Posts Tagged ‘Psych-pop’

Josefin Ohrn + The Liberation – “Feel The Sun”

A new single seeps out today from Swedish psych slinkers Joesfin Öhrn + The Liberation. The second single off of her upcoming Sacred Dreams is a hazy bubbler, teeming with rhythmic burble, swirls of echo, and despite the title’s focus on the sun, a darkness that creeps up the spine. Öhrn has long been propping up the more shadowy and less showy end of the psych-pop spectrum, opting for humid atmospheres and an oil painted presence rather than the dayglo colors and high-octane moves of so many riding the psychedelic throttle through pop’s waters. The new record lands April 22nd on her usual stomping grounds at Rocket. Slip into this seether below.



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Lucille Furs

Chicago’s beat/psych revivalists Lucille Furs send their ’60-dripped pop on export for their latest album, getting a release from French Magazine and boutique label Requiem Pour Un Twister. The pairing seems like a perfect fit. While Chicago’s got a thriving garage scene, there’s something about their lush, starry-eyed pop that seems like it must come from somewhere other than the heartland. The exact mix here shifts like a kaleidoscope and remains a bit hard to pin, but it seems like they might have tripped through London on their way to meet up label heads in Paris. Other than the strong twinge of British Invasion kicking through, the band rifles through a half-stack of your favorite psych-pop touchpoints – swooning over Blossom Toes, Billy Nicholls, and The Pretty Things with some more high-minded harmonies that dip into Nuggets fodder like The World of Oz, Mortimer, and anything connected to Curt Boettcher.

Yet the strongest wafts seem to come from their penchant for dragging all these bits through the silken brambles of Jacques Dutronc and Serge Gainsbourg. These overtones make the Francophile connection all the more understandable. They share both artists’ love for the deeper blades of grass, wrapping their pop in swirls of sound that envelop in verdant tones. That doesn’t leave them swimming in symphonics though, like Dutronc, they know when to swing and when to swoon and they tend towards the former over the bulk of Another Land. The band’s definitely grinding up the past to mix their paint, but rather than recontextualizing it like Temples or Morgan Delt, they’re often painting masters in shifted hues. That’s not to say that their referential tendencies haven’t produced an album that’s a fun ride all the way through. There’s a lot of tip-of-the-tongue, back-of-the-mind moments but the band’s accomplished enough to make their pastiche play perfectly.




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Modern Nature – “Supernature”

As I may have mentioned before, I was saddened when Ultimate Painting not only folded last year, but also pulled their final album from release. It was a masterful pop album that deserved light, even if its creators were sent splitting in two different, irreconcilable directions. All is not lost, however. While UP has been consigned to the land of wind and ghosts, the two creative forces behind the band are, in fact, inexhaustible hubs of musical fare. It would seem that Jack Cooper is already onto his newest venture, releasing three new tracks as Modern Nature.

With a mutable lineup, that here includes keyboardist Will Young, drummer Aaron Neveu (Woods), cellist Ruper Gillett, and saxophonist Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers), Cooper sets out to conquer a considerably more expansive end of the musical spectrum than he has dabbed in in the past. With a heavy investment in modal psych, the new EP embraces Cooper’s previous touches on psychedelic pop but drops through about six layers of mind fuzz further into the frosted ether for a sound that’s build on circular drones, sweat lodge sax hallucinations and a quasar-nudging foray into psychedelic chakra expansion. Its a surprising heel turn, but a welcome one nonetheless . Check the first track, which tops out around twelve minutes of cosmic float. The EP is out on Bella Union, March 22nd.

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Lucille Furs – “Paint Euphrosyne Blue”

Chicago’s Lucille Furs trade in a meticulous vision of psych-pop, tied up in twills and doused in Marcus Keef’s saturated colors. Like many before them, they hold a reverent flame for the ‘60s, but they’re taking a lusher approach than many, as evidenced by the title track from their upcoming album Another Land, a ringing swinger that’s a testament to how they ended up with the equally psychedelic French label Requiem Pour Un Twister. For the album’s second single they continue their trip back through the ether, this time peeking out of the haze just a bit for a hip-slung shaker that’s basking in the sunshine with a carefree shuffle and a handful of tangerine harmonies and helium hung organ lines. The band’s been echoing The Black Hollies, Allah-Las and The Soundcarriers in the past, but here they add a touch of The Strange Boys and The Weakends to the mix. If its dreary where you’re hunkered, this little blast from Lucille Furs ought to brighten your day.



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Flamingods – “Marigold”

Picking up more than a few similarities to indie’s pervasive and over-the-top psych-pop personalities – throwing Animal Collective, Thee Oh Sees, Temples and Tame Impala in a Vitamix and scrambling ‘til smooth, the London quartet Flamingods seem on the edge of household familiarity with their latest single. The UK via Bahrain band is widening their scope of influence even further on the upcoming Levitation, scooping up inspiration from Mid-East and South Asian funk, psych and disco from the ‘70s. While first single “Marigold” doesn’t quite sound like a lost trinket from the South Asian delta, it’s a pretty blistering bit of excess splattered pop that puts the band on par with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets in terms of welding guitar volume to heady shakedowns for a pretty fun ride. Naturally, this one caught my eye (as with Shana Cleveland) due to artwork from RSTB fave designer Ardneks. Moshi Moshi’s got the album arriving on May 3rd. Can’t wait to hear more from this one.



