Psychedelia is back, and this time it’s telling you to take a step back, breathe, and look at the bigger picture.
At the mention of psychedelia it’s impossible not to think: Jefferson Airplane, LSD, Hippies…the list goes on. Sure it’s all been done before back in the 60s. That was psych back then, and to say the genre ‘is back’ boldly suggests the same thing is happening again. Sorry to crush any dreams folks; it’s not and it never will.
But, and this is one big but, psychedelia is making a comeback in popularity in a whole new way; this time, we’re being told to stop stressing and start living. Take a look around you, and see what really matters; who really matters. So, to keep it concise, this article is a handful of songs, each from a different album released from 2015 onwards. Whack them on loud and you won’t regret it.
- Tame Impala is the elephant in the room here; released in 2015 their ‘Currents’ album adopts a zen acceptance of ‘what will be, will be’ – not to forget some addictively seductive funk. With a catchy repetition of lyrics in “Eventually” Kevin Parker sings about a break-up, knowingly reassuring, “I know that I’ll be happier, and I know you will too” before pausing to emphasise the influx of synth and lingering lyric, “eventually”. There’s an understanding that things will get better, wait it out, be patient and all this will pass.
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra attacks from an entirely different angle but with equal funk, way more clapping percussion and so many keyboard variations it won’t get old in a rush. ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’ again, released in 2015, gets across the need to constantly be checking social media, refreshing pages, counting likes. The looped lyrics only emphasise Neilson’s seeming attempt to break the cycle, to stop checking his phone, but the cycle doesn’t break and the lyrics keep going round.
- Levitation Room: ‘Sometime soon this generation / is going to see its own reflection’ Julian Porte sings in upbeat, beach boys-esque tones. ‘Strangers of our time’ is a call for our generation (the millenials) to stop being a stranger to all the things this planet has to offer; institute change, grab opportunities and just get out there. For those who love the Beatles, the Kinks and 60s psych pop, this ‘summer of love’ styled approach might just be one for you.
All the programming couldn’t break us
Exponentially heightened power
We’re essentially one being
All the programming couldn’t tear us
From eventually building tightly
We’re essentially one being
- The song, ‘Nuclear Fusion’ is as whacky as the album name suggests, the lyrics, though, are decisively in tune with the mood of the moment. It’s not necessarily an easy listen; that doesn’t make it any less worth a listen. There’s a need to restore faith in our humanity; with the world being a undeniably scary place to live in currently, we need to stand together. ‘Programming’ can’t break us, and nor should we be fed what to believe; have faith in yourself and others. ‘We are essentially one being” King Gizzard repeats; it’s hard not to feel there is a subliminal message here.
- Elephant Stone‘s 2016 single, like Tame Impala’s ‘Eventually’ embraces change, ‘Where I’m Going’ understands, “nothing ever lasts forever”, make of this what you want, ultimately, the good and the bad will both pass. Everything you’d want from psych groove, this song has an other worldly feel about it with some trippy keyboard synths thrown in for good measure.
If this kind go music is your thing, hit the playlist below and give us a follow for some old and new psychedelic tunes [Spotify username is: lily.draper if you have any difficulty with the link]. Otherwise, to keep you in the know, the above bands can all be found on Facebook for tour dates and new album releases. Enjoy.
Feature Image is by artist Leif Podhajsky, click on this link to take a look at his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/leif.podhajsky.artist/