Since their formation three years ago, the London, UK-based trio Desert Ships have developed a reputation for a rather cinematic and hypnotic shoegaze sound, and as a result the trio have received airplay on XFM. BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio as well as on stations across the US, Europe and South America – and have had critics and tastemakers compare their sound to Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, and the film scores of John Barry. Granted, those comparisons are arguable; in fact, after hearing their sprawling and hypnotic single “Skyliner,” i was reminded quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve and RIDE, as the song builds a motorik groove based around looping keyboard chords and a steady drum beat paired with shimmering guitar chords and dreamy yet distracted vocals. At points you’ll hear dreamy harmonies that float like wisps of smoke just over a densely textured mix. (Coincidentally, RIDE’s Mark Gardener has produced the band’s debut Doll Skin Flag and is working with the band on their sophomore effort.) Adding to the song’s already psychedelic vibe are lyrics that describe what it feels like to be in love and how it would feel to trip on hallucinogens while observing natural phenomenon.
The official video further continues the psychedelic feel as it pairs footage of airplanes in flight with kaleidoscopic bursts of color, with intermittent footage of the band playing the song in front of the same imagery projected onto them. It’s trippy as hell.