Browsing Tag

60s Psych Pop

Cooper Walker gives us a 60s soul ‘Fix’ in his standout release.

Pop, jazz and blues entwine in the debut album from LA singer-songwriter and multi-instrumental artist Cooper Walker. His intoxicating mash of vintage guitars,  crooned vocals and uplifting piano chords will send you right back to the 60s while providing the ultimate proof that music contemporary music *can* hold a candle to music from iconic eras.

His modernist spin on sounds of the 60s is best enjoyed in the standout single, Fix, which is just as instantly cathartic as The Zombies, as sultry as John Mayall, and carries the sonic power of the Rolling Stones.

Walker’s infallible talent is one thing, the soul that is spilt in his debut album is quite another. You couldn’t ask for a better playlist staple in these dystopic times.

Fix, along with his debut 15-track album, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Life gave James Sebastian lemons, and he made Lemon Sunshine.

60s psych-pop and 70s rock collide in the latest single to be released by the Exeter-based newcomer James Sebastian. ‘Lemon Sunshine’ is a stridently impassioned single that is viscerally flooded with raw vocal emotion but the dreamy vintage tones of the consistently ascending instrumentals take all of the sting out of the vocal defiance.

If you can imagine the point where the Beatles and the Stone Roses meet in the middle, you’ll get an idea of the kind of refreshing nostalgia James Sebastian is serving here. Lyrically, Sebastian delivered the ultimate post-breakup track that captures that bitter-sweet moment when you’re reminded of your own power and make no bones about taking it back.

Lemon Sunshine is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Phony Bedtime left us in a haze with their indie psych-pop single, Sundays.

Any fans of The Zombies will find themselves instantly enamoured by the hazily blissful tones in the standout indie psych-pop single, Sundays, from Phony Bedtime’s self-titled sophomore album.

Starting with gentle accordant guitars, intricate percussion and the low reverberating hums of the basslines, Sundays is as easy as breathing to slip into. Once the ethereal vocals drift into the bright and melodious soundscape, your soul would have to be defunct not to be captivated by Phony Bedtime’s sticky-sweet candour. Not every band can get away with being on the twee side of indie pop, but Phony Bedtime could give Neutral Milk Hotel a run for their money.

Sundays is now available to stream on Spotify along with the rest of the album.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

James Sebastian tells us like it is in ‘Love is only Love’

James Sebastian

70s rock revivalist, James Sebastian, is set to release his psych-tinged single, Love is only Love’, which sees his vocals consistently switching from choral 60s psych harmonies to raucous rock n roll affectionate proclamations which makes the single the perfect balance of fiery and sweet.

With his main inspirations listing Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Harry Styles, the 20-year-old Drama and English student’s diverse sound is sure to resound with pop, rock, indie and psych fans alike. He’s one to watch.

Check out James Sebastian on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lee Smythe raises a smile with ‘It’s Me’

How to describe Lee Smythe; well, if there’s a word somewhere specifically for that  anachronistic blend of quirky indie vibe perfection and total mainstream pop hit, then that would be a starting point to jump off.

‘It’s Me’, the follow-up to recent EP ‘King Of Cups’, is exactly that – something indescribably great that doesn’t quite fit into any pigeonhole you might have set aside for it. In the same vein as artists like the Urban Voodoo Machine, The Great Malarky, or the Jim Jones Revue, Smythe seems to straddle stylistic boundaries without ever really even noticing they’re there – part old-time London pub sing-along, part indie-pop cool, part alt-jazz musicality.

There’s touches of Daniel Powter, Jamie Cullum, and Harry Connick Jr. in here, but all with a mainstream pop take, and some cute-as-hell little vocal asides-to-camera; it’s just catchy as hell cool-as-fuck indie-pop awesomeness, and it’s absolutely grin-inducing.

Perfection in 4 minutes 12 seconds.

Check out Lee Smythe on Spotify and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Take an Avant-Garde Psych Rock Trip with Chase Hagerman’s single, ‘Scarlet, Crimson, Purple and Blue’

‘The Rainbow Opus’ is the ground-breaking debut album from the up and coming, classically trained psych-rock artist and producer Chase Hagerman. Through each single, the Californian artist brings kaleidoscopic colour, yet, ‘Scarlet Crimson, Purple, and Blue’ is irrefutably the best introduction to Hagerman’s eccentric post-punk-tinged style.

