Herbcraft are a lo-fi psychedelic rock group from Portland, Maine whose trippy, spiritually minded jams explore devotional themes. The project is helmed by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Matt Lajoie, previously known for his free-folk project Cursillistas, which released over a dozen recordings from 2005-2011, mostly on his L'animaux Tryst (Field) Recordings label, but also including two albums on Digitalis and a handful of tapes and CD-Rs on labels such as Blackest Rainbow, Time-Lag Records, and Cabin Floor Esoterica. After retiring Cursillistas around 2009, Lajoie began working on a more electric, cosmically inclined psych-rock project, as opposed to the mostly acoustic, fragile abstract folk of Cursillistas. Herbcraft debuted in June of 2010 with the LP Discovers the Bitter World of Agartha, produced and recorded entirely by Lajoie and released on the Hello Sunshine label. This was followed a few months later by Papers, a limited-edition cassette co-produced by Ian Paige and released on F**k It Tapes, a cassette-only imprint of Jeremy Earl's Woodsist label. A second LP on Hello Sunshine, Ashram to the Stars, appeared in 2011, and another limited cassette, Flowering, surfaced on British label Julia Dream Recordings in 2012.
Following these mainly self-recorded releases, Herbcraft became much more of a collaborative project. Arriving in 2013, The Astral Body Electric, Herbcraft's first LP for Woodsist, vastly expanded the group's sound, with Lajoie being accompanied by Dawn Aquarius, Nicholas Barker, Aaron Neveu, Doug Tuttle (who recorded the album directly to tape in an 18th century barn using analog recording techniques), and producer Matt Valentine. Following this album, Herbcraft's personnel officially solidified as the trio of Lajoie, Neveu (on drums), and Joe Lindsey (bass/organ). The lineup's first release was "Push Thru the Veil," a funky, uptempo Krautrock-influenced song produced by Neveu and released as a 7" single in 2014. The song also appeared on the group's Woodsist-released 2015 LP Wot Oz, which continued to explore more uptempo, improvisational psych-rock, with half of the album's six tracks stretching past the ten-minute mark. ~ Paul Simpson