Tag: psych pop

Throughout the bulk of this site’s nine-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker, best known for his acclaimed psych pop/synth pop recording project Tame Impala. Now, as you may recall Parker’s third full-length album, 2015’s Currents was a critical and commercial breakthrough: released to wide-ranging critical applause, the album was a Grammy-nominated, RIAA Gold-Certified effort that reflected a decided change in songwriting and approach that featured emotionally direct lyrics paired with an increasingly nuanced and textures sound that drew from psych rock, psych pop, synth pop, prog rock and R&B.

Earlier this year, Parker released the first bit of new Tame Impala material in over four years — “Patience,” a decidedly upbeat banger that seamlessly bridged 90s house and 70s funk while being a thoughtful meditation on the cycles and phases of life and “Borderline” a blissed out, shimmering mid-tempo track with house music flourishes and a razor sharp hook. These two tracks were unofficially the first two singles off Parker’s long-awaited and highly-anticipated fourth album, The Slow Rush. Slated for a February 14, 2020 release through Interscope RecordsThe Slow Rush reportedly conjures the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by you while you’re looking at your phone. Thematically, the album focuses on the rapid passing of time and the unending cycles of creation and destruction in life.  “A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards. I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it,” Parker told the New York Times earlier this year.

“It Might Be Time,” the album’s latest single is centered around layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, a rousingly anthemic hook and Parker’s plaintive falsetto. And while being a swaggering prog rock meets psych pop banger, the song possesses an underlying sweaty paranoia about getting older and being forced to accept a sad and fateful inevitability — that you’ve lost it and not as cool as you used to be, and that maybe you were never really cool in the first place. If you haven’t had this moment yet, you will. Trust me.



New Audio: Two New Shimmering Psych Pop Freakouts from Amsterdam’s Acclaimed Altin Gun

Deriving their name from the Turkish phase “Golden Day,” the Amsterdam-based Turkish psych pop act Altin Gun, comprised of founding member Jasper Verhulst (bass) with Ben Rider (guitar), Erdinc Ecevit Yildiz (keys, saz, vocals), Gino Groneveld (percussion), Merve Dasdemir (vocals) and Nic Mauskovic (drums), can trace their origins to Verhulst’s deep and abiding passion for Turkish psych pop and folk of the 60s and 70s — and to frequent touring in Istanbul with a previous band. During his stops in Istanbul, Verhulst discovered a lot of music that just wasn’t readily available in his homeland. But as the story goes, he wasn’t content to just listen as an ardent fan, he wound up having a vision of where he could potentially take the sound he loved.

“We do have a weak spot for the music of the late ’60s and ’70s,” Verhulst admits in press notes “With all the instruments and effects that arrived then, it was an exciting time. Everything was new, and it still feels fresh. We’re not trying to copy it, but these are the sounds we like and we’re trying to make them our own.” Although the material, they’re playing has been a familiar and beloved part of Turkish life for a few generations, the Dutch-based act actively interpret and reimagine it through a contemporary, 21st century lens. “Of course, since our singers are Turkish, they know many of these pieces. All this is part of the country’s musical past, their heritage, like ‘House of The Rising Sun’ is in America,‘” Verhulst explains.

Altin Gun’s sophomore album Gece, the highly-anticipated follow-up to last year’s breakthrough On was released earlier this year through ATO Records. Interestingly, the album finds the Altin Gun further establishing themselves as masterful interpreters of a beloved Anatolian rock and folk history with the band bringing together music and sounds from several different sources. Additionally, the band further establishes themselves as a new voice from a rapidly growing, global psych scene. Now, as you may recall, earlier this year I wrote about the rising Amsterdam-based band’s hypnotic and swooning take on Muzaffer Sarısözen’s “Süpürgesi Yoncadan,” which was centered around shimmering and arpeggiated Casio-like synths, complex polyrhythm, thumping beats and a propulsive, club-banging hook.

Since, the release of Gece earlier this year, the members of Altin Gun have been rather busy: the band went on a critically applauded Stateside tour that included a July stop at Rough Trade. The band will be returning back to the States for their second ever Stateside tour with a handful of Midwest dates opening for Tame Impala, an appearance at this year’s Desert Daze Festival and a handful of headlining dates that includes an October 19, 2019 stop at Elsewhere. (You can check out the rest of the tour dates and specifics below.)