Starting with a cutting and angular intro that wouldn’t be out of place on a Legendary Pink Dots single, the entrancing feat of psych-rock smoothly shifts into a sonic smorgasbord of avant-garde psych-pop, post-punk, 70s electronica. By mixing light accordant tones with harsh fuzzy synth notes, immersing yourself in Scarlet, Crimson, Purple, and Blue is as close as you will get to falling into a rabbit hole aurally.

The Rainbow Opus is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

La Palma drop a ‘delightful mix of dreamy old-school’ with Nostomania

While many of us over the last twelve months have either been burrowed down and tucked quietly away or fighting the desperate urge to flee our houses and go somewhere – anywhere – else for a while, nostomania’ is an intense homesickness, an irresistible, almost pathological compulsion to return home. There’s a beautiful, folky melancholy yearning to the references to California, underpinned by some rolling, resonator guitar-style picking and soft, delicate vocals. The track has an old-school, 1970’s California hippie vibe, something that would be utterly at home in the ‘commune’ section of the Easy Rider soundtrack or sitting on a playlist between Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Fraternity of Man. It’s evocative of a time and a feel, but also of dust and sunshine and a nostalgia and pining which seems perfectly suited to the current Covid-19 rootlessness and ennui.

La Palma released their self-titled debut album in 2019; ‘Nostomania’ is taken from their forthcoming follow-up, ‘Moonflower’, a delightful mix of dreamy old-school indie-folk, psych-pop, and dashes of 1960’s stoner and surf-rock. It’s submersive, expressive, and uplifting; a perfect sunlit antidote to lockdown, locked-up blues.

‘Moonflower’ is released on the 1st April. You can check out La Palma on Facebook and via their website.

Review by Alex Holmes

D. Marin Perez – Los Angeles: 60s psych pop-tinged blues

D. Marin Perez

Through exposure to the Beatles and Mormon hymns in their formative years, Cuban-American singer-songwriter, D. Marin Perez’s signature sound is laden with soul so strident it practically shimmers.

“Los Angeles” is the first single to be released from their 2021 album ‘Change Is’. Their infusion of 60s psych pop, accordant Americana, blues and soul unravels as a burst of visceral sun-bleached optimistic-in-spite-of-awareness-suffering euphoria.

With vocals as tender as Elliott Smith’s and instrumentals which find their roots in old school blues, Los Angeles is a track which blossoms as a compassionate snapshot of the trials and tribulations of modern living without allowing you to be depressed by them. You may just find yourself with a renewed sense of gratitude and purpose to invoke positive change once Los Angeles has faded to a close.

You can hear by heading over to Bandcamp or the artist’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Tapples created a convergently timeless hit with their indie jangle pop-rock release ‘Where You’ve Been’

Massachusetts six-piece, The Tapples, has garnered plenty of local hype since making their debut with their 2019 EP ‘Bus Recovery’, with their most recent indie jangle pop-rock release ‘Where You’ve Been’ they’ve proven that their convergently electric sound oozes international appeal.

With a touch of Rolling Stones-style swagger to the guitars, punchy bass growls, rancorous percussion and nuances of 60s psych pop to the high-energy vocals, Where You’ve Been pulls together a myriad of different styles and eras to create a timeless hit which will always be happy to feed you aural ecstasy. These may be dark and trying times, but there’s no amount of ennui which the fuzz-laden optimistically sweet track can’t dissipate. Take my word for it.

You can check out Where You’ve Been by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Do The Jimmy Jimmy, and The Ballad Of Tin Shaker

Beatles-y, Kinks-y, Small Faces-y, harmonious, sixties-mixed-with-nineties, classic indie-influenced pop-rock, ‘The Ballad Of Tin Shaker’ is a glorious, catchy pop song in the absolute best sense of the words.

Hailing from the small town of Claymont in the state of Delaware in the US, Jimmy Jimmy, and his new seven-track album ‘Do The Jimmy Jimmy’, is proper, lasting singer-songwriter americana-influenced pop with a delicious, laid-back hook that worms its way into your head and stays there. Relentlessly. And refuses to leave again.

Try it. Go on. And tell me that you’re not still wanting to be a ‘tin shaker’ by this time tomorrow.

Check out Jimmy Jimmy here, and watch the video for ‘The Ballad Of Tin Shaker’ on YouTube now.

Review by Alex Holmes