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The Dandelion – “Every Other Day”

Sydney psych-pop acolytes The Dandelion pick up plenty of cues from Broadcast and Sterolab, but there’s also a glam element that comes away sounding like Vashti Bunyan working through a repertoire of T. Rex covers. The band came bubbling to the surface on the roster of last year’s GizzFest (King Gizz’ own hometown hoedown picking out the best of Aussie psych) and they’re prepping for an upcoming LP soon. The band’s interim, three track offering on French label Six Tonnes De Chair ably displays the Krautrock ripples of repetition, the good ol’ fashioned garage rock getdown and the flowers-in-their-hair throwback qualities that makes the band so endearing.

The title track is the most indebted to the ghost of Trish Keenan, though the band are definitely working on a less technical and more from-the-hip angle than Broadcast. Organs bubble through the headphones in cellophane-wrapped lysergic colors while Natalie de Silver’s voice whispers from some forgotten plane of existence. “Lucifer and the Knife” brings that Bolan boogie to the forefront, shimmying along the edges of astral projection. They actually hit on a lot of the same vibes that Meg Remy and U.S. Girls were simmering in during their Gems period. Then the band closes out the record with the instrumental killer “Malkaus,” shaking down enough crystal-funk spine shivers to keep the listener baking in bliss all the way home.

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Bingo Trappers

A wonderfully slapdash enigma of a record, the 11th catalog entry for Amsterdam’s Bingo Trappers comes to the world via more record labels than you can properly sort – Almost Halloween Time, Morc Tapes, Unread Records and, finally, Grapefruit here in the US. The band has been plugging at their shambolic brand of ’60s-bent folk pop since the ‘90s and, while they might carry the hallmarks of buried Elephant 6 castoffs, they’re true guitar pop purists who’ve managed to make time drifted classics that are humble, hummable and charming time and again. Past entries to their catalog have floated to the surface on Shrimper, Animal World and Muze, but this is only the third time they’re getting a proper wax treatment, having been stranded in the CD-r ditches of the early aughts and stuck handing off cassettes at shows before nostalgia made them cool again.

On Elizabethan they’re plowing through their usual clutch of influences and adding in a couple of new nuances for the hell of it. They swipe at the homey humor of Muswell Hillbillies, sneak in a little ? and the Mysterians’ organ wobble, pick endlessly at the early works of The Byrds and sift through John Cale’s passed over choruses. However, since the Trappers are doing it all on a shoestring sensibility, the outcome lands closest to the likes of Deep Freeze Mice or The Stray Trolleys peppered with just a touch more sun-buttered slide. That country touch gives the record a heavier gravity than some of their past platters, spools, or decaying plastic curios. The blurry sunshine that dapples their approach makes this feel like private press gold snagged from the dollar bins wanting jaws or Kinks demos that have been chewing on “God’s Children”-vibes like an infinite earworm. Quite recommended that you check it out.


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Traffik Island – “17”

One of the standout tracks on the Anti-Fade compilation, New Center of the Universe Vol. 3, this year was a track from Traffik Island. The band is largely the solo output of Zak Olsen from ORB, The Frowning Clouds and Hierophants. While he’s had a handful of singles scattered over the last few years, news today comes of a debut album on Flightless. The pairing makes sense, given ORB’s standing at the label, and first track “17” is a delightfully sunny swath of psych-pop that’s a far cry from ORB’s windpipe crushers. Instead the track, like previous outings from Traffik Island, is a sparkling jangler full of bright harmonies that bring to mind The Free Design, Euphoria, Sapphire Thinkers, or any other manner of the bittersweet brand of sunshine psych. The LP, Nature Strip is out next year and this track gives it a glow of promise. Definitely excited for this.

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Tim Presley’s White Fence – “I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk”

Tim Presley’s been busy recently, but its actually been a few years since a solo White Fence track has trickled into these parts. Following a joint album with Ty Segall, a solo record under his given name and a Drinks LP with cohort Cate Le Bon, he return to the fertile ground of ’60s psych burble, this time advertised as Tim Preley’s White Fence. That addendum begs the question, what’s the difference now between Presley solo and Presley as White Fence? It seems to be a measure of cohesiveness, as I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk (both the album and the track) are steeped in the uneasy sway of his omnipresent Syd Barret / Kevin Ayers specter. The solo record lifted the lid on that for just a bit, but with White Fence back in play, Presley is back mining the acid-dipped end of the outsider pop spectrum for noxious gems. The seasick n’ static video for the track from Ashley Goodall gives the cut a proper hallucinatory quality. Full album arrives packed and peaking on Jan. 25th via his constant stomping grounds at Drag City.

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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – “My Friend’s A Liquid”

A slew of good videos today brings up the second outstanding clip of the year from Perth’s (still) regrettably named Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. While that handle still chafes, the songs are as good as they’ve ever been. “My Friend’s A Liquid” is another smooth psych-pop bubbler and the video is packed with a barrage of cut-up collages that are just as dizzying as the syncopated guitar spirals that crawl out of the track. Between this and “Social Candy” earlier in the year, the band is definitely headed for some large scale notoriety and its easy to see how the band has graduated out of the same scenes as fellow lysergic poppers Tame Impala. There have been some great videos this year, but this one is probably among the most fun and whimsical of the year.

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