste to your psyche for nearly seven groovy minutes. Ivan Tolerable Quartet is the psych jazz four-piece you didn’t know you needed.
With their newest single “Mothra II” Ivan The Tolerable Quartet spread out over nearly 10 sprawling minutes. A driving rhythm percolates with psychic tension as bass, synth, drums, and saxophone coalesce into a cosmic, phantasmic wall-of-sound.
The beauty in “Mothra II”, as well as the whole of Toft House Session is hearing Oli Heffernan and his Ivan The Tolerable Quartet spread out, zone out, and get deep in such engaging, heady ways.
Check out “Mothra II” below, then hit up Stolen Body Records and preorder ‘Toft House Session’ now. Album drops 3/31.