Over the last half-decade, Nashville’s All Them Witches have made themselves indispensable with a sound that, across five full-length albums and countless digital one-offs, live recordings and EPs, has never stopped evolving.

Their roots in heavy blues and psychedelia have flourished with time into an approach that is undeniably their own, and an influence that set itself out with 2012’s Our Mother Electricity and found its voice on 2013’s Lightning at the Door has only grown more prevalent over a still relatively short span of years.

Ridiculously productive in the studio and on the road, All Them Witches this Fall release ATW, their fifth LP and third through New West Records. Where 2017’s Sleeping Through the War featured expansive arrangements and elaborate production, ATW strips down the approach true to its acronym title -- nothing extra, no time misspent in saying what it needs to say. A more stage-born sound still holds expanse in tracks like “HTJC” and “Harvest Feast,” while cuts like “Workhorse” and the shuffling “Fishbelly 86 Onions” dig into a stylistic nuance both classic and refreshing that is unmistakable as All Them Witches, even as they continue to redefine what that designation means.

The four-piece of Charles Michael Parks, Jr. (bass/vocals), Ben McLeod (guitar/engineer), drummer Robby Staebler (drums/graphic art) and Jonathan Draper (keys) arrive at the Desertfest with a reputation that precedes them for jammy explorations and a kind of heavy that, while regularly imitated, has yet to be reproduced by anyone else. If you’re still reading this, you probably don’t need to be told not to miss them, but just in case: you’d be a fool if you did. These are the quintessential torchbearers of a new generation of heavy, and their set is one you’re going to hear everyone else talk about for years anyway, so you might as well show up, save yourself the trouble, and consider yourself lucky to be there.

Words: JJ Koczan