New Audio: The 60s Psych Rock-Leaning Sounds of Sugar Candy Mountain

Comprised of founding member Will Halsey (vocals, guitar), Ash Reiter (vocals, guitar), The Beehavers‘ Bryant Dennison (guitar) and The Electric Magpie‘s Peter Maffei (bass), Joshua Tree, CA-based psych rock quartet Sugar Candy Mountain can trace its origins to when Halsey, who has had stints as a drummer in renowned Bay Area-based bands like The Blank Tapes, fpodbpod and Ash Reiter, began the project as a bedroom recording project in which Halsey initially wrong songs in the vein of of Montreal and The Beach Boys. Shortly after Halsey had started Sugar Candy Mountain, Reiter had joined him and the duo began co-writing songs. Interestingly, there was a brief period in which they wrote electro pop songs — before they had gone on a decidedly psychedelic direction when Reiter had started obsessively collecting effects pedals. Denison, who also was a bassist and former bandmate in Ash Reiter with Reiter and Halsey, joined on as a guitarist (which was interestingly enough, his first instrument).

With the band’s forthcoming album 666, the Joshua Tree, CA-based quartet will further cement their burgeoning reputation for a sound that has been described as being indebted to Jacco Gardner, Tame Impala and the classic psych rock sounds of 60s Laurel Canyon — as you’ll hear on album title track “666,” a single that also possesses an uncanny attention to dreamy melody as the band pairs Reiter’s gorgeous and chilly crooning with gently fuzzy guitar chords, soaring and ethereal organ chords with gentle almost minimalist drumming. Yes, it sounds as though it could have been written and recorded in 1966 and was recently discovered in a used record store — perhaps one like Last Vestige in Albany — but with a subtly modern production sheen.