Lisbon’s Beautify Junkyards weave together a dream world of subtle Tropicalia (think Gal Costa submerged in water) and psychedelic folk. Rhythms shift like sands under their feet, while the band stitches languid plucks of guitar to glycerin synths and the humid swirl of birdsong. The effect of The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards is that of being sucked into an elaborate picture book grown thick with glowing fauna in hues of deep orange, magenta and verdant green. It’s a haunting sub-tropical vision of psychedelia that’s both childlike and laden with a lifetime of ennui. The band is able to build and tend to this sonic garden, bursting with colors, but it seems that the caretakers are burdened with a sadness that keeps the glow alive.
The band adds a new dimension to their stable with the addition of new member Helena Espvall of psychedelic folk purveyors Espers. Her cello and voice flesh out the band’s vision with myriad pinpricks of hazy light – echoing on her deep catalog of psychedelia tinged with no lack of heavy sighs. It could be me, but the inclusion of an instrumental named “Golden Apples of The Sun” seems like a slight nod to the beloved Arthur Mag compilation of psych-folk revivalists in which her own Espers was included. Here, though, she’s not the only focus, sharing the vocal spotlight with Ria Vian, who also shines in shades of silken sadness and working through the orchestrated vision of the band’s João Branco Kyron.
As a whole, this is an elevated version of what the band had begun on their debut and expanded on for their Ghost Box single a while back. It’s easy to see how they fit into the label’s menagerie of storybook wonder and hypnogogic shimmer. The record unfolds with new layers of rippling beauty with each listen, marking it amongs the gentler fare of the vaunted label’s roster. It’s an album, worth sinking into and just letting the tide take ya. Forget the life raft and just float in my opinion.
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