12 Sep 2013

Shadow Folk "Seagull Visions" Review

Now this was a very pleasant surprise indeed, which I stumbled across while having a quick browse through Bandcamp albums tagged "psychedelic pop".
Proof that the old adage "you don't get something for nothing" is not entirely true, I downloaded this particular something for exactly nothing, and something it surely is, something else even.
Hailing from Nova Scotia, this four-piece see themselves as a rock n roll band (at least that's how they label themselves on Facebook), and far be it from me to suggest that they have a distorted self image, but what I hear is prime psychedelic pop with a distinctly English tinge, specifically that of the era where bands were abandoning their beat and r&b roots in favour of full blown flower-power pop with unpredictable and often spectacularly exciting results.  This just happens to be one of my favorite eras, so this was a very welcome surprise to me.
Welcome surprise number two was that aside from the period trappings which they have down pat, these lads write incredibly tuneful songs with choruses that ensure that at least the first three tunes here are single-worthy endeavours and the sort of thing that would stand out impressively on a "Rubble" compilation.
"Kensington Hill" combines a propulsive "Revolver" riff with a hazy psychedelic chorus, while "In The End" distills the psych pop elements of Kaleidoscope or if you fancy a more contemporary comparison, Sky Picnic into an achingly winsome pop nugget. Add an effective Indian raga detour, and a rather lovely pastoral folk tune, and it becomes clear that not only are these guys pining for another time, but that they'd also have done rather well for themselves in that time.
Highly recommended if you hadn't worked it our for yourselves.
Available on cassette via the bandcamp link below, or as a "name your price" digital download. Perhaps you could alleviate some of my free-loading guilt by making a wee donation when you download? Thanks very much.

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