Toronto-based psych rock act Possum — Brandon Bak, Tobin Hopwood, Christopher Shannon, Patrick Lefler and Bradley Thibodeau — can trace their origins to their involvement and eventually meeting through their hometown’s psych rock and garage rock scenes. Bonding over a mutual love and appreciation of acts like CAN, Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti and Ty Segall, the act’s full-length debut Space Grade Assembly found the act crafting a hypnotic sound that fused elements of garage rock, krautrock, psych rock and ethio-jazz centered around expansive arrangements full of shifting time signature changes.
The Toronto-based psych quartet’s self-produced sophomore album Lunar Gardens is slated for a July 2, 2021 release through Ideé Fixe Records, and the album reportedly finds the band crafting material that meshes elements of jazz, komische/krautrock, funk and psych rock while pushing their songwriting into new, unchartered territory for them. Thematically, the album touches upon telepathy, ESP, thought transference, Ley line riding and the like; it’s a a psychic exploration of the collective cortex, the capture of cosmic energy and the alignment of astral flux. Trippy shit, indeed.
“While Space Grade Assembly dealt more with space in a cold literal sense, Lunar Gardens’ approach is more ‘space as metaphor for consciousness in all of its infinite expanding fractal forms’, a surrealist escapist space fantasy of impossible spaces — the type of place you might go when the things are too heavy here in 3D,” the Toronto-based quintet says of the differences between their debut and forthcoming sophomore album. “If we were talking movies, one might say Space Grade Assembly is 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lunar Gardens is The Holy Mountain.”
Last month, I wrote about album single “Gala at the Universe City,” a languorous and slow-burning song that brought Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and CAN to mind but centered a slithering and musty funkiness. Interestingly, the album’s second single, album opening “Clarified Budder” acts as a bridge between their debut and sophomore albums’ beginning with a languorous intro, the song explodes out of the gate, featuring rapid-fire drumming, a hypnotic motorik groove, wah-wah pedaled guitars and punchily delivered vocals. The end result is a song that evokes the feeling of floating away from your surroundings.