Posts Tagged ‘Psych’

Lake Mary & Ranch Family Band

A hushed and tempered new record arrives from Chaz Prymek’s Lake Mary, this time adding in the “Ranch Family Band” to the fold. The record is sun-dappled and full of spring air — a verdant addition to his growing catalog of releases. Rooted in a rambling fingerpick that recalls contemporaries William Tyler and Nathan Salsburg, Sun Dogs‘ prowess lies in deploying buttered slides throughout the entire record that yearn for a perennial peace. The record seamlessly folds in psych-touches on the album’s title track, finding the common crannies between fingerpicked folk and Kosmiche float. The standout track engulfs Prymek’s strings in an early morning fog that bends the light in every direction before burning off into crisp golds and greens that flood the rest of the record. The songs are heavy with the scent of earth, humid in the way that mornings hold onto the last night’s rainfall before stretching into the perfect yawn of midday.

Pinned on the languorous and lingering title track and closer, “Blue Spruce,” which opts for more entrancing and classic vision of fingerpicked fodder, the album is almost gone too soon. It certainly leaves the listener wanting more, hoping to hang forever in between the vibrating air of Lake Mary’s strings. The album is a gorgeous, late 2019 addition, so don’t go tallying up the best of the year just yet. The album is easy to return to time and again as a respite, a rejuvenation, a true gem peeking out from the folk pile at the end of the decade. I’d definitely recommend letting this one sink in and grow roots.




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Rose City Band Signs to Thrill Jockey, Reissues Debut

One of the greatest surprises of 2019 was the debut from Rose City Band, the mysteriously shrouded band (with a strangely familiar voice and guitar sound) on Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada’s Jean Sandwich Records. As I mentioned in a review previously, “Rose City Band slides in on an autumnal glow of golden shivers, slow-motion choogle, honeyed hues, and cedar swoons. “Rip City” plays right into the hands of the Cosmic American cavalcade that’s building steam in all the best nooks and nodes across the tattered tableau of 2018-2019.” If you missed out on the initial pressing, now’s the time to right some wrongs. The original Jean City pressing in green is long gone, but, Thrill Jockey’s got a limited red version of the LP up on their site for sale now. It’s one of 2019’s essentials for sure! Here’s hoping the signing bodes well for a sequel. We can always use more RCB in our lives.




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Dire Wolves – “(Brother Lee) Womblife Blues”

Exciting news today as Dire Wolves announce another crusher for 2019. The band’s Grow Towards The Light is already a staple of the turntable around here, but they’re never ones to shy away from prolific output. Centripetal Force is putting the band’s I Just Wasn’t Made For These Set Times tape on LP. Not familiar? I don’t blame you. The release was previously only available as part of a 50-cassette run at the merch table on their last European tour, released by French label Ruralfaune. The release comes from the same fertile sessions that birthed Grow and Paradisiacal Mind and it’s rooted in much of the same meditative/explosive sensibilities that anchor their recent work.

On “(Brother Lee) Womblife Blues,” Georgia Carbone’s vocals transport the listener away from the physical world, leaving language bound to the Earth in favor of something more ephemeral. Like many of the Wolves’ compositions, Arjun Mendiratta’s violin elevates the track, sawing at the mind in sinewy swaths, while the battle between guitars and drums reaches a fevered pitch. There’s never a good reason to pass up on Dire Wolves vinyl, and this one’s probably not sticking to the shelves too long. The label’s putting out a run of 300, with 100 on sky blue. The pressing lands February 2020.


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Hôpital De La Conception feat. Junk Nurse

A head-scratcher of a platter from a triumvirate of labels (Feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz/Opaque Dynamo) births the mysterious debut and sole artifact from France’s Hôpital De La Conception. The record is swift to note that it features Junk Nurse, but he seems to be the only avatar piloting this thing through the blooze swamp foot stomp anyhow. The record is ripped and ragged – zeroed in on an Earth’s core riff that drills down to the very kernel of psychic consciousness. There’s a dogged locomotive rhythm to the record, constantly chuggin’ through the smoke curls and feedback flutter. That hypnotic heave anchors “The Electric Rockin’ Chair” to the concrete so that it doesn’t get flayed clean by the storm swirling about it. The Junk Nurse doesn’t relent, plowing this one through a “Sister Ray” / Don Van Vliet vortex caked with noise and cursed to rumble for all days.

