Watch Florida’s Galia Social Traverse Bright Hues of Prog and Alt Rock with ‘Follow’
The duo of guitarist-vocalist Christian Logaglio and drummer Colby Peters talk about unveiling the first part of a narrative about an individual’s rise to power
By guitarist-vocalist Christian Logaglio’s own admission, the release of American rock band Galia Social’s latest record Rise in January 2020 was “not the best time to launch a project.” Of course, this is in hindsight, considering the Orlando-based duo – whose other half is drummer Colby Peters – were just raring to go big with the seven-track concept record. Logaglio recalls over a video call, “We were gonna start rehearsing the set, and then the global pandemic hit. Then we’re kind of sitting there like, ‘Alright, well, not only can we not tour, we also can’t play a show anywhere.’”
Galia Social – who have been around for about a decade and run through different iterations and even sonic styles that ranged from instrumental rock to prog – also lost their studio and rehearsal space due to the havoc that was the pandemic in the U.S. It’s not lost on Logaglio that Florida’s most famous tourist destination – Disneyland – opened early enough into the pandemic but there’s been “close to zero gigs” in Orlando.
In the midst of all this, however, they knew they had released their debut album Rise at the start of 2020, a labor of love that arrived after years of work. “It was an invigorating thing, to work on it throughout the years,” Logaglio says. While they were understandably tense and unsure like most musicians when the pandemic began, Galia Social began filming music videos for each of the seven tracks on Rise and have put out the visual for “Follow,” a breathy, calming yet dexterous display of their alt-prog informed sound.
Galia Social will be doling out a video for each song and then the entire album as a 41-minute visual journey. Peters says, “We started filming a month after the pandemic hit. We shot nine nights over the span of three months.” Logaglio adds, “We just kind of did it as we went along, trying to figure it out as it was going.” The band also rented out a local movie theater in Orlando and screened the videos in its entirety.
The lyrical concepts behind Rise came from a widespread cultural narrative that the members had seen growing up – about an individual who rises to power in almost cult-like circumstances. The forthcoming second and third albums that follow Rise will chronicle the reign of the character and their downfall. Logaglio points out that they came up with the album concept and then soon enough, Donald Trump was elected U.S. president in 2017. But the band maintains Rise is not necessarily drawing from just political history and certainly doesn’t need to be viewed through that lens. Peters adds, “I just thought back into every civilization that’s ever existed, just things that you’d see in history books. This story is relevant all over the world […] We’re writing about a person that represents all those who rise to power for the wrong reasons.”
Through flowing, intricate rhythmic work that’s at times euphoric, Galia Social employ a bit of foreshadowing in the lyrics as well. Logaglio says with a laugh, “One of my favorite thematic things in any kind of art piece – movie, TV or something… I love it when the ending is not good.” There’s near-funk energy on “Fire,” but the atmospheric elements elevate all seven tracks into a modern jazz-prog record. The regal closing tracks “Victory” and “Rise” double up as 18 minutes of shapeshifting, grandiose melodies.
Surprisingly, Galia Social’s record found them a fan in Bengaluru; producer, keyboardist and vocalist Yogeendra Hariprasad (from prog fusion act Pineapple Express and rock band Space Is All We Have). He put the rest of his band onto Rise and they’ve got a growing listenership in India now. Logaglio says, “I don’t know exactly how they found us. we’re so grateful that they’re doing that, because I don’t see that often in America. They have single handedly allowed us to have some sort of footing in India.” Peters adds, “It’s really amazing that that can happen in this era.”