Posts Tagged ‘Chilean Psych’

The Holydrug Couple – “Vértigo/Valle de los Espejos”

Sneaking out on their Bandcamp this week, RSTB fave The Holydrug Couple have a charity EP set to benefit those wounds and affected by recent Chilean protests. Both sides of the 7” are covers from Chilean ‘60s band The Blops, who brought American and British rock n’ roll into the country — emulating The Beatles, The Doors, and other exports of the era, but interpolating their own native perspectives as well. Holydrug picks out two early cuts from the band focusing on a deep cut from The Blops’ debut album alongside a b-side from the ’71 single “Machulenco.” While both deviate from The Holydrug Couple’s usual deep valley euphoria, they present a nice take on the songs while drawing a line to some of their own influences. The single is being offered in a scant physical run of, or you can pick it up digitally on the band’s Bandcamp. Worthwhile to nab this one and spread some relief.


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The Holydrug Couple – “I’ll Only Say This”

Chilean duo The Holydrug Couple created one of the softest visions of psych pop this year, echoing Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips with equal skill. Their single “I’ll Only Say This” was a soft-touch, tender-hearted stunner from the album and they’ve given it an appropriately lush video treatment as well. The band lounges, the colors are dark and glorious and the song still hits home after all these months. If you’ve waited to get into their latest LP for Sacred Bones, there’s still plenty of time before the year’s sewn up. There’s something very comforting and warm about the duo’s music and in the coming months that’s going to be a welcome feeling when the bone-chill air starts to bite.



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The Holydrug Couple

Chilean psych-pop duo The Holydrug Couple have always taken a blissful approach to the idea of psychedelia. Their sound doesn’t embrace the attack of fuzz or anger of feedback so much as it seeks to strand listeners in a euphoric cocoon of dazzling light and sound. They’ve done so to great effect on their last couple of albums on a shoestring budget, turning bedroom sessions into gooey, sun-dappled psych-pop that begs the listener to get lost in its embrace. Now they’ve doubled down on the studio setup, looking to produce something of a ‘classic’ record with all the spoils of their Guitar Center sweep-up.

While they’re taking a nod at Beach Boys and Beatles in their reported intentions, in reality this is landing among the heather occupied by The Soft Bulletin and Heaven or Las Vegas. Everything on Hyper Super Mega shimmers, everything glows and turns to gauze rather than becoming concrete. There’s a pop center that might run on an engine of ‘60s and ‘70s giddiness, but once its processed through the band’s arsenal of augmentation its all dry ice and purple glows, like gaseous extraterrestrials trying to tune in Todd Rundgren on the console of a second-hand saucer.

It seems that 2018 is a year for bands to bring forth the best version of themselves and in that regard, Holydrug Couple can clearly be added to that list. Hyper Super Mega achieves the vision that they set out to bring to life when the Couple was formed, a vibrational orchestra rendered in absolute clarity. In a year that’s been tumultuous and feels awfully grounded this is a nice lift into the clouds of distraction and a salve for daily burns.



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The Holydrug Couple – “I’ll Only Say This”

Chilean psych unit The Holydrug Couple have been getting lush for as long as I can remember, but their latest for Sacred Bones doubles down on the sparkling light and hazy wash of aftrnoon sun that dapples their sound. The single is the first off of their upcoming LP Hyper Super Mega. The accompanying clip goes for more for cultural saturation then for visual gauze, flipping through touchstones of music and history until the track crumples in on itself. From the blissed pop on display here its apparent that the band has yet another stunner in store when that album rolls down the pike in September. After a summer swelter like we’ve had on the East Coast these past couple of days, the band’s gooey take on psych is just the thing to embrace the humid vibes coursing through June.

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The Holydrug Couple – “Whatever You Want”

Chilean psych’s premiere dreampop export are back in action, this time creating a very real soundtrack to a very imaginary film. The track “Whatever You Want” finds the band still in the blissful wake of their last album, Moonlust and reaching further for that moment when the sun blinds your eyes and warms the soul. The track is swept along by a pounding beat that’s easily tempered by the dreamy vocal chants and twisted nicely with the addition of some vintage synth stabs. Paired with fellow first taste, the instrumental “Vase of Flowers,” its hard not to feel a debt to Air and in particular the Virgin Suidices Soundtrack. There’s a similar feeling of vintage yet timeless to the track, employing a light touch with a heavy shadow. Can’t wait to hear the whole thing, as I imagine both of these are just puzzle pieces in the world of Soundtrack for Pantanal.



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Chicos de Nazca

Chilean Psych is becoming a real genre these days, not quite on par with their Japanese or Swedish counterparts, but coming on pretty strong indeed with bands like Holydrug Couple, Föllakzoid and La Hell Gang acting as chief exports for their country’s psychedelic set. Chicos de Nazca have spun off from members’ previous outfit Cindy Sisters to form a heavier, headier brand of clouded and shrouded psych warfare. The record lays down a huge offering at the altar of Spacemen 3 and perhaps a few tithings at the table of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, but they seem to find space to take that sound and make it their own. It doesn’t hurt that the riffs are as thick as truck exhaust and almost as poisonous, powering through with a storming wall of sound that buries most everything in its path. The record comes on quick and flashes its blade pretty much from the outset, tumbling into a fight to fit as much sound as possible into the bounds of its fat black plastic cage. Definitely a record that’s seemed to get lost in the last couple of months of releases but one worth taking some time to head back in for a few more listens.

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The Holydrug Couple

The Holydrug Couple sink their teeth into dreampop and get lost in the vapor. Citing Air as a touchstone for the album, the Chilean group definitely takes up the reigns between the French band’s high school comedown “Playground Love” and their wilder (by Air’s standards) workings on Talkie Walkie. Draped in the kind of shimmer, soft lighting and billowing smoke that maxes out a fog machine budget, Holydrug make it sound like longing never resolves. They pine endlessly for a love that’s always moving further out of reach. They swoon at the very thought of closure but, alas it seems that the game is forever played and while you’re playing, they’ve got just the soundtrack to encapsulate that gossamer crush of heartache. Bigger than their last record by a mile, they build monuments of sparkling synth and sinewy bass, wriggling through the aforementioned smoke like serpents through water. Sacred Bones has built a reputation on darkness so The Holydrug Couple has always seemed like a bit of an outlier in their own stable and here they take a few steps further out of line creating a shimmering dose of pop that, while sometimes hard to pick apart in the individual pieces, builds to a larger statement of infatuation nicely.


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