The album’s just the one song – flip it and it starts chuggin’ all over again like a lost soul condemned to scream sonic fury for all time. If this is Dante’s soundtrack to scuzz, then when the fury kicks up, the Nurse has you hitting your head on every wrung of the inferno before laying limp on the floor and begging for no more volume. The Hôpital and Junk Nurse hear your plea and turn the thumb down. The riff will rage and you will be inflamed with the body buzz of chooglin’ fury once more. Into the abyss, let it lock down and linger. That’s what I say. Now as for all the mystery, shadows and riddles about who’s behind this opus of guitar offal. I don’t know about you, but the possibility that the only other record to come out on France’s Opaque Dynamo is from GR (aka Gunslingers’ Gregory Raimo) makes this one a very good bet. Who knows who the Nurse serves but if its outta that camp, I’d put my money on it being a necessary pickup.




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Badge Époque Ensemble – “Zealous Child (ft Dorothea Paas)”

If you missed out on the entrancing last LP from Canadian psychedelic soul-funk unit Badge Époque Ensemble, its time to go back and course correct, but don’t let that stop you from moving forward as well. The band’s issuing a follow-up EP on December 6th and it continues their journey down narcotized rabbit holes slathered with slinking grooves and splashed with Parliament guitar flash and sultry flute. Opener “Zealous Child” acts as a sequel of sorts to their song “Undressed In Solitude,” the sole vocal track on their previous LP. This time they recruit Toronto singer Dorothea Paas on vocals and she gives the track an air of Broadcast with a heavier edge. The song winds through a dream-like headspace before exploding into its turbulent second half.

If the great, undersung psychedelic sojourn that is Lodge 49 survives to a third season (and I damn well hope it does) someone better give Tom Patterson BÉE’s number, as they fit the bill as much as The Soundcarriers or Beautify Junkyards have in the past. Both of those stand as apt comparisons’ to the Ensemble’s space-scraping psychedelic journey – seeking to siphon the past and funnel it to an alternate future that’s resplendent and lush. I recommend getting on board.



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Curt Boettcher – Looking For The Sun

I’d mostly become familiar with the name Curt Boettcher a bit backwards He was a conduit for lush, sunshine pop from the 1960s — namely under The Sagittarius and Millennium headings along with Gary Usher — but those checking the production notes on any assorted dozen sunshine-psych tracks are likely to find his name among the studio set. He’s credited with a good swath of hits by The Association, and contributed recognizable work to Gene Clark, The Beach Boys, Tommy Roe, Elton John, Eternity’s Children, Emmitt Rhodes, and Paul Revere & The Raiders catalogs. In this role Boettecher shone as a producer who could use every tool in the rack to bring a pillowy softness to his songs. There’s an invisible thread among productions touched Curt’s hand, they share a sense of melancholy, wonder, and a telltale swooning sensibility that could only have come from the mind of Curt. Looking For The Sun highlights the singles that Boettcher produced that may have gotten lost between the cracks, the artists that weren’t as marquee as those previously mentioned, but songs that standout just the same.

There are twenty-one tracks from Cindy Malone , Sandy Salisbury , Gordon Alexander , Keith Colley, Summer’s Children, Jonathan Moore , Ray Whitley , Eddie Hodges , The Bootiques , Action Unlimited on this comp that highlight the man behind the boards. Though they’re brought together from different backgrounds, they all ease into the clouds that Curt cultivated and dig in the sunshine that he spread. There’s a track from Sagittarius included as well, a band that has long been storied for its inclusion of an ace backing band made up of members of The Music Machine, The Ballroom and Crabby Appleton. Not included in this set, but also of note is Curt’s ace solo LP. He dropped one ’T’ out of his name and released one solo gem that, despite Elektra backing, may have gone even more unnoticed some of these. Along with a handful of singles it remains the only one under his name.

