Psychedelic picks of 2021

Hi all,
this time we won’t list ”best” psychedelic albums or singles – instead, here’s a hand-picked collection of fine and interesting music recommendations without any grades or positions.
Hope you enjoy these mind-expanding beauties as we have done – and, let’s hope for a good and better year 2022.
//Mertsi & Leo

Great psychedelic music in 2021

Acid Dad – Take It From the Dead
There’s a feelgood factor to Acid Dad’s music. Their music videos are a shamelessly great burst of tongue-in-cheek psych clichés with your retro colors and over-the-top green screen effects, and their invigorating psychedelic rock sounds good and fresh.

Acid Rooster – Irrlichter
You simply can’t have too many bands named ”Acid [Something]”, can you? Irrlichter by the Leipzig trio Acid Rooster is an instrumental four-song psych platter full of cosmische delicacies.

Jane Weaver – Flock
It’s once again a groovy, stylish, energetic and glittery psychedelic pop album by the lovely Jane Weaver.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000
What would my lists be without good old King Gizz? But seriously, they just keep finding new colors and new influences, to produce (quite literally) tons of exiting music. While I personally wasn’t the most fanatic fan of their K.G. (2020) and L.W (2021) duology, I found Butterfly 3000 very organic, adventurous and catchy. It’s filled with synth programming and MIDI sequences (just listen to 2.02 Killer Year and tell me those synths don’t give you goosebumps), differing from most of their previous work, and they have one again put effort and creativity in the album’s vinyl pressing and distribution.

Mt. Mountain – Centre
One more band that has featured in our lists more than once, the Australian group Mt. Mountain crafted yet another smoothly hypnotic, aesthetically powerful psychedelic album in Centre. I love Mt. Mountain’s style, listening to them is like lying on a velvet blanket under a tree and watching leaves dance in the sky.

Hilary Woods – Feral Hymns
Genre-wise, Feral Hymns by Hilary Woods probably slots more to an ambient/drone departement, but let’s not let dull genre limitations play any role here. Feral Hymns is a powerful album that builds an atmosphere of something dark and primal like nothing I’ve heard in a while. As the artist herself puts it: ”A collection of hymns set at dusk. Speckled memory, dust, earth, grit, ritual and chant – purged in the shadows.”

Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime
If you’re into Tuaregi blues sounds like Tinariwen, you’ll surely enjoy this flowing, balanced and rich-in-sound new album by the Niger-based Mdou Moctar. It has a lovely beat to it and the Tuaregi instruments form a perfect alliance with psychedelic guitar sounds.


Naxatras – Journey to Narahmon
If you’re into space rock with trippy neo-psychedelic influences, Greece’s own Naxatras is worth checking out. Their new album ”IV” is out on February and the banger psych-prog-spacerock single Journey to Narahmon implies it’s going to be a powerful one.

OSees – Chem Farmer / Nite Expo (LEVITATION sessions)
I haven’t listened to that much of Oh Sees (or any of its aliases), but this piece from Levitation Live Sessions is just so packed with punk rock / psychedelic garage energy, so masterfully mixed that I can’t get enough of it. Those two drum sets, phew.

Bonus pick: Frekvenssi
Cross-country skiing under warm Spring sun with headphones playing well-hosted radio show about experimental music. What could be a better combination? Frekvenssi, launched in 2021 on Finnish National Broadcast Yle, explores ”experimental” in music from different genres. Frekvenssi also covers live music events, and one episode was dedicated to Le Guess Who? 2021 festival in the Netherlands. Listening to it raised a great deal of enthusiasm to be there and cycle back-and-forth different festival venues with endless amount of cool gigs.

Frekvenssi on Yle Areena (Hosted in Finnish, but playlist included in show description.)

Main picture: Mdou Moctar

New psych albums you need to hear

Hi all. Sorry for not posting for a while. I would normally insert the usual ”been doing this, been doing that” babble here but even for once that would be an understatement as I now have a 6-month old baby girl. In any case, I thought I’d share some psychedelic picks from recent weeks and months. Enjoy!

//Mertsi

Garcia Peoples – Nightcap at Wits’ End

This is the finest album yet from the New Jersey group. It ventures from jamming rock’n’roll to progressive and even space rock – Altered Place reminds me of British folk rock of the 1970’s. Crown of Thought is a lovely track: it has that sort of jamming, changes of pace and bursting solo parts that make you nod without realizing it yourself.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – K.G.

The kings are back. They recently published a live LP and two digital albums, of which K.G. is my favourite. Some nice tunes here!

