The Royal Family


Culling from the fertile Canadian psych scene, The Royal Family brings together members of Possum, ROY, Hieronymus Harry, The John Denver Airport Conspiracy, and Wine Lips for an album that combines baroque psychedelia and the softer side of the ‘60s with touches of French pop and Eastern raga. The album opens with the latter, letting sitar lines thread through the air like incense. The band spends the first half of the album sampling paisley hues of the lysergic ’60s, digging deep into the haze while also musing on the more playful side of pop with hints of France Gall and Brigitte Bardot. As the first side settles, the band finds themselves landing deep into the ornate, baroque bosom of Kaleidoscope (UK), Idle Race, The Smoke, 31st of February, and JK and Co.

The second side leans into this vein of psych-pop with no reservations — opening up into a concept album within the album, exploring the metamorphosis of a butterfly and its parallels to self-discovery and rebirth. The vignette shifts the tone of the record towards kosmiche at first on the instrumental “Chrysalis,” but doesn’t linger in the German playground too long, pushing through fragrant breezes and letting the gilded grace back into their sound. The band is practically pastoral on “I’m The Wind,” before diving into a two-part closer that ropes in enough brass and bluster to pass for an Elephant 6 outtake. The album, produced by ROY, hews pretty close to his own works and those of Harrison Forman (who pops in for a few cameos). An excellent addition to the new wave of Canadian psych-pop that out to have plenty to offer the ’60s crate diggers out there.

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