Posts tagged ‘psychedelia’

Widowspeak Enchants With Hypnotic Debut

Widowspeak‘s music hangs in the air like a thick fog: it’s mysterious, heavy and a bit haunting.  Guiding us through the mist is Molly Hamilton, who sings with a breathy bittersweetness while fuzzy guitars twang and cymbals subtly splash over every track.  The trio, originally from Tacoma, Washington, relocated to Brooklyn and released their self-titled debut album in August of 2011. The group has a gift for creating songs with a hypnotic aura shrouded in darkness while being methodically paced and yet slightly psychedelic.

Best Tracks:

Gun Shy‘s thick guitars are reminiscent of a showdown in the old west but have an inexplicable shift in emotion as Hamilton’s soft yearning dominates the chorus.

In the Pines is draped in nocturnal moods with a feeling of being surrounded by dark skies, towering trees and a fearful curiosity that pushes you forward despite hesitation.

Hard Times may be one of the more pop-oriented tracks with a conventional feel due to the catchy hook, sticky guitar riff, and sugary vocals.

When & Where:

Widowspeak is a calming collection of songs for lonely, enigmatic nights and is the perfect album to get lost in with no intention of finding your way out.

Gun Shy


In the Pines


Hard Times


Check them out here

Or on Facebook

Buy the album here

Keep Your Friends Close And My Best Fiend Even Closer

My Best Fiend‘s motto should be, “Your patience will be rewarded.”  While so many bands have an ADD inspired method to their albums, putting together a bunch of snappy little tracks to keep drifting attention spans engaged, In Ghostlike Fading, the debut album from the Brooklyn-based, classic rock inspired fivesome, challenges the listener to stay focused and reap the rewards of a band that is looking not just to make an album, but an experience.  With only one song under three minutes and two songs over seven, My Best Fiend has created a patient set of spacey tracks rooted in 60s and 70s psychedelic rock with long, calm solos, bending guitar chords, hauntingly paced drums and vocals which seem to manifest out of nowhere.

Best Tracks:

Higher Palms has this winding road, country rock vibe with Fred Coldwell ominously crooning over thick guitars until churchlike choruses come in and give the track some weight.

Cracking Eggs is In Ghostlike Fading‘s emotional climax utilizing pianos and catchy lines (“Thirstiest fish in the sea”) which build to shredding solos and straining, desperate chants of “Oh Darling, seeing is not like belief.”

When & Where:

Put on In Ghostlike Fading when cruising down a desert highway where a lifeless landscape and a sunburnt sky meet the horizon.

Higher Palms


Cracking Eggs


Check them out here

Or on Facebook

Buy In Ghostlike Fading here

Play Radiation City from a safe distance

If the things that go bump in the night were music fans, odds are they’d be listening to Radiation City.  The Portland quintet released their impressive debut album, The Hand That Takes You, in 2011 and just released the atmospheric Cool Nightmare, a 7-track EP, on April 10, 2012.  Organist Elisabeth Ellison and guitarist Cameron Spies share singing duties while haunting reverberated melodies and an aged piano creep into the background.  At times, harps and churchlike chants help guide the songs in unexpected directions, making you question whether these songs are actually occurring while you are awake or in the middle of a dream.

Best Tracks:

Find it of Use is the first single off Cool Nightmare.  At first, the softness is enchanting, and once you are disarmed, the pianos and drums thunder in and twist the song into something more sinister, but always alluring.

Eye of Yours balances distorted vocals with an infectious pop melody shifting tones from desolation to comfort and playfulness.

Hide from the Light starts out like something that would be played during an Addams Family dinner party but weirdly yet seamlessly shifts into a 50s bubblegum pop chorus.

When and Where:

Cool Nightmare is an EP that should be played when you want to set an ominous mood.  It is perfect for a nighttime drive alone in a place you’ve never been before…or can’t keep away from.

Find it of Use

Eye of Yours

Hide from the Light

Check them out here or here

Or on Facebook

Buy Cool Nightmare on iTunes or on vinyl

American Royalty’s Matchstick Catches Fire

Imagine the Black Keys on speed and you get Matchstick, the second EP from rock group,  American Royalty.  The Los Angeles-based trio mixes plenty of musical genres into every track (soul, psychedelia, rock, R&B, and electronica) and somehow disciplines them just enough to work together to a create trippy, funky, hard rocking EP.  Released on February 14, 2012, each song on Matchstick is a chaotic thought fighting desperately for your attention…and winning.

Randomly shifting gears midsong from one genre to the next, Matchstick is an EP anthem for the aurally ADD who stare at their playlists for 20 minutes trying to figure out what to listen to.  At just three songs, Matchstick begs for an immediate second listen because, by the end of the first, you’re trying to figure out what just happened and why you liked it so much.

Track Breakdown:

I’ve Been Fighting For You is American Royalty’s smoothest, most soulful sound, melding blues with a slight electronic rip and that homemade, musty garage rock sound.

Matchstick starts with a slick piano melody and builds to a psychedelic climax coupled with some eerie harmonies and hooks by vocalists, Marc Gilfry and Billy Scher.

Blood Keys has ominous guitars coupled with dark, sultry vocals that lead into some thrashing riffs and sharp electronics so versatile, they make this a fitting track for a concert or a club.

When and Where:

I picture myself kickin’ back at some invite only cigar bar, legs kicked up on the edge of the table, with clouds of smoke and American Royalty’s grooves filling the entire room.

I’ve Been Fighting For You



Blood Keys


Check them out here

Or on Facebook

Buy Matchstick here