Archives for posts with tag: Psych pop

Michael SavageMichael Savage resides in Perth, Western Australia. It’s half a world away from NZ, but his bio includes a Dunedin link: “…expansive, emotional jangle-psych-pop – think a triangulation of The Lucksmiths, The Zombies and The Clean.”  He released his third album “Won’t Die Wondering” last year. Here’s the atypical “To Be Loved” as a Psychedelic Sunday shoegaze treat.

The album is co-produced by Ricky Maymi of Brian Jonestown Massacre, and while there’s heavy psych factor, the album is a varied collection, packed full of lush, crafted, skilful psych-pop and a few dreamy shoegaze trips like “To Be Loved” here with it’s infinite delay wash.

The opening track and “To Be Loved” are a slightly misleading introduction though. After the saturated sonic wash of these two shoegaze-psych songs the album takes on a more varied range of styles with a surplus of melodic hooks.

Overall, the album takes a Sparklehorse (or Michael Penn, if anyone who remembers him) via late period Beatles/ Badfinger/ Zombies style approach to pop-craft, even down to the levitating McCartney-esque bass-lines here and there. There’s loads of acoustic and electric 12-string, a bit of rotary-speaker effect on the vocals here and there to add colour and character to the songs.

Savage is recording a 4th album at the moment, so now’s a good time to check out his back catalogue to prepare yourself for his next release.

Agua VivaMoving gently away from ambient instrumental soundscapes but still staying in outer space, here’s some top-drawer “Pop misterioso y tropical”  from Beunos Aires, Argentina. Hard to pick one song from this but the opening track “Menino do Rio” is as appropriate a place as any:

The mysterious and tropical pop of Agua Viva’s album “Piece of Water” is almost entirely performed by Josi Arias who plays guitar, keyboards, electronic drums and sings.

“Menino do Rio” (river boy in Portuguese) here is vaguely reminiscent of the kind of dreamlike woozy psychedelia explored on Connan Mockasin’s “Forever Dolphin Love”

This opening track is not fully representative of the whole album so give the whole sequence of songs a listen as there’s some fine noisy psychedelia throughout – like this Paisley Pop standout “Hardly Move” –

[Thanks to The Autumn Roses music blog for the discovery!]

Photo: Georgia Schofield

Photo: Georgia Schofield

Auckland DIY band/ artist Wormstar has just released one of the albums of the year via Bandcamp. here’s the perfectly brilliant “Whatever keeps You High” from it.

If you liked what Alex G has been releasing in the US this is several times better for me. There’s a beautiful woozy fuzz and jangle combination going on with heart-ache melodies.

The songs channel as much of the charming hesitancy of The Pastels – So Stale (You’re The Icebreaker) a good example of that – as they do the DIY splendour of Alex G or the more angular American pop convolutions of Pavement or Speedy Ortiz.

But the songs also fit within the weird-pop universe inhabited so wonderfully by my favourite Australians The Stevens. On early listens it’s up with “History Of Hygiene” for catchy and quirky earworm jangling pop. For example – “Spring Steps” here:

This is the kind of album some enterprising label ought to be bringing to the world in all formats pronto. It has the character to travel far and make a lot of friends. Give it a listen and some love and “hold on to whatever makes you high”

Listen to a short inteview with Alex of Wormstar here on Radio NZ Music 101.

hans pucket
This Wellington (and ex-Christchurch) trio have just (today!) released the fabulous “Stranger” ahead of a new EP.

“Stranger” is rather sumptuous and perfect psychedelic pop. There’s a little bit of Super Furry Animals in the perky perfection of those melodies, the voices, the way the instruments fit together and the vivid cartoon colours of the recording and production here.

The song is also likely to appeal to fans of Connan Mockasin’s “Forever Dolphin Love” album and Split Enz circa “True Colours”, just to give it some more local reference points.

It’s a huge step up from their promising but loose and roughshod debut. That had songs hinting at a loopy garage psych-pop potential but “Stranger” goes beyond anything they may have hinted at.

There’s a cool short interview with them here done for The Wireless and featuring a live song recorded at a house party.

Hans Pucket play at Chick’s Hotel on Friday 21 August with Shunkan. Well worth checking out if you are in the vicinity.