Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact [2011]

Posted in neo psychedelia,psychedelic pop by deek on April 25, 2011

As a proudly underground entity, Manhattan’s Gang Gang Dance seemed bent on creating one long celestial psych jam. But for 2008’s Saint Dymphna, they pared down the dubby dance experimentation and reaped the rewards (namely, a record deal). Less woozy and intoxicating than its predecessors, that album was a gateway drug into what now turns out to be an even wilder and murkier milieu. GGD’s fifth album and first for 4AD, Eye Contact opens with the 11-minute “Glass Jar,” a freewheeling mass of synths, cymbals, and high moans that withholds the beat far beyond the halfway mark. The song also contains a key clue: a man’s voice declaring with Sheen-like clarity (and/or inscrutability), “It’s everything time.” While Dymphna divvied up the band’s influences over ten identifiable songs, here their entire spectrum of styles gets blasted constantly, each track bleeding into the next. Eastern scales, New Age haze, jungle drums, and druggy rave effects create a dense aural whirl that assumes solid form only briefly: Lizzi Bougatsos keening like a Bollywood star gone dancehall (“Chinese High”); the C+C Music Factory crescendo of “Mindkilla”; and the fantastic “Romance Layers,” with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor lounging on a bed of house-inflected ’90s R&B. So, Gang Gang Dance are back to testing boundaries. For them, it’s a return to the future. -Spin

Panda Bear – Tomboy [2011]

Posted in neo psychedelia,psychedelic pop by deek on April 6, 2011

At the end of 2009, if you glanced at a rock critic’s “best of” list, Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion was probably on it. The album followed what had been 10 years of recording and touring for the band, but soft-spoken member Noah Lennox took the newfound success in stride. “I think one thing that helped us is that we had kind of a slow build,” Lennox tells Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. “It wasn’t like we were playing to 10 people and then suddenly we were playing shows of 20,000 people or something like that.” Another thing that might have helped: Lennox was far, far away from the limelight. A few years ago, he moved from his hometown of Baltimore to Lisbon, Portugal. Lennox also records as a solo artist under the name Panda Bear. His third album, 2007’s Person Pitch, also landed on many year-end lists, and his fourth, Tomboy, comes out this month. Lennox says Tomboy has a darker feel than much of his past work, due in part to his work habits in the basement studio where he recorded it. “There are no windows, so every day I would go in there and turn off the lights and have my gear set up,” Lennox says. “You can’t help but have the atmosphere and environment come out in what you’re doing.” Lennox’s music, both as Panda Bear and in Animal Collective, is dense and filled with soaring refrains, which he creates using sequencers, synthesizers and many layers of vocals.”I like to think of it like salt and pepper — you put these weird little sounds in there to spice up the song,” he says. “I’ll often think about making music and making food. I’m a terrible chef, though.” Tomboy also sports another trademark of Lennox’s catalog: a cavernous sound heavy with reverberant echoes, much like those that occur naturally in the churches of Lisbon. Lennox says he’s always been attracted to those big, hollow tones. “These stone buildings that have really high ceilings … it’s always been a type of sound I’ve been drawn to,” he says. “I kind of slap it on everything, unfortunately. Music just sounds really good to me in that kind of space.” – NPR

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker [2010]

Posted in neo psychedelia by deek on December 8, 2010

Tame Impala hail from Perth, which boasts of being the most isolated city in the world. Innerspeaker suggests it’s so isolated, in fact, that no new music has reached it since 1969: it’s a perfect recreation of the point in English music just before psychedelia tipped over into heavy rock. So while Kevin Parker’s voice is washed to the back of the mix, sun-faded and affectless, bass and drums are beefy and propulsive. The balance between the two is kept by the chunky, fuzzy guitar sound, a perfect copy of that odd combination of weediness and heaviness that characterised much UK psych. That means Tame Impala struggle with originality – Alter Ego and Solitude Is Bliss could have walked straight off a Nuggets compilation – but they’ve concocted such a dreamily enjoyable debut that complaining about their fidelity seems pointless. Their principal vice is one they share with their inspirations: a tendency to woolly self-indulgence. As Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind enters its eighth minute, for example, an impatient listener may well be wondering Why Won’t You Come to an End? -The Guardian

Warpaint – The Fool [2010]

