Although it has changed a lot over the decades since its invention in the 60s and subsequent evolution in the 70s, psychedelic music keeps transporting us to faraway dimensions, and it’s here to stay. Elements of psychedelia survive in rock music, thanks to bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Tame Impala and Black Mountain. And they can also be found in the work of electronic groups, such as The Infinity Project, Juno Reactor and Etnica.
Astonishingly, just today (on 14th July 2017) a number of records with a psychedelic twist have been released: ‘IV’ by Psychic Temple, ‘Negative Boogie’ by David Nance and ‘Kinder Versions’ by Mammút. Psychic Temple is an eclectic project by composer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Schlarb, and ‘IV’ is heavily influenced by his jazz background. ‘Negative Boogie’ is Lance’s playground for experimentation. No two tracks sound the same, but what they all have in common is a touch of the avant-garde and the willingness to bring old and modern together. ‘Kinder Versions’ is a well-rounded synthesis of melodic synth pop, gothic rock and Björk-style vocals by the Icelandic group.
Little Barrie’s ‘Death Express’ came out earlier this month. The English trio have been well-known within the UK underground scene and in Japan for well over a decade, and this new release delivers more of their extraordinary brand of bluesy and psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll. Other noteworthy recent LP’s include ‘Vacation’ by young Denver-based band Cycles, packed with psychedelic guitar solos, and ‘Well Aware’ by Rollercoasterwater, an electronic project that describe their style as “abstract pop”.
Southern-style psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll group Southern Belles just released a new single from their upcoming third record. The start of ‘L.A. Moves’ could have been written 50 years ago, but then the more modern-sounding synthesizer kicks in. It’s a very nicely composed song with a progressive rock feel, and it stays true to the quartet’s unique blend of southern and psychedelic elements.
The Australian all-female band Beaches also released their new single ‘Void’ a couple of days ago. It’s a dense and masterful mix of noise punk, psychedelia and modern electronica. The ladies have previously produced two LP’s, and their third one ‘Second of Spring’ is coming in September.
With so much new psychedelic music to enjoy and even more to look out for, it seems that this is a genre that not only has survived the test of time, but has also consistently stayed at the forefront of innovation. While this is remarkable to ponder, it’s not at all surprising. After all, one of the main purposes of art has always been helping people escape, and in music no other style serves this purpose better than psychedelia.