To build up buzz for their upcoming Stateside tour dates, the Dutch band have released two new singles off Gece — “Gelin Halayi” and “Div Div.” “Gelin Halayi” is a mischievously anachronistic, and slinky  take on psych pop centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, dexterous lute playing, a sinuous bass line, propulsive percussion and a sultry yet ethereal vocal that’s a feverishly hallucinogenic club banger. “Div Div” is any incredibly uptempo and percussive gallop centered around a plaintive vocals, a chugging motorik-like groove, dexterous lute and guitar that’s one part stomp and one part psych rock freak out. Both songs continue to reveal a band that’s introducing an amazing and unfamiliar sound to new audiences.

New Video: Temples Release a Trippy and Technicolor Visual for “You’re Either On Something”

Currently comprised of founding members James Bagshaw (vocals, guitar) and Tom Walmsley (bass) along with Adam Smith (keys, guitar), the Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK-based indie rock/psych rock act Temples initially began as a home studio-based project back in 2012 featuring two musicians, who had known each other for years from Kettering’s local music scene.

The duo uploaded four self-produced tracks, which caught the attention of Heavenly Recordings founder and label head Jeff Barrett, who signed the band and agreed to release their debut single “Shelter Song” later that year. Shortly after signing to Heavenly Recordings, Bagshaw and Walmsley recruited Samuel Toms (drums) and Adam Smith to flesh out the band’s live sound — and to complete the band’s first lineup.

Since then the band has released two critically applauded and commercially successful albums — 2014’s Sun Structures, which landed at #7 on the UK Charts and 2017’s Volcano.  Building upon a growing national and international profile, the British indie rock act has made appearances across the UK, European Union and North American festival circuits. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Suede, Mystery Jets,Kasabian and The Vaccines among others — but over the past years, they’ve transitioned into a headlining act that has also made their Stateside national television appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Last year, saw a major lineup change for the acclaimed British indie rock act. Samuel Toms left the band to focus on his solo recording project Secret Fix, and later joined the equally acclaimed Fat White Family. Temples also left their longtime label home Heavenly Recordings and signed with ATO Records, who will be releasing the newly constituted trio’s highly-anticipated third album Hot Motion.

Slated for a September 27, 2019 release, Hot Motion reportedly finds the band continuing to craft an intricate and nuanced sound — but while digging into a deeper, darker creative well of sorts.  The album’s second and latest single, the shimmering and hook-driven “You’re Either On Something.” And while the track  manages to possess a lysergic and technicolor quality that will bring of Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, Tommy-era The Who and Currents-era Tame Impala to mind, the track hints at something much darker under the surface — perhaps, the relentless and gnawing desire to escape a world that’s become increasingly disappointing and mad. “I’m really proud of ‘Your’e Either On Something’ lyrically because I feel deeply connected with the words — they’re so truthful,” the band’s James Bagshaw says in press notes. “On that track, I can hear influences of stuff that I listened to when I was growing up. There’s almost a nostalgia to that track, even though it’s very forward-looking.”

“The video for ‘You’re Either On Something’ is semi-surreal depiction of a night out,” Temples’ James Bagshaw says of the recently released video. “Where an irrational fear replaces the fun and joviality, and the familiar becomes unfamiliar.

“But then, the feeling a fear dissipates and seems like a distant memory and the familiar feels comfortable again. Before you know it a guitar solo ensues…”

The up-and-coming, Falmouth, Cornwall, UK-based psych pop act Moreish Idols — comprised of Caspar Swindells (bass), Jude Lilley (vocals, guitar), Dylan Humphreys (sax), Sol Lamey (drums) and Tom Wilson Kellett (keys, guitar, percussion) quickly emerged into both the local and national scenes with the release of their debut EP, a genre-defying affair influenced by early Pink Floyd, Cocteau Twins, Tame Impala, and Atlas Sound among others, and an extensive series of high energy gigs across Southeast London’s DIY and grassroots venues. Since the release of their debut EP, the members of Moreish Idols have been busy working on various creative projects, as well as new material — including their latest single “Mobile Phone.”

Clocking in at a little under five minutes, the Falmouth-based act’s latest single is one part atmospheric and breezy Steely Dan-like yacht rock featuring shimmering guitars, whispered vocals and mournful horn lines that turns into a dance punk, disco-tinged, four-on-the-floor, driven freakout reminiscent of Echoes-era The Rapture. And while meshing two distinct moods — a meditative pensiveness with restless anxiousness — the track thematically focuses on escaping from technology to take time out from emotionally draining relationships. “We like to think of the song as a transition for us and a cathartic representation of the big life change we’ve just made,” the band says in press notes. “We move from the slower dream-pop sound of Falmouth in the first half of the track and accelerate into the hectic aesthetic of south London for the second half.”

