Best psych albums of 2019

As Leo is focused on our next Spotify theme playlist, Mertsi chose his top psychedelic albums, gigs and curiosities of the fine year 2019. Thanks to all great bands, psych festivals (especially Manse Psych Fest and Helsinki Psych Fest) and fellow bloggers from this year!

Mertsi’s best psychedelic albums – top 10 (in random order)

10 000 Russos – Kompromat
Incredibly powerful, machine-like yet vivid display of cold war kraut, as I took the liberty to call it in my review and interview of this brilliant Portugese trio.

Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology
This masterpiece takes you afar, mesmerizing with a spectrum of music styles all the way from French avant-garde to groovy soul psych and fairy tale -like spoken word, each mastered by this skillful group. I got to see Vanishing Twin in my home town Turku’s Ilmiö Fest, but the 40-degree heat at the venue seemed to take some toll on them. Still, one of my favourite records. Read my album review here.

Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
I don’t care how psychedelic this is or isn’t (it isn’t), but this rich, beautiful, strong album with progressive and classic pop elements deserves to be on every list I could make about 2019. Lead vocalist Natalie Laura Mering is out of this world.

Various – Reverb Conspiracy Vol Six
This compilation introduced me to so many bands around the world I wasn’t familiar with (including Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Nice Biscuit and Julia Robert), while celebrating currently strong names like Nest Egg and Psychic Lemon.

Various – Self Discovery for Social Survival
This summery and colourful soundtrack was created as a collaboration of psych musicians, film-makers and surfers. Dungen warms up the beach folk and Peaking Lights leads the evening party, to name some bands involved. Read my article about the record here.

Psychic Bloom – Mysterious Temple
I found this band recently and instantly felled in love with its classical neo-psych [sic] sounds. This band gives it touch to international psychedelia from Tehran, Iran, but the songs stand brilliantly on their feet even without this empowering fact.

Ghost Funk Orchestra – A Song for Paul
Groovy, dancing psychedelic funk with fuzzy and mysterious, retro-ish sounds – gotta love it. Walk like a Mother Fucker for me is one of the tracks of the year.

YĪN YĪN – The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers
Speaking of dance music, this psychedelic funk band from Switzerland nailed it as well. Oriental influences such as Thai guitar work sweetly in the band’s cosmic groove.

K-X-P – IV
The Finnish kraut-psych-electronic-ambient group returned with a bang – and a beat, for the orchestra include a drummer contrary to the album’s predecessor. IV only consist of three songs, two mega-long ones and a shorter piece, and they are all powerfully hypnotic.

Centrum – För Meditation
This is a calming, intensively psychedelic record, skillfully controlled and meditating from the first sound to last. As we very well know in Finland, Swedes are great in everything and psych rock is not an exception.

Bonus Categories

Best Gig: Kingston Wall by JJylli, Kuoppis & VHB at Logomo
Seeing Kingston Wall, for me the greatest psychedelic band in Finland of all times, with it’s two living members combined with Von Hertzen Brothers, was a dream come true. I was just a kid when the band was in prime and its front man Petri Walli still around.

Best psychedelic single: All Them Witches – 1×1
As you read the list to the very end, you’ll find some adrenaline useful.

Self Discovery for Social Survival – Surffin ja soundin liitto

Nyt on uskomattoman hyvältä näyttävä, kuulostava ja tuntuva konsepti: surffauksen ja soundien ainutlaatuinen yhdistelmä.

Mexican Summer -levy-yhtiö ja Pilgrim Surf + Supply -brändi tuottivat yhdessä elokuvan, jossa muusikot ja huippusurffaajat jakautuivat porukoissa surffikohteisiin ympäri maailmaa. Yhtyeet, joihin kuuluu Connan Mockasinin, Allah-Lahsin, Peaking Lightsin, Dungenin ja MGMT:n Andrew VanWyngarden kaltaisia nimiä, tulkitsivat soitollaan surffaajien liikettä sekä ihmisen ja luonnon yhteyttä tavalla, joka saa ainakin trailerin perusteella niskakarvat pystyyn. He loivat soundtrackeja surffaukselle, aalloille ja luonnolle Meksikon, Maldiivien ja Islannin surffikohteissa.

54-minuuttisen leffan on ohjannut Chris Gentile. Soundtrackia voi ennakkotilata mp3- ja LP-muodoissa, ja se ilmestyy leffan ensi-illan aikoihin 14.6.
Lisätietoa niin ikään maagisen hienolta leffan kotisivulta.