In episode 6 of Unknown Pleasures, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke heralds the return of some unsung heroes and unearths yet more Scandinavian talent as well as psych-pop’s next great hope.
It seems like psychedelia’s everywhere at the moment, from the clamour that surrounds this week’s Psych Fest to the surge in appeal that’s met Goat, Temples and their ilk. The downside though is one as old as time – that as the genre peaks the soundalikes and rip-off merchants inevitably descend, an original sonic avenue becoming ever more evasive.
Colorado’s Sunboy are a band to be savoured then, if only for the fact that psych-pop groups so refreshing are growing ever-harder to come by. The duo breath life into their sound on new track A.B.C.D.N.A. by virtue of an infusion of off-kilter dance, from breathy samples to the St. Vincent-ish second synth line that meets the introduction of the vocals it teems with idiosyncrasy, and though it rests on a now commonplace base this is a track that’s anything by numbers.
Speaking of originality, jangle-poppers The June Brides were true progenitors of the Smiths-led 80’s explosion. Formed in 1983 they were a key influence on a young Morrissey, with names like The Manic Street Preachers and Belle & Sebastian still citing their love for the London group.
The band never quite reached the dizzy heights of their raft of imitators, and their 2012 return recieved little attention, a crying shame considering the quality of new EP She Seems Quite Free, their second since reformation. Like their 80s material it’s a joyous listen, clean, playful guitars and their signature coy trumpets returning in force to reaffirm their boundless influence.
Last of all Swedish synthers Grapell are making melancholy waves on a recent run of stellar singles. Amid their recent releases Shaping My Love is the strongest, a tender and restful affair until a misty-eyed closing crescendo, while brand new outing Best Friend rests firmly on delicate harmony and a rich, nostalgic aesthetic, and is the title track of an upcoming EP,out October 6.
The Stockholm duo, long-time friends Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygårdh perhaps have more in common with America’s current synth-pop generation – the likes of Phosphorecent for example – than many of their countrymen, but though the Scandinavian slant might be lacking it’s at yet more affirmation of their country’s current abundance of talent.