If you like a Beatley melody, some twangy guitar, a smidgen of sitar and the odd bonkers middle eight 2013 has been a vintage year so far. The rush of new psych bands that emerged in 2012 has blossomed into a worldwide movement. And it isn’t all about 60 re-treads. Some of the new bands are clearly inspired by this mob and at the same time borrow as much from 80s bands like these and these as they are from the 60s originals.
Here then are my ten favourite psych albums of the year so far. The superb Bed Rugs and Morgan Delt don’t make the cut as their offerings are more EPs than albums. I also have thing for the new albums from Suede, Bill Ryder Jones, Still Corners and Jagwar Ma, but none are really psych enough to make the cut. And as for the new Darren Hayman album - well that is something else…
There’s loads to come too with The Soundcarriers, Len Price 3, Morgan Delt, Balduin and others all promising new albums by the end of the year. You lucky people!
3 Robyn Hitchcock - Love From London
Over the years Robyn Hitchcock has released an incredible run of albums. From the bonkers Barrett-esque psych of Black Snake Diamond Role through to the gentle acoustic musings of Eye. Surprisingly for a bloke who has just turned 60, his recent stuff has been excellent too especially the wonderful Ole Tarantula of a few years back. Love From London is yet another gem. If you have never heard him imagine a voice like Lennon, songs that recall both Barrett and Dylan, jangly guitar episodes that summon up The Byrds and The Smiths, harmonies akin to the Wilson Brothers and surreal excursions influenced by the likes of Captain Beefheart and early Steeleye Span. He is a one man Spotify of all that’s great in intelligent pop. Love From London is full of glorious pop tunes from the Kraut rock beat driven howl of Fix You through to the jangly pop of Strawberries Dress. And in the finale, The End of Time, there's a song that Noel Gallagher would trade body parts to have written. It is delivered in a wonderful Lennon-esque drawl. Had the great man still been alive and at the top of his game maybe he would be making music like this.