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.

Arvio: Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology (2019)

Tutustuin Turun Ilmiö-festivaaleillekin heinäkuussa saapuvaan lontoolaiseen Vanishing Twiniin pari kesää sitten Optical Sounds -zinen sivuilla. Zine oli noteerannut lupaavan yhtyeen Dream By Numbers -EP:n (2017) vahvan biisimateriaalin ja sitä edeltävän Choose Your Own Adventure -debyyttilevyn (2016).


Nyt Cathy Lucasin perustaman englantilais-japanilais-ranskalais-italialainen kokoonpanon läpimurto on ovella: The Age of Immunology -levyn (Fire Records) psykedeelinen pop soi runsaasti, kauniisti ja inspiroivasti, eikä vähiten soittajien monipuolisen taustan ansiosta. Kappaleet soljuvat aina eteläamerikkalaisista rytmeistä (KRK (At Home at Strange Places) letkeään kesäilta-wahitteluun (loistava Magician’s Success) ja ranskalaisen avant garden maisemiin (Lucasin ja huilisti-perkussionisti Elliott Ardntin maagisesti vuoroin laulama Planète Sauvage).

Punainen lanka silti on ja pysyy vahvana. Orgaaninen, ambient-vaikutteinen ja yksityiskohtainen soitto taikovat sadunomaisen valtakunnan jonnekin maallisia murheita ja mitättömiä kaunoja korkeammalle. Brexitit ja Englannissa yleistyneen ulkomaalaisvastaisuuden aikana Vanishing Twin kaataakin tyylikkäästi rajamuurit ja soittaa niiden raunioilla soljuvia psykedeelisiä melodioita.


Soitto on taitavaa – kuunnelkaa vaikka italialaisrumpali Valentina Magalettia – mutta suurin maagikko on bändin nokkanainen Lucas, jonka rauhallisissa vokaaleissa on ainutlaatuista alkemiaa niin duurivoittoisissa vedoissa kuin Backstroken kaltaisissa kummitusjameissa.

Lucasin laulua värittävät osittain tapahtumat ennen Lucasin syntymää. Kasvaessaan äitinsä vatsassa Lucasin kaksoissisaruksen alkio imeytyi osaksi tätä sikiön resorptio -nimisessä ilmiössä. Resorptiolle tyypillistä on se, että eloonjäänyt kaksonen saattaa tuntea syyllisyyttä sisaralkionsa kohtalosta. Tieto tapahtuneesta on vaikuttanut Lucasiin ja yhtyeeseen aina bändin nimeä myöten.

The Age of Immunology on noteerattu laajasti eurooppalaisessa musalehdistössä. Ilmiö veti kiinnostavan ässän hihastaan kiinnittämällä esiintyjäkseen tämän nousevan psykedeliabändin.

//Mertsi

Vanishing Twin Ilmiö-festivaaleilla Turussa 27.7.

Picture: Elliott Arndt

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!