When it came to psych-pop, the early aughts slipped a few good ones on up the ladder to bigger stages. I’ve always had a soft spot for The Bees, sadly named A Band of Bees if you were listening this side of the Atlantic, and the band’s ‘60s radio dial spin approach let them dip into several styles without ever sounding like a novelty. They created albums that listened like mixtapes, winding through sunshine pop, Ventures-styled instrumentals, Everly Brothers soul, and touches of reggae, funk and psych with a precision that was admirable. Its been a while since their last album rolled down the belt in 2010, but now the band’s Aaron Fletcher and Tim Parkin have taken back up together to continue the eclectic digging through sounds as 77:78.
The record embraces the mixtape aesthetic that drove The Bees, though this time there’s less of a separation of influences and more of an amalgamation of their indulgences into a psych-pop brew that’s decidedly more influenced by DJ aesthetics while also winding up more languid than The Bees at its core. Jellies is a pure summer melt, with songs that sluice together like episodes of Love Boat music directed by Joe Meek. There are some mid points that get a bit too limp in the heat (“Pour It Out” and “Copper Nail” come to mind) but overall the album works as a great genre crush. The vibes are too cracked and plastered to be Yacht Rock but this is definitely psych-pop with an easy listening ambition. They wind up something like Castaway Houseboat Rock – an Island born mixtape of pop singles flown in by charter plane every other week.
While this is certainly not The Bees, 77:78 sate a bit of the thirst for a hi-fi pop project that’s searching for aesthetic niches and digging through their own crates to mix up genre into some sort of aural alchemy. The gold that the duo finds is rippled like a sunset on the water. Its hot out there and as such, 77:78 have you covered for vibes that beat back the UV crush.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.