Posts tagged ‘psychedelia’

Airwaves by Be Forest

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How could I not post about Be Forest after seeing them last night live for the first time?  This psychedelic dream pop group rarely makes a stateside appearance so it great to see them and even better to witness how well their music translates live.  Be Forest is a cross between tribal music and the XX, with a mix of pounding, rhythmic drums and near ambient melodies.  “Airwaves,” from their debut album, Earthbeat, is a perfect example of the hypnotic tones Be Forest conjures up, and is even more consuming when seen live.  Enjoy.

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Scoop “Awake” here

Sleep Forever by Black Honey

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The dark and haunting sounds of Black Honey are perfectly matched to the level of mystery surrounding the band itself.  Other than being based out of the UK (I think), very little is known of Black Honey other than “Sleep Forever” being their first single.  While this track is labeled a demo, the sound is refined and any roughness in production is undoubtedly on purpose.  The track is as gritty as a blues rock/psychedelic track should be.  The sparse instrumentation and the unknown songstress aching away over twangy guitars just further enhances the aura of a band cutting records in a dingy, shadowy basement.  With a sound this good, let’s hope they don’t find their way out anytime soon.  Enjoy.

Holiest (feat. Tei Shi) by Glass Animals

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What a shock.  Another post about Glass Animals.  But when they come out with amazing tracks so consistently, can you blame me?  The group’s combination of psychedelia and R&B is unlike anything out there and always mesmerizing.  Their recent single, “Holiest,” featuring the alluring vocals of Tei Shi, is anything but holy.  It’s slow, seductive and meant to be heard with the lights off.  Glass Animals recently released their new EP, Gooey, and my anticipation grows for their debut album, whenever that may be.  Enjoy.

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Scoop “Holiest” here

Gooey by Glass Animals

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“Fresh out of an icky gooey womb.”  Only the psychedelic Glass Animals could get away with those lyrics and lay them over a neo-soul groove.  The first single off the soon to be released EP of the same name, “Gooey” is just that, a sticky, thick track that clings to your membrane long after the song fades to black.  Lyrically unlike anything else out there in the indiesphere, “Gooey” is audible dopamine, controlling our emotions and sparking our need for new sensations.  Although it’s only February, I already know “Gooey” is going to be one of my top tracks of the year.  With frontman, David Bayley, singing about “peanut butter vibes,” how could it not be?  Enjoy.

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Scoop “Gooey” here

Yard Rock by Acapoco

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“Yard Rock” by indie trio, Acapoco, opens like a standoff in a Western movie with a rhythmic country riff that moves methodically, building tension slowly.  Except, in most Westerns, the music typically isn’t cut with a hip-hop beat, and then morphing into psychedelic rock. Lea Herring’s breath practically slithers over the track while guitars swell and fade.  One of the standard features of psychedelia is combining sounds and genres that are purposely not meant to cooperate.  “Yard Rock” is no exception, when two-thirds of the way through the song, jagged, industrial electronics more appropriate for a Nine Inch Nails song appear from what feels like some dystopian future to scare us half to death.  In our Western, I think those two cowboys would be trippin’ out right about now. Enjoy.

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Scoop “Yard Rock” for free here 

Vaya Con Dios by Cherokee Red

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Cherokee Red has convinced me that psychedelia and folk combine to make some of the most haunting, entrancing music. The sextet’s self-titled debut LP, released this past April, is a continuous flow of soft chants, fragile guitar chords, and the soothing incantations of songstress, Christiana Bartolini. The opening track on Cherokee Red, “Vaya Con Dios,” is perhaps the most cheerful and still has a ghostly aura. Like every other song on the album, it is a twisted lullaby, gentle enough to put you to sleep but spooky enough to make you nervous about what’s going to happen when you close your eyes. Enjoy.

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Scoop “Vaya Con Dios” here

Black Mambo by Glass Animals

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If you are looking for music to make you lock the doors and hide under the covers with a flashlight,  look no further than Glass Animals.  The Oxford quartet’s take on psychedelic rock is more spiraling abyss than technicolor dreamcoat.  Their recent single, “Black Mambo,” is an ominously paced neo-soul journey with trickling electronics and the smoky, drawn out delivery of frontman and former neuroscience student, David Bayley.  Clearly, Bayley’s background is being put to good use on “Black Mambo,” which has the ability to creep into your head and mess with yo’ mind.  Enjoy.

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Scoop “Black Mambo” here

P.S.  If you have the urge to see Gumbi on acid, I suggest checking out their website.

Almanac by Widowspeak

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Widowspeak returns with their sophomore effort, Almanac, and the band has lost none of the magic that made self-titled debut one of the most impressive albums of 2010.  Widowspeak encapsulate that 70s era Americana, a wistful nostalgia that is practically nonexistent in the current musical landscape. Almanac showcases Widowspeak‘s hazy sweetness, which gives each song a smoky, vaporous structure, like a dream with no discernible beginnings, ends or boundaries.  Expanding on the sound they created with their debut, Widowspeak injects more visceral guitar solos into Almanac (“The Dark Age” and “Ballad of the Golden Hour”), reflecting a broadening of influences and ability to extract attributes from folk, psychedelia and hard rock.

Best Tracks:

The Dark Age

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Ballad of the Golden Hour

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Sore Eyes (incredible studio session)

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When & Where:

Maybe it’s the earthy album cover, but seriously, imagine being deep in the woods, with giant trees staggered around you, sunlight breaking through the branches and leaves, and Almanac quietly playing in the background.  Yeah, sounds a little hippy dippy, but you know I’m right.

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Buy Almanac here

Say Hello to Adios Ghost

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Think Rusted Root on acid.  Mix in a little Jefferson Airplane and Iron Butterfly, and you have the debut self-titled EP from Brooklyn’s Adios Ghost.  Delving into the mostly forgotten genre of dark psychedelia, Adios Ghost separates itself from the majority of bands coming out of Brooklyn by finding influences that existed in decades prior to the 80s.  Don’t get me wrong, any reader of this blog knows that my addiction to indie pop coming out of BK has me on the floor, sweating and shaking like Pookie in New Jack City, but its still refreshing to hear a band that wasn’t inspired by synthesizers and musicians with keyboard neckties.  Here’s what you’ll find on Adios Ghost’s EP: guitars that intertwine like ivy, tribalistic drums, and vocals that might as well be rising up from the bottom of the ocean.  I’m already looking forward to what’s coming next, but this six song EP should hold you over for now.

Best Tracks:

Fernseher

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Basement Instincts

When & Where:

When your parents are going on and on about how good music was when they were not bald and tie dye shirt were in style, Adios Ghost might quiet them down for a few hours.

Check them out and download the EP (for free) here

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Singular Focus – Super Skeleton by Cuckoo Chaos

Super Skeleton, by San Diego’s Cuckoo Chaos, is undoubtedly one of my favorite songs of 2012.  Not many bands can integrate so many genres as seamlessly as Cuckoo Chaos.  Released on September 18, 2012, Super Skeleton is Chaos’ first track since their debut seven track EP, and sports a psychedelic, reggae-infused intro, a gritty, garage rock guitar solo, smooth, and 50s era West Coast harmonies into a multidimensional track that will have you completely entranced and utterly confused.  Super Skeleton requires a minimum of about 50 listens in order to absorb each delicate nuance woven into the track.  Enjoy.

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Check them out here

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Buy Super Skeleton here