The Vacant Lots – Interzone

For me, Interzone by Vacant Lots must be one of the most coherent psych albums of the year. It’s a delicious mixture of synth pop, post-punk, disco and krautrock – it’s like getting hypnotized at a night club dance floor. No wonder Interzone was published by the all-mighty Fuzz Club.

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata

I’m really glad to see Dark Buddha Rising is starting to get the praise it deserves from psych heads outside Finland as well. Finnish “Dark underlords of psychedelic drone” are here with their 7th album and it’s a powerful one. Take Uni (Finnish word for a dream) for example: it’s like a tentaculed monster drags you to black abyss of a freezing sea but when you catch your breath, you realize that you can breath underwater, and with guidance octopus-like abomination, you now effortlessly discover secrets and beasts of the depths, depths that you just moment ago thought were horrendous but now find their ancient beauty.

For all you garage freaks: Bones Shake

Now I know many of you are space heads and not really into garage / rock’n’roll sort of stuff, but I just love the fuzzy energy of this Manchester group. I hope my destiny is one day to hold an Unwell 7” in my grasp and play it from my DJ booth around 1AM.


Picture of Dark Buddha Rising: Maija Ajomo

Still thirsty for great new psychedelic rock music? Follow our FRESH PSYCHEDELIA Spotify Playlist to hear music that’s still hot from traveling the atmosphere!
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/32xazUuEUeD3Nsz0LfXNzo?si=SzUIUmh4QQmvqU9iPZFacQ

FRESH PSYCHEDELIA: Update #15

Spring has mostly been bright and beautiful in Finland, and inspiring neo-psychedelic rock is the way to celebrate it. So much new music!

Our latest picks to FRESH PSYCHEDELIA Spotify Playlist, the constantly updating list of 100 latest great psych songs, include bands like Garcia Peoples, Cosmonauts, The Murlocs, Domboshawa, Steeple Remove, Janne Westerlund, FEWS, HOTT MT, TAU, Vanishing Twin, Tähtiportti, Death Hawks, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation, K-X-P & Pekko Käppi, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dream Syndicate, Hurricane Heart Attacks, Paisiel, Gnoomes, Derya Yildirim + Grup Şimşek, Kap Kap, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Stonefield, Jacco Gardner, Centrum, Rudolf Abramov, Green Seagull and Death and Vanilla.

Pic: K-X-P

Subscribe to the playlist and enjoy psychedelic treasures while they are still hot from traveling through the atmosphere! 

FRESH PSYCHEDELIA: Update #7

First of all, warms thanks to all 30 subscribers of our FRESH PSCYHEDELIA playlist!
We’re excited with our recent additions to the list. There’s a bunch of new music:
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, 10 000 Russos, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Helicon, Sonic Jesus, Gypsy Sun Revival, Mt. Mountain, MGMT, Psychic Lemon and Wooden Shjips. Enjoy.

Subscribe to the playlist and enjoy psychedelic treasures while they are still hot from traveling through the atmosphere!

Arvio: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Murder Of The Universe (2017)

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English summary below the Finnish text.

arviokorvat_3_tahtea

Uutuuslevy Murder of The Universen myötä australialainen King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard on julkaissut peräti seitsemän kekseliästä levyä vuodesta 2011 alkaen. Lisää on tulossa – yhtye aikoo julkaista jopa viisi levyä tämän vuoden aikana.

Äsken kauppoihin saapunut MOTU ylsi Australiassa levymyynnin kärkisijoille, kuten edeltäjät Flying Microtonal Banana (2017) sekä Nonagon Infinity (2016). Se on erittäin huomattava saavutus yhtyeeltä, joka yhdistää räjähtävään psykedeliaansa elementtejä garagesta, progesta, surfista, jazzista ja metallimusiikista.

Seitsemänjäseninen, kahdella rumpalilla soittava bändi osaa erottautua. Se on muun muassa kuvannut 360– ja Facebook live -keikat, jakanut Quarters-levyn (2015) neljään täsmälleen 10:10 pitkään kappaleeseen, luonut liikkuvan Gizzfest-minifestarin ja rakentanut humoristisista musiikkivideoista tunnistettavan kuvamaailman. Yhtye pyrkii tarjoamaan yllätyksiä, aina kotisivun ensinäkymästä lähtien.

Oli oheistoiminta miten erottuvaa tahansa, King Gizzard on noussut psykedeelisen rockin huipulle sähköisellä, leikkisällä soitollaan, jonka tukipilarit ovat etevä jamittelu ja räiskyvät, mahtavat melodiat.

