The Flaming Lips are recognized for their carnivalesque stage shows, but the psychedelic kings stripped back their live spectacle on Tuesday’s Tonight Show. Singer Wayne Coyne crooned the heartbreaking ballad “The Castle” illuminated by a simple rainbow spotlight, while his bandmates performed largely in shadows.
Multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd carried the track musically, alternating between its bright, melodic guitar figure and epic piano chords. The other Lips helped build to a stormy climax with layered percussion and keyboards.
“The Castle” previews the Flaming Lips’ upcoming LP, Oczy Mlody, out January 13th. In a statement, Coyne teased the wild album, their first since 2014’s The Terror, as sounding like “Syd Barrett meets A$AP Rocky and they get trapped in a fairy tale from the future.”