Tag Archives: Psychedelic

We grow as time goes by

3 Mar

Le Masque is a new psych-pop project coming from London. Give “Time Goes By” a listen and you’ll realize that this is something memorable. The distorted harp throughout is gold, and lightens the heavy showgaze haze that hangs over the vocals and sparing bassline. This music is for when things work out even if they are going sour, and for nostalgia without vitriol. Time heals all wounds, even the wounds that time itself has inflicted.

“Time Goes By” is from Le Masque’s Spiral EP, which you can find on Bandcamp. Find more information on Le Masque on his Facebook and Twitter.

Paul Orwell tells all in video for single, “Tell Me Tell Me”

15 Sep

Psychedelic rock is a very enduring genre. Though it has changed over the years, the feeling it evokes remains intact. Today, we have artists such as Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, but I still have a soft spot for sixties rock-pop, the first incarnation of psych rock. The Beatles are important to anyone’s musical self-discovery, and some current bands can capture that old school sound very well. I think Paul Orwell is one of them.

In his newest single, “Tell Me Tell Me,” Orwell and his band The Night Falls make a Britpop song straight from 1963. The echoing in the vocals and twangs in the guitar strums make this modern song feel as if it were written decades earlier. Not to mention that Orwell plays the part; he’s aloof, and I think if I met him in person he’d just shake his head and mumble some Britishisms. In the video for “Tell Me, Tell Me” he and his band go to a barber shop, seemingly to only annoy the hairdressers. Orwell is too cool for school, and refuses to stop moving around for the haircut, but he doesn’t care how it will turn out. He is similarly indifferent in his video for “Little Reason,” Orwell’s earlier single.

paul orwell

My favorite thing about this London native is his full head of hair. I watched “Tell Me Tell Me” expecting his hair to be a little shorter than it was at the beginning, but he ends up with the same mess of hair that he’s always had. And that’s when I realized, his hair is the joke. He has the same mop in “Little Reason” and even has illustrations that accentuate his overly full head of hair. I think that his wit and songwriting skills will propel him into contemporary popularity, even though he sounds like a contemporary of the Kinks.

For more information on Paul Orwell, visit his Facebook.

The High Wire and the Last Night on Earth

30 Jun

The High Wire

In advance of its third release, The High Wire is previewing “LNOE,” a warm, string-laden piece that packs a punch. The song will officially be released on July 29.

Originally the outlet of singer/songwriter Tim Crompton, The High Wire expanded to include West coast Canadian Alexia Hagen and UK native Ross Forrest. Citing Motown and the Gorillaz as influences, the band creates a melting pot of pop-sensitive pieces that utilize modern psychedelia and folk influences.

The band’s music has been described as everything from “Delirious shoegaze” (Artrocker) to “a narcoleptic wonderland” (NME), but “LNOE,” represents a different approach.

The rhythm is almost exclusively driven by an orchestra of strings, and this creates an ethereal sound that bounces off the listener. The persistent chorus is one part Coldplay, one part MGMT – an eclectic blend that utilizes hard-hitting British pop/rock and American psychedelia. While the harmony is strong and the song is certainly potent, the melody lulls the listener, almost inebriating them with the rich sound. Excellent release. We are looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

Check out more of The High Wire on the band’s Website, Facebook or Twitter

DAMEDAS Is All You Need Today

13 May

DAMEDAS

With the eccentric musical flair of Grizzly Bear and a penchant for 60s pop psychedelia, DAMEDAS is about ready to take the Los Angeles scene by storm. Founded in 2007 by musician Felipe Damedas, DAMEDAS has just recently expanded to include a full group of musicians…and words. The transformation from instrumental to lyric-laden psych/pop was not a difficult for the foursome.

What is perhaps most striking about DAMEDAS is its clear appreciation for the roots of rock n’ roll. The art (above) is reminiscent of the Beatles, and, class-style portraits aside, the music bears a neat resemblance to Beatles-style psychedelia – infectiously effervescent, heavily melodic, and elusively organized. Let me explain:

“All I Need is All I Have” is a tight single by DAMEDAS. The music is crowded with drenched harmonies, twangy guitar, and spondaic percussion. The instrumentation combines a wall of sound approach with portions of sincere quiet. Although I already made this comparison, I can best describe the music as a mix between old and new psych/pop. While the synth fits in with newer Indie Psych/Pop, the sing-song swooning melody is much like late 60s psych/pop. Excellent track!

You can download the single for free at DAMEDAS’ Bandcamp. Check out more about the band: Website, Twitter and Facebook

 

The 60s Psychedelic Experiment – Pop Psych – Strawberry Alarm Clock

29 Mar

Something about Tuesdays has started smelling a lot more psychedelic, and in the nasal orifice of a certain psychedelic band from Los Angeles, psychedelia smells like strawberries. We continue our psychedelic exploration of the 1960s with the genre of psychedelic pop music and one of the bands that mastered this potential corny genre was Strawberry Alarm Clock, who rode the line of bubblegum and psychedelic music like a professional.

So, I guess the first question we have to ask is what exactly is psychedelic pop music and why is music that can be considered “watered down” relevant on our psychedelic trip? The answer to this question is simple. Psychedelic pop, at its finest, is not hackneyed, but rather creative and infectious. Yes, I understand that because the music had to fit under the description of “pop” it usually needed close-knit harmonies and catchy rhythms, but, while it was “mainstream” at the time, these necessities did not take a way from the music’s worth. While the music succumbed to rigid specifications, it was still allowed to venture forth into the world of guitar distortion and zany instruments. Take a listen to this.

In the first 20 seconds the genre is practically described. “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock was released in 1967 and it hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The keyboard mixes beautifully with the reverbed, distorted guitar. The background vocals provide a haunting beginning to the tune. The song’s high-pitched keyboard provides an unmistakable psychedelic presence to the song that is a shining example of why the song is psychedelic.

Can you get the song out of your head? No. I didn’t think so. It fits the pop convention perfectly and this is why it was so popular. I consider this an instrumental work of psychedelic music and I disagree with those who believe that pop’s conforming to the psychedelic phenomenon was a bad thing. It allowed pop bands to create psychedelic pieces (a la Beach Boys) and psychedelic bands to market themselves with pop classics like “Incense and Peppermints.”

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