Been a good year for the return of Farmer Dave Scher. The Beachwood Sparks / All Night Radio alum has never left the sphere for too long, playing with Kurt Vile, Jenny Lewis, Elvis Costello, Will Oldham, and The Skiffle Players, but he returned with a solo EP release last year that explored new territory and now the debut from Farmer Dave and the Wizards of West surfaces. The new venture marks his first full length in ten years, breaking some new ground, while leaving Dave’s penchant for nebulous psychedelia in tact. More sun-baked than his works with All Night Radio, who always hit a slid more into the charming chimes of Byrds territory, if the band had found themselves enamored with the Echoplex, the new record finds itself tossed in the froth and reveling in the weightlessness.
On this eponymous debut Scher and his assembled players push heavier than he ever really has in the past, not to the point of distortion, but the jangles are replaced with stadium-sized organs, and the cosmic waves of guitar that get lost deep in the prog puddled waters of the early ‘70s. Though, to be fair, he manages to eschew the genre’s density, still finding his songs lifted through the smoke and above the assembled crowds in psychedelic glee. The Wizards of West feel like they’re enjoying the float as well, surfing the strange magic between psych, surf, and prog with little care to where they land. Yet, the record sticks its ground, feeling like an extension of where Scher left of a decade ago and where Curation seems headed as a new outpost of cosmic refuge in the modern age.
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