Posts Tagged ‘Psych-pop’

PAINT – “Land Man”

Another sun-bleached single stumbles out from Paint and it warbles around the speakers like an LP that’s been slightly cooked by the sun. The hooks and charms aren’t deadened by the slight slip of the needles, though. The ode to life on dry land updates a version that Pedrum Siadatian, penned for the 10 year anniversary LP that MexSum put out a little while back and this version is fuller with a bit more curdle in its milk. Hooked on a spiraling guitar riff that curlicues through the speakers with an irradiated swagger, the song is pretty much all I’m looking for in a PAINT tune. The LP is headed to the turntable on July 10th and it should be crawling up that wantlist after this single takes a few spins through the speakers.

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ROY

Well, when you dive into it, theres a whole lotta backstory behind Peace, Love, and Outer Space. It centers around benevolent beings descending from space to offer a gift of peace that goes terribly awry for the recipient. Governmental intervention ensues, the message of peace is lost in a skirmish with the authorities and ROY as it were is left a changed person — open to the universe, but betrayed by his own fellow man. That story is spread over the nine tracks here, but it’s linked within a gauzy haze of psych-pop that makes it a skosh less cut and dry and a whole lot less ‘cult-culture pamphlet piece” than that might sound. Canadian label Idée Fixe has a longstanding tenure with psychedelics, but they rarely reach this far into the pop waters. The record is tin-hat certified but also lovingly crafted, draped in a lush pop pedigree that falls in easily with current contemporaries like HOLY, Jacco Gardner, or Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel. Though, historically, the band most earnestly threads their psychedelic needle with the same golden yarns that tied together the lush epics of Todd Rundgren before them.

Stylistically they skip between languid waters that threaten to melt into the soil, shimmering love-addled syrup-psych, and heavier riffs that thicken the pudding enough to give this one more than just a focus on the peace and love of the title. There’s a lot of reverberating gauze, and perhaps that’s to be expected, but the band can get into a high octane bit of garage pop when they want to. Sure, its all a bit much, but that’s sorta the point. If you’re not in it for the high-concept hipswing then you might as well just exit now. With members in tow from fellow Toronto psych bands Kaleidoscope Horse, Vypers, Possum and Hot Garbage, the ranks are deep enough to make this concept land on equal footing with the musicianship. Strap in for the full ride, though, and ROY’s LP is a candy-colored careen through the fourth wall of the studio.




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Doug Tuttle – “Anywhere You Run”

Another gauzy glimpse of psych-pop sunshine rolls in from Doug Tuttle today. The a-side to his latest single from Six Tonnes de Chair, “Anywhere You Run” lopes in on a gentle jangle and a sun-faded feeling that’s hard to shake. The song is a bleary-eyed cruiser passing by in slow motion, but even so it seems to end too soon forcing the needle back to the beginning for replays again and again. Both sides of the single pair well with Tuttle’s last LP, the blissfully beautiful Dream Road. The songs here are cut from the same cloth as the album’s dream-doused psych-pop, wafting in on autumnal breezes that ripple just slightly in the sun. The single’s limited, so don’t let the lounged feeling lull you into complacency — 2 variants : 200 on black vinyl and 100 on blue vinyl. Artwork created by New Zealand artist Callum Rooney. I recommend nabbing one while you can. The single lands April 3rd.


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Hollow Ship – “We Came Too Late”

Gotthenburg’s Hollow Ship have been spiking the punch of psych-pop for a little while yet, and the sound of it comes through in their latest single “We Came Too Late.” With a mix more suited to the crisp snap of pop and R&B than the murky waters of psych, the band adds a rhythmic kick to their swirling guitars and low-end growl. The band crosses the threshold bit more than the rest of the album here, pining for Tame Impala territory before the band was full enmeshed as festival headliners and seated into the high end of the radio dials pop charts. The ambition to dance sweats its way through the cut’s funk simmered core, and they actually land a lot closer to recent Aussie exports Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (man, that name) mixing the liquid lightshow swirl with the neon glow of glam. This one’s coming a little early in the year (April 3rd from PNKSLM) but maybe the summer sweat will help bring on a premature thaw.


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Joe Ghatt

This one’s been lingering on the fringes of haze for a while now, surfacing as a limited cassette on Third Eye Stimuli back in the first half of 2019 and now resurfacing from Six Tonnes de Chair on LP. Ghatt’s a vibe channeler in the modern tradition, soaking his sound in the sepia tones and dust scratch aesthetics of the ‘60s, but keeping a modern touch of breezy songwriting in tow. As such Banana Sludge employs fuzz guitars with wild abandon and seats them into velour lounge settings full of hazed memories. He’s adept a letting his hooks grow around the brain and there’s often the feeling of sinking into the rug around you as the sounds grow muffled, the incessant creep of shag carpeting pairing with mushroom tea to pleasing and perplexing effect. That’s what makes Ghatt’s vision of nostalgia-vision work. Its not a clear representation of the past, more often it’s the feelings coming back in blurry shapes and hung on repeated phrases.

Midway swinger “Mammon” might exhibit this the best with an instrumental incessantness that’s flanked by voices calling from beyond the periphery. By the time the song is over it’s hard to remember where it started, and by then Ghatt’s back into the hammock and strumming a white linen lounger that drips with brass and a humid dose of echo. Over the run of Banana Sludge, Ghatt transmits through the temporal plane – his voice breathing down the grating of a ribbon in the room, but the backing band emanating from the ether, following his every move from beyond time. Sure, it’s all facsimile, but, hey they give awards to the designers that can copy period pieces with gleeful frequency every year. Why not applaud the effort? Ghatt’s found the threads that hang tightest and pulled them around us all on this one.