As the band’s Jude Lilley says of the song in press notes ,“I was reflecting on a time in which I felt suffocated in my relationships with people and my family, and having a phone didn’t help that. It wasn’t until I was living the slacker dream in Cornwall that I realised that this was such a problem. Anytime I’d want to escape and get away from it all I’d never be able to fully isolate myself with my bent iPhone 7 still in my pocket.” 








New Video: Introducing the Hazy Psych Pop of New Zealand’s Richard Dada

Richard Larsen is a Ōtautahi, New Zealand singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a founding member and creative mastermind behind the Wellington, New Zealand-based dream pop act Glass Vaults. The Kiwi singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s latest solo project Richard Dada finds Larsen crafting dreamy, lo-fi psychedelic music. Deriving its name from the early 20th Century avant-garde art movement, Larsen’s Richard Dada project is also anti-art, anti-war, anti-nationalism and rejects logic and capitalism for the expression of nonsense. 

Larsen’s latest Richard Dada single “Rose Quartz” is a slow-burning and swooning bit of psych pop centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths and Larsen’s achingly plaintive vocals singing surrealistic lyrics. While sonically bearing a bit of a resemblance to JOVM mainstays Milagres, the song is a feverish and lingering dream imbued with longing, vulnerability and desire. 

Directed and edited by Martin Sagadin, the recently released video features Larsen performing the song in flowering fields and the forest, before we see him dancing in front of some psychedelic lighting. It’s appropriately lysergic — but while further emphasizing the song’s longing and vulnerability. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Pond Releases a Trippy and Contemplative Visual for “The Boys Are Killing Me”

I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the acclaimed Perth, Australia-based sych pop act POND over the past few years. And as you may recall, the act, which is led by its mastermind, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Jay Watson, along with Nicholas Allbrook, Shiny Joe Ryan, Jamie Terry and Jamie Ireland released three albums —  2009’s Psychedelic Mango, 2010’s Frond and 2012’s Beard, Wives, Denim — that found the band’s moving from straightforward psych rock to a decidedly pop-leaning sound. 

Since then Watson and company have released a series of critically applauded albums, including 2017’s The Weather. Interestingly, The Weather continued the band’s ongoing collaboration with Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker — and a run of trippy yet accessible pop. 

Released earlier this year, the Perth-based JOVM mainstays latest effort Tasmania was conceived as a sort of sister missive to its immediate predecessor. Thematically, the album is a dejected and heartbroken meditation that touches upon planetary discord, water, machismo, shame, blame, responsibility, love, blame and empire. And while accurately capturing the undercurrent of the restless, anxious dread that many of us currently feel, the material rather than wallowing in self-pity, encourages the listener to celebrate the small things of life — frolicking in the ocean, rolling around in the grass, the sweet feeling of being in love and so on, while we still can. Over the past couple of months I wrote about, the expansive, Pink Floyd’ “Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V and VI-IX”-like  “Burnt Out Star,” and the shimmering, synth pop-led power ballad “Daisy,” a track that’s emotionally centered on the idea of bitterly retreating and licking one’s wounds before everything gets completely fucked up. 

“The Boys Are Killing Me,” Tasmania’s latest single continues on a similar vein as its most immediate predecessor, as it’s a slow-burning and atmospheric track centered around some dramatic and forceful, Phil Collins-like drumming, shimmering synths, plaintive vocals and a soaring and infectious hook. But at its core is an overwhelming sense of crushing defeat and an inability to move forward from it. The recently released video for  Tasmania’s new single was filmed by the band’s Jay Watson on Super 8 film while test band was touring across Sweden, the UK and France — with the video’s coda filmed by Julien Barbagallo and edited by Jamie Terry and the band. Interestingly, the video manages to be both trippy and contemplative, which evokes the eerie vibe of the song.

Over the course of 2017 and 2018, I wrote a bit about Trent Prall, a Southern California-born, Madison,WI--based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, and his solo recording project Kainalu, which derives its name for the Hawaiian word for ocean wave.  The music that the Southern California-born, Madison,WI-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter has worked on for the past decade or so have drawn from psych pop, psych rock, dream pop, Tropicalia, synth pop and funk, as well as his childhood trips to Oahu, HI visiting his mother’s family, coalescing in a breezy and nostalgia-including sound that Prall has dubbed “Hawaii-fi.”