Posted in dream pop,neo psychedelia,shoegaze by deek on October 27, 2010

Emily Kokal’s singing — backed by bandmates Theresa Wayman and Jenny Lee Lindberg, and awash in reverb — could be mistaken for something ghostly, if Warpaint’s sound wasn’t so vitally alive behind her. Unwilling to coast on the pure beauty of the vocals on The Fool, this all-female quartet builds thick, muscled songs that Kokal’s otherwordly voice beds down in. These songs are expansive without sounding bloated, and noisy yet sharp. In fact, it’s in the pure strength of its noise that Warpaint shows us something new. These musicians know you don’t need to amp up the distortion to be noisy, and you don’t have to make everything blur at the edges to expand. All the songs here clock in around five minutes and build with a skilled patience. “Set Your Arms Down” and “Warpaint” ride on insistent beats while riffs thread clear paths through the track. The guitars often sound watery here, soaked in chorus-pedal effects, but they never lose their precision. Instead, their clarity cuts effectively through the smooth glide of the vocals and atmosphere of keys. The results, particularly in the album’s first half, are both beautiful and subtly heavy. These songs wear on you in the best way, luring you in with simple elements and then burying you deep in the details. “Now I’ve got you in the undertow,” Kokal sings, with a dangerous seduction, on “Undertow” and you can’t help but concede. Because when that song launches into a lean, funky groove, it’s both left-field surprising and completely organic. Similarly, the electro-pop start of “Bees” yields to a flurry of post-punk angles, while “Shadows” starts with humble folk and blows up into industrial-sized drums and Kokal’s shouts like a banshee. Warpaint builds a musical world in which there are no borders between this sound and that one. The band jumps around, indiscriminately, and we go along without looking back. In its intricacy, The Fool is a curiously eccentric pop record. But in its sheer power, it’s also a dynamic rock record. And while things do settle down in the second half, the band members don’t lose sight of their strengths. Sure, “Majesty” is long on the atmosphere of this record without ever earning its own pulse, and closer “Lissie’s Heart Murmur” is a little slow to get going. But next to them, you have a ballad like “Baby,” which, for once, holds onto its fragile start and it works as a counterpart to all the sound-stacking that goes on during the rest of the record. In the end, The Fool’s success comes in not cutting corners. No moment here settles for the cheap thrill, and in building these songs — carefully,and each with its own distinct materials — Warpaint comes off as an awfully confident band, one you should be listening to more often. – prefixmag

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today [2010]

Posted in lo-fi,neo psychedelia,psychedelic pop by deek on October 23, 2010

Ariel Pink (born Ariel Marcus Rosenberg on June 24, 1978) is a Los Angeles based experimental/pop musician. Pink boasts a cult following and endorsements from more widely known artists such as fellow founding Paw Tracks group Animal Collective. After years of recording in relative seclusion in the hills of Los Angeles, Ariel Pink (the first non-Animal Collective member on the Paw Tracks roster) made his official Paw Tracks debut with The Doldrums. Recording at home with a guitar, bass, keyboard, and 8-track (the drum sounds were created with his mouth). Ariel Pink blends Lite FM and warped lo-fi pop into something by turns beautiful and confusing. Some may find his personal yet detached approach highly addictive, while others may be instantly turned off by the obvious lo-fi production and the vocal drumtracks. -last.fm

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest [2010]

Posted in dream pop,indie rock,neo psychedelia,psychedelic pop,shoegaze by deek on October 3, 2010

The Atlanta-based quartet’s fourth album combines calm shoegaze pop and noisy punk rock to create a dreamy, psychedelic sound.

of Montreal – False Priest [2010]

Posted in funk,indie pop,neo psychedelia,psychedelic pop,soul by deek on August 14, 2010

Let no one say Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes is not adventurous. After releasing one of the decade’s wildest psychedelic pop albums in Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, Of Montreal followed it up with 2008’s Skeletal Lamping, which was released on just about every format you can think of. Recently, and worked on a song for a Nick Jr. comp for Yo Gabba Gabba! For False Priest, Barnes went into the studio listening to Parliament/Funkadelic, which he plans to combine with the psychedelic work of his previous material as well as ’80s No Wave. While Barnes has a tendency of making such preposterous statements, he usually backs it up with solid recordings, which is more than can be said for most of his peers -prefixmag.

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The Apples in Stereo – Travellers in Space and Time [2010]

Posted in indie pop,neo psychedelia by deek on March 23, 2010


The Apples in Stereo is an indie pop band, from Denver, Colorado, co-originators of the innovative Elephant 6 Collective, a group of bands that initially included Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control but also includes Elf Power, The Minders and Beulah. They are best known for their bright, catchy lyrics and 60s pop/rock sound that often provokes comparisons to The Beatles, ELO and The Beach Boys. Their major influences include The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys.

Yeasayer – Odd Blood [2010]

Posted in electronic,neo psychedelia,psychedelic pop by deek on January 7, 2010

Blind Man’s Colour – Season Dreaming [2009]

Posted in neo psychedelia,psychedelic pop by deek on December 26, 2009
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