Thursday, 27 January 2022

Ghost Dance Collective - Dream Yourself Into The Real World

Released: 1 May 2021
Label: _
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Ghost Dance Collective, from Edinburgh, are a recent discovery for me. Their album, from last year, passed me by at the time. It was quite overlooked which is why I am reviewing it now. The record is a lost Psych gem and managed to make my top ten of 2021   

The opening song 'Tears in her Eyes' is very 60s sounding, recalling The Byrds. It has a wonderfully uplifting chorus with Summery vibes.  'Means That Much To Me' is a heartfelt ballad with hints of Americana, which brought to mind Crosby Stills and Nash.   

Other highlights include 'Here Comes The Rain' which is more Summery jangle with strong pop hooks. 'Green is The Colour' is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground and gloriously melodic. 'New Worlds' is another standout and instantly memorable guitar pop. 'Kaleidoscope' is moody and atmospheric with some impressive guitar work towards the end.

A hugely enjoyable listen, especially if you love The Byrds/60s Psych. Highly recommended.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Armstrong - Happy Graffiti

Released: 11 Jan 2022
Label: Country Mile/The Beautiful Music
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Armstrong (Welsh Songwriter - Julian Pitt) was the first ever Artist to be reviewed here, back in 2019. He returns with a new album, after the sublime 'Under Blue Skies', which is also well worth a listen if you haven't already!  

The new album demonstrates more superbly melodic and sophisticated guitar pop. Opening song 'Disinformation' is heartfelt, with a soaring chorus. The sound vaguely recalls The Beach Boys, with the harmonies. There are also hints of 80s with The Pale Fountains and Aztec Camera.  

Other highlights include 'Songbird' which is a beautifully moving ballad, which brought to mind some of the quieter moments on Teenage Fanclub's Grand Prix. 

'Wondering Where The Time Goes' is wonderfully melancholic, with wistful lyrics - "I'm dreaming 'bout the old Cafe. Thinking how the times have changed. Friends whose lives were once entwined. Who'd have thought those days would end."    

'Happy Someone' is more upbeat and catchy, with some lovely melodies. 'Rock Star Rock Star' is jangle pop at its finest and instantly memorable.

A superb album of well-crafted songs, full of melancholy. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

The Small Breed - Remember A Dream

Released: 1 Oct 2021
Label: Bickerton Records
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Dutch Psych band - The Small Breed are a recent discovery for me. Their new album is full of wonderfully melodic and catchy guitar pop gems.   

The opening song 'Remember A Dream' is reminiscent of early Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett, with some surreal lyrics. It is superbly produced, sounding like typical Baroque pop of the 60s.  

My favourite here is 'Wanda Your Angel', a heartfelt folk song which for me was an emotional listen. It is very stripped back with some lovely vocal harmonies and flute playing. There is a child-like innocence to it too, which I love so much in music.   

Other highlights include 'She's So Lovely' which is more upbeat and brought to mind Sgt Peppers era Beatles. The sublime 'To Another Land' has more memorable melodies with Summery vibes. It ends on the brilliantly surreal 'The Man Who Lost his Consciousness of Time' which demonstrates some superb storytelling.

A hugely enjoyable listen, especially if you love 60s Psych/Baroque pop. Highly recommended.