4 Aug 2015
Reviewed by Dedric Moore (Monta at Odds)
I'm always hesitant when I read that what I'm hearing is from a studio session and not a band, but I love bedroom-lo-fi solo artists like Morgan Delt. I think that what makes me anxious is when songwriters work via email, their output can become overworked and overplayed. That is definitely not