Finding Peace of Mind” and “Folds Like Origami” consecutively landed at #1 on the Hype Machine Charts and received placements on some top Spotify playlists, and with the growing buzz surrounding him, there was high expectations for Prall to quickly write and release a career-launching debut EP. But rather than get swept up into the current of premature opportunities and expectations, the Southern California-born, Madison, WI-based JOVM mainstay spent the next year in isolation, exploring the unfiltered daydreams of a wandering mind and capturing ideas on tape whenever they drifted by. Interestingly, the end result is his long-awaited and highly-anticipated full-length debut Lotus Gate.

Slated for release this fall, the self-produced Lotus Gate is reportedly a retro-futuristic exploration of Eastern philosophy and contemporary groove and self-exploratory  psychedelia. The album’s latest single “Kamikaze Mushroom Palace” is centered around a warm and trippy, disco-tinged groove, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a soaring hook and Prall’s ethereal falsetto — and while the single sonically sounds indebted to Tame Impala, but with the song’s narrator expressing an inward yearning to get their shit straight by any and all costs.








Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays Tame Impala Perform “Borderline” at Coachella

I’ve written quite a bit about the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker and his acclaimed solo recording project Tame Impala over the past few years. And as you may recall, his third album, 2015’s Currents was a commercial and critical breakthrough as it was a Grammy-nominated, RIAA Gold-Certified effort that reflected a decided change in songwriting and approach that resulted in some of the most emotionally direct lyrics of his growing catalog paired with a more nuanced, textured sound that drew from psych rock, psych pop, synth pop, prog rock and R&B.

Patience,” which was released last month, was the first bit of new, solo material from Parker in several years, and while being a decidedly upbeat banger that seamlessly bridged 90s house and 70s funk, thematically the track was a thoughtful meditation on the cycles and phases of life. “Borderline,” Parker’s latest single is a blissed out, shimmering, mid-tempo track centered around arpeggiated synths, Parker’s imitable, plaintive falsetto and a soaring hook. And while showcasing the flourishes of the house music-inspired instrumentation of its predecessor, the track should serve as a reminder that Parker has a deep collection of hook-driven bangers.

Parker and his backing band will be making appearances across the international festival circuit that will include stops at Coachella FestivalShaky Knees FestivalCorona Capital Festival, Boston CallingPrimavera Sound Festival, Glastonbury FestivalLollapalooza with more dates to come. Coachella recently released live footage of Tame Impala’s headlining set last week, and it included footage of “Borderline.” Check it out, and then check out the tour dates below.

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming British Psych Pop Act Imperial Daze Performs “Minding the Haze” in Studio

Currently-comprised of Al Ward (vocals, guitar), Felix Rebaud-Sauer (bass, guitar), Facundo Rodriguez (keys, vocals) and Tom Sunney (drums), the London-based psych pop act Imperial Daze is a proudly multi-national band that features an Argentine, a Frenchman and an Englishman. Interestingly, the act which has publicly cited Damon Albarn, Kevin Parker and Soulwax as major influences on their sound and approach can trace their formation to tireless and joyful collaboration in a South London commune.

The London-based psych pop act released their Rupert Jarvis-produced 2017 debut EP Solid Fair and as a result of a national ad campaign that used their music, the band quickly earned a rapidly growing national profile, the members of the band have shared stages with the likes of The Maccabees, Mystery Jets, Nilufer Yanya, All We Are and Matt Maltese. Imperial Daze spent the bulk of last year building their studio from scratch in a giant disused commercial freezer, under a railway arch near London’s Tower Bridge that they’ve dubbed The Electric Eel Recording Studio. (Reportedly, the studio’s name is derived from the fact that the space once used to store eels.)

Slated for a June 7, 2019 release through Tip Top Recordings, the up-and-coming British band’s sophomore EP, Surface Sensibles was co-produced by the members of the band and Rupert Jarvis, and was recorded in two studios — The Maccabees’ studio The Drugstore and the band’s new studio. Surface Sensibles‘ latest single, the atmospheric and wistful “Minding the Haze” is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line, angular guitars, plaintive vocals and a soaring hook — and while bearing a resemblance to Editors and HandsMassive Context EP, the song which has already caught the attention of XFM‘s John Kennedy and BBC Radio 6‘s Amy Lame is as the band’s described “a melancholic picture of a fleeting hazy summer spent as a teenager, engrossed in youthful romance, willful boredom and insouciance. “