Nasoni Records LP / Digital
I won't deny it - Sky Picnic are one of my favorite modern psychedelic outfits so maybe I am a little biased, but "Paint Me A Dream" is a total winner. I'm such a big fan of their last album "Farther In This Fairytale" (reviewed here) that I was semi expecting my high expectations for this album to lead to a little disappointment - "Paint Me A Dream" does have some mighty big boots to fill after all, but I couldn't be happier with the results.
I'll address the elephant in the room - Sky Picnic do worship unashamedly at the alter of Pink Floyd, but as the Floyd have "matured" into a bunch of stuffy old grumps who'd rather fly model airplanes than revisit (except Roger) or indeed add to the impressive catalogue of their youth, I'm okay with this.
It helps that Sky Picnic seem most enamored with the more interesting and adventurous side of the Floyd's work too, with "Saucerful of Secrets" and "Echoes" in particular often coming to mind.
Chris Sherman is the secret to the band's success in this listener's opinion, effortlessly evoking not only the lyrical slide guitar work of early David Gilmour, but also the more unhinged textural scrabblings of Syd Barrett - two very different styles that really shouldn't mix as well as they do here.
He's no slouch on the keyboards either and digs out a fine selection of vintage sounds that add immeasurably to the period charm. "Dream Yourself Away"s mellotron sound is particularly heavenly.
The rhythm section are very impressive too, with the interplay on the epic conclusion of "Slumber's Gate" yielding particularly satisfying results.
And while "Freakout Ethel" does comes across as an affectionate tribute to "Careful With That Axe Eugene", anyone who'd be foolish enough to suggest that they don't have any of their own tricks to add would be ignoring among other things, the circular guitar riffery of "Aurora" and the memorable pop-friendly hooks of lead off single "Rippled".
Form an orderly queue and pre-order here.
Check out "Rippled" below :