Upupayāma

This is an excellent Bandcamp find that popped in a few feeds and got a nice breakdown over at the always spot-on Petal Motel, which is worth a read. The album is the sole work of Italian songwriter Alessio Ferrari, though it owes more than a small debt to the works of the Guruguru Brain roster. Splitting themes between the verdant Japanese psychedelia of Kikagaku Moyo and the psych-folk forebears further north of him — tapping into the Swedish and Finnish strains in particular — Upupayāma’s debut is impressive to say the least. The four tracks that make up his eponymous album are laden with flutes, cave damp guitar runs, and feline bass that creeps through each track with a distinct slink.

The world of Upupayāma is fantastical. He inhabits elfin wonderlands that are dark and mysterious, dark laboratories hidden underground, and firelight rituals. Darkness rounds every bend but the stakes feel personal and puzzling. Think more Over The Garden Wall than Tolkein here. Adding only further to the air of intangible intrigue is Ferrari’s use of an invented language through the majority of the songs, sliding this slightly through Magma or Gong territory with ease. While the touch of Canterbury prog takes root, the Japanese psych connection goes even deeper as well. Ferrari reached out to Kikagaku Moyo / Sundays & Cybele engineer Yui Kimijimai to mix and master the album, bringing the feeling ever closer to the humid hybrid of psych and folk that that particular set achieves. The album is a dense wander through knotted, intricate works that open into mirror worlds of color soaked sound. There’s a psychedelic innocence at work that oddly reminds me of the illustrations of Esmé Shapiro. Its an outstanding debut, and I hope that this one moves into a physical format at sometime, but for now, this is well worth digging into in any form.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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