Noihin elementteihin nojaa myös uutuuslevy, joka on jaettu kolmeen osaan. Kuten levyllä Eyes Like the Sky (2013), kertoja puhuu läpi tarinoita, vuorotellen solisti Stu Mackenzien laulun kanssa. Quartersin tai Float Along – Fill Your Lungsin (2013) valloittavaa jamittelua tai ilmavaa melodisuutta ei kannata odottaa, vaan Murder Of The Universe on tiukkaan tykitettyä, komptaktiksi purkitettua konsepti-psykeprogea.

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Ensimmäinen osa, The Tale Of The Altered Beast, kertoo hirviön ja tämän kohtaavan ihmisen yhdistymisestä. Kertoja Leah Seniorin hurjan hirviöstoorin kehystää King Gizzardin huimaan tempoon kiihtyvä soitanta. Musiikki on virheetöntä, mutta hitusen yksioikoista. Säveltäjä-sanoittaja Mackenzie on turvautunut korviinpistävän usein “Altered beast, alter me” -parteen. Ensimmäinen osa on kiivaudessaan kuin nyrkkeilymatsin ensimmäinen erä tai futispelin ensiminuutit, jossa varoitetaan tulevasta – ei vielä rakenneta huipennuksia.

Toinen osa, The Lord of Lightning vs. Balrog, käynnistyy hivelevästi The Reticent Raconteurin mongolialaisella kurkkulaululla taustoitettulla folkahtavalla melodialla, joka pilkahtelee esiin läpi tarinan. Ensimmäistä osaa melodisempi fantasiatarina kertoo kahden suuren voiman kohtaamisesta tyylillä, joka sopisi scifi-animaation sähköaseilla käytävän kyborgisotakohtauksen taustamusiikiksi. Progehtava soitto on parhaimmillaan varsin oivaltavaa, ja mukana on ykkösosaa tunnistettavampia riffejä. Rallissa häiritsee Mackenzien ja Seniorin eri tavat ääntää “Balrog”. Virhe antaa levystä hieman hutaisten tuotetun olon.

Kolmas osa, Han-Tyumi and the Murder of the Universe (yllä osa kokonaisena musiikkivideona), on luvuista rikkain ja tyylikkäin. Kertojana ei toimi Leah Senior, vaan online-tekstinlukijabotti, joka kuulostaa uskomattoman päheältä – kuin vanhuuteensa näivettyvältä goottikartanon viimeisteltä perijältä.
Tarina kertoo Han-Tyumi-kyborgista, joka kehittää tietoisuuden ja alkaa tavoittelemaan ihmismäisiä taitoja (kuten oksentamista). Sehän ei hyvin pääty, ja levyn nimi Murder Of The Universe alkaa valottua. Kolmas osa on edellisiä monipuolisempi ja hengittävämpi, ja se julkaistiinkin “sinkkuna” kuukausia muita osia aiemmin.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard on ainutlaatuinen ja taitava yhtye, joka jatkaa MOTU-levyllä tunnistettavaa tyyliään ja huikaisevaa julkaisutahtiaan. Levyltä kiireellisyyttä ei ole täysin onnistuttu karistamaan, eikä sen takia kellarijamittelu-taustainen yhtye pääse täysin oikeuksiinsa. Erityisesti Ambrose Kenny Smith ei koskettimineen löydä tilaa päästä mittoihinsa, kuten ei lead-kitaristi Joey Walkerkaan.

Puutteista huolimatta Murder Of The Universe on kunniakas lisä King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizardin monipuoliseen levykattaukseen. Varsinkin albumin näyttävien musiikkivideoiden myötä yhtye herättää entisestään epäuskoista uteliaisuutta: miten bändi aikoo ehtiä tekemään tämän kaiken vielä kolmesti tänä vuonna?

Maailmassa riittää loistavia psykebändejä, mutta markkinoinnissa ja yleisönsä sitouttamisessa yksi niistä tuntuu olevan omaa lajiaan.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard is not only one of the most colorful, flawlessy jamming and experimenting psych bands of our time. The Melbourne band is also a master in engaging and marketing their own uniqueness, constantly surprising their fans with different video formats, strangely addictive humorous music videos and publishing records in breath taking pace.
Their latest album,
Murder Of The Universe, consists of three fast-paced, psych-prog concept stories, two of which are narrated by singer-songerwriter Leah Senior and one by an online web reader, which sounds fantastic. Music itself is guaranteed crazy-action and precisely played tempo rock – despite the technical quality the music is not flawless, however. It is not as airy and breathing as the more jamming, perhaps more carefully finished albums of the past (such as Quarters or Paper Mâché Dream Balloon), perhaps due to the incredible quickness the band is producing records this year.
The third part, the best and most versatile of the lot, finishes the album that is a nice addition to
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s impressive discography. And also, no one can listen to the music without thinking how on Earth are they going to make this three times again this year – and thus engages the listeners once more.