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ROY – “Is It You (Sky Brother)”

New goodness out of Canada’s Idée Fixe Records this week and its draped in glittering psych-pop that’s hard to resist. Under the name of ROY, the rather anonymous Canadian collective weaves a tale of celestial beings that descend with a message of peace and love, omniscient objects, and government coverups. “Is It You (Sky Brother)” is drenched in a slippery echo that bounces off of chiming guitars and cozy vocals. The tone is harmonious, baroque euphoria, and the band wields the feeling well. Presumably the songs grow darker as they wind down the nefarious paths of dark forces intervening in their harmonic bliss, but on this early taste of the tales of Sky Brother and Sky Sister, the band is thrumming on a divine frequency. The album is out April 17th.




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Mr. Elevator – “Sylvia”

Been slowly sinking into the environs of Mr. Elevator’s latest batch of psych-pop and its finally taking hold. The band, anchored by Oh Sees’ Tomas Dolas, swims in the same magenta-hued waters that float recent releases by Morgan Delt, Jacco Gardner, or The Paperhead. Organs obscure the folds of “Sylvia,” filling the song with shimmer and shine that’s locked to a propulsive beat. There are underlying elements are ripped from the kind of Library Music burbles that filtered through the end of the ’60s and they work nicely with the intrigue-laden video for “Sylvia.” Dolas gives some insight to the track / vid below.

“Without giving too much away “Sylvia” was inspired by a book I put off too long to finally read. It was also one of the songs on the record that I was thinking about cutting because it just didn’t feel right. We ended up keeping just the drums and taking a different approach to it redoing everything else around it. It was the last song to make it before turning everything in to get mastered. The intro that happens now is the tail end of a portion of a drum fill from the intro that ended up getting scrapped. The video was done by Logan Feser, a video artist who recently moved to LA who also did a video for us on our last record. We were back and forth on ideas and I proposed a sort of short film idea and he came back with a whole script and cast/props and all that he put together!“ The band’s on a West Coast tour now. You can catch ‘em at the following dates.

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Peel Dream Magazine – “Pill”

Without fully emerging from their haze, Peel Dream Magazine’s sound comes into focus on their second LP for Slumberland. Following an EP that began the process of finding clarity from the shoegaze soup, the band edges closer to a sound that they’ve been hinting at – mixing the murk of Chapterhouse and Adorable with the propulsive charms of Stereolab. The video accompanying “Pill” is a mash of purples and oranges rendered under hypnotic distortion. The visual is a perfect pairing for the song’s subtle crush of fuzz, a sound that creeps up from the feet and is on top of the listener before they can slow its hold. Lock into the band’s pillowy riffs and somnambulant cool in the video above.

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Hollow Ship – “We Were Kings”

Swedish psych-pop unit Hollow Ship roll out the video for the A-side from their upcoming PNKSLM single “We Were Kings,” a kaleidoscopic collage animated by Freddy Wallin. “We Were Kings” sets the band into a the cradle of psych occupied by Goat, Flamingods, or Khruangbin, bands that find something new while rifling through the overlapping detritus of the past. The song is anchored by rhythm, owing to a studio suggestion to keep the drums high in the mix. The chugging beats keep a heartbeat bop that lays a bedrock for the swirling synths, flutes and funk-laced guitars. The video is as eclectic as the song itself – swirling with cut n’ past aesthetics that play well with the band’s all-inclusive approach.

They note of the Wallin’ led clip, ”In an animated reality, not to different from our own, we are invited to follow a vessel on it’s intergalactic trip through the universe. Along the way we experience colorful encounters with extraterrestrial beings and heavenly bodies. A journey into the unknown making it possible for the traveler to finally find itself” The 7” arrives this Friday from the Swedish outpost and speaks well to what’s on the horizon for the band as we enter 2020.



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The Babe Rainbow

There’s something about Aussie band The Babe Rainbow that exudes a particular ease. From their countenance on down the band look and sound like they’ve never really had a bad day, or at least a day that they couldn’t turn around with a little surfing and barbecue. Those vibes permeate every inch of Today the band’s third, and most solid album. In the past they’ve embodied much of the same spirit, but the results have been hit or miss. They’ve wandered over the psych-pop map looking to pick at ‘60s sparkle, forest folk and lounge but the mixture was always just a touch wobbly. They came pretty close on last year’s Supermoon, an album that captured their wave of gauzy love but also took a few detours into spacey instrumentals that could meander the course of the record off track. The Babes hit on the head trip they were looking to spark but we sometimes got lost in the clouds along the way.

This time they tighten up the seams, still locked into the pocket of faded folk and grooved lounge psych, but playing up the pop half of their dynamic and fleshing it out with a West Coast downtempo spirit that belies their Aussie roots. The album seems like it might have taken a page out of the music direction for recent sleeper series Lodge 49 capturing it’s “melancholy on the bright side” ideals of aimless surf culture that the show distilled into something a bit more meaningful. Today embodies some of the same feelings — unscarred skies that stretch for miles, wonder and weirdness — given life through a constant roil of ‘60s strums and thickly plumed flutes. The band has been working to nail their niche and it seems that with this one they’ve finally begun to harden their grip on the board and ride right into the heart of the curl. The summer might be winding down for those of us up here, but this one still has a bit of solar bake to lay on the listener.






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