For any fan of sunshine psych, this will likely prove an indispensable collection tied together by the watchful production that Boettcher brought to all his endeavors. The songs are all sourced from the original master tapes and have been presented in a clarity that does them justice. The reissue font has been overflowing this year and there’s still time to squeeze in a few more essentials.



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Matt Valentine

It’s been a bang-up year for Matt Valentine, with his searing second album from Wet Tuna landing last month and now the arrival of his 8-years baking solo LP, Preserves headed down the dock from Beyond Beyond is Beyond. The latest takes every incarnation that Valentine has inhabited over his years and throws ‘em in the blender, but don’t go thinking this is a hodge-podge, unfocused affair. MV grinds those sounds down smooth and viscous – melding psychedelic folk, with electronic swamp gas and lighting it on fire with the frantic freak foam of brain-bending guitar. This is Matt as his most potent, burning from the core and set to singe. The album blends midnight séance shivers with alien radio ripples, sounding like the FM waves have been hijacked and are picking up some sorely needed psychotropic solace from across the cosmos. Songs blend into one another without seams. It’s all one big batch of Preserves, steeped and sweetened for your pre-dawn consumption, gelled together into 40-odd minutes of melt.

The record calls up every acquaintance Valentine’s brushed against over the better part of the decade with longtime compatriots like Erika Elder, Pat Gubler, Willie Lane, J. Mascis, and Samar Lubelski making their way into the psychic seep of this one. The guests siphon and out Valentine’s sonic stew, giving the record a communal careen, but at the core is simply MV communing with the quasars one more time for good measure. It’s quite possible this might be the perfect companion piece to this years’ Water Weird — a moonburned coda on that album’s smoke-soaked blues. The two fit together into an extended fever dream hunkered down in sauna surroundings, sweating out the evil ether for all the transcendental sinners out there. Don’t just take my word though, the whole album’s streaming below and you’re welcome to get a taste of it yourself.


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Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – “Unificado (Pye Corner Audio Remix)”

Earlier in the year Guadalajara’s Lorelle Meets The Obsolete released one of their most potent records to date. It pulled them out of the murk a bit and into a crisper vision of shoegaze, dreampop, and scarred psychedelia. Perhaps as a reminder of that album’s prowess as we near the end of the year, the band has released a remix of the album’s darkly simmering “Unificado” by UK synth slinger Pye Corner Audio. The Ghost Box alum has been haunting the edges of horror soundtrack-style rev-ups of late, but here he’s all in for atmospherics. Taking the track’s airy creep and white-hot guitar and giving them a slinking makeover that utilizes Lorena Qintanilla’s vocals as not a harbinger of psychedelic fry, but as a conduit for tense cinematic sweat, this is a completely new side of LMTO. Still time to get into their latest if it has eluded you for the past year, and quite recommended that you do.



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RSTB Presents: Wet Tuna, Jesse Sheppard & Turner Williams, Spiral Wave Nomads

If you can’t get over to The Half Moon tonight for the Wet Tuna show then Raven and WGXC have you covered. All three bands’ sets will be broadcast live on the airwaves and coming to you over the live stream. The show should start around 9:30 so tune in and turn the lights low for what’s bound to be an amazing night. Listen in below.

Stream presented in partnership with Wave Farm Radio

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Peel Dream Magazine – “Up and Up”

I’d been into Peel Dream Magazine’s debut, though it always seemed like the prelude to something – a faded photo of what they wanted to be in another time. With a new LP on the way, the band gives a preview of what that might be with an EP for Tough Love Records. Chasing the tail of Stereolab through the labyrinth of soft-focus psychedelia, “Up and Up” is a hazed strummer laced with melancholic keys and a faraway look in its eyes. The song swoons until it gets lost in the clouds, dissolving into the shimmer off of the water vapor world it occupies until the band becomes one with the glimmer. High hopes on what’s next with the introduction of this track. The EP lands at Tough Love on November 29th with promises of more to come from the label and band on the horizons.




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