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“We will admit to a bit of heightened curiosity about the ever-curious lo-fi, alt-folk, slightly loony “master of the idiotically cosmic” (Rolling Stone) Devendra Banhart. The few months of dating Natalie Portman, the new signing to major label Warner Brothers, the bizarre photo spreads…well, we’re in hippie-meets-hipster Devendra-land where just about anything is possible. Banhart’s seventh album What Will We Be arrives next week (October 27) and follows up his remarkable 2007 project Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, a disc that The Boston Globe described as a “trippy collection (that) spans Brazilian Tropicalia, ’60s psychedelia, classic rock, blissed-out pop, gospel…a ridiculous range of styles, but one that works under Banhart’s expansive, expressive umbrella.”

Recorded at a makeshift home-studio in California with Banhart and Paul Butler (Band of Bees) producing, What Will We Be features backup from Noah Georgeson (guitar and vocals), Greg Rogove (percussion), Luckey Remington (bass and vocals), and Rodrigo Amarante (guitar and vocals). Alternately hazy and dazy, the curiously affecting What Will We Be could be more aptly titled What Will Be Will Be as Banhart and crew careen from one style (and musical decade) to another, from Spanish lullaby to trippy folk to doo-wop chorus to piano bar sing-a-longs to ramshackle, 60’s rustic folk/rock all delivered with Banhart’s quavering croon in tow.” -press release


Devendra Banhart – What Will We Be (2009)

fuck you pitchfork ratings, who could give the new weezer a 4.5 and this a 4…? fucking corporate idiots… this owns, y2k+ Weezyer blows and retroactively almost ruins pinkerton for me…


cass mccombs

“Cass McCombs works quietly. Over the course of three full-lengths and five years, McCombs has quickly slipped in and out of scenes, skipping from one major American city to the next like he owed stacks of cash in every one. He’s played with folk, grafting bedroom pop flourishes to sonic skeletons just strong enough to support them. He swam through 1980s Brit jangle and deep chasms of reverb. No matter how much mileage he accrued, one constant held firm: His lyrical shell games often kept listeners at arm’s length, regardless of how well-crafted and inviting his melodies were. McCombs’ songs were addictively opaque– easy to hear, tough to digest, and even more difficult to describe to your friends over beers.

…on Catacombs, his fourth full-length and most stripped-down effort to date, the singer-songwriter steps out from behind the curtain that’s cloaked his work in the past. And despite the sparser arrangements and increased focus on direct lyricism, it’s every bit as aurally hypnotic as his previous work. It seems like he realized there was someone he really did want to sing to. ” -p4k review


brain-melting, spaceship-powering tribal tr(d)ance jams from the future / adrenaline pumping, ear purging slab of towering, pristine noise / swirling atmospherics and percussive gunfire / ‘rarely have two men sounded so much like the end of the world’ / new wave of intelligent, literate British pop music / iridescent synths, psychedelic drone, distorted vocals and tribal rhythms

smith westerns
“their music rides the line between charmingly novice and tunefully infectious. With loosely structured songs that are laid out in modern, disenthralled take on frat rock, they bang out songs that are as fun and as they are disheveled”

“The Smith Westerns are an anomaly: a bunch of garage-rockin’ teens singing about how badly they want to get laid. Sure, it’s a cliché, but the way these guys do it you’d think it was 1965, when romantic yearning over power chords was still fresh and exciting. “Oh girl, I wanna take you home,” lead S-Dub Cullen Omori croons earnestly over a wistfully swaying guitar line. He’s vulnerable, yet confident: young, and with nothing to lose. The idea sums up their existence as a band, too, cranking out songs and having some fun, letting the chips fall where they may.” -p4k Track Review

riyl : wavves, strange boys, ‘twee-fi’


“Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and Miles (Ra Ra Riot) have combined their talents to create a R&B/synth-pop album that relies heavily on vocoder vocals, synths, and jittery beats. I dare you not to nod your head along as blips and bleeps mix perfectly with a surge of synths on “Osaka Loop Line,” or to try and ignore the excellent remix of Ra Ra Riot’s song “Can You Tell” retitled as “Can You Discover.” As is the case with most collaborative bands, Batmanglij and Miles had some help from their friends on LP, including a guest appearance by Dirty Projectors singer Angel Deradoorian on “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig on “Carby”. Other highlights include a great cover of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and Hot Chip-esque repetitive vocals and twinkling beats on “It’s Not My Fault (It’s My Fault).”

– reminds me of Passion Pit v2.0 mixed w/ some hardhouse electro + kanye autotuned vocals + lots of sweet tempo chops and synth breakdowns… i heard it called a new Postal Service, but i dunno if its that epic…


“The San Francisco six-piece’s self-titled debut full-length album, strikes a balance between the psych-fried blur of the California sun and an amp-crackling, four-chorded garage basher.”

“Coming from San Francisco’s Castle Face Records (home to Ty Segall, John Dwyer/Oh Sees, and more), it’s gotta be gritty. Thus the few examples of aimless garage rock, though evocative, don’t pack much punch. The real moments of bliss on this debut, and there are many, skew toward tuneful, demented pop, recalling Lou Reed, Roky Erickson, and retro contemporaries like Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.” –

“…the sound is deceptively sweet when you listen to the lyrics about shady friends, nuclear disasters, and demons in your head. Taking influence from acts ranging from 13th Floor Elevators to Tall Dwarfs and Swell Maps, the band’s lo-fi, lysergic sound is haunting, crossing borders between folk, garage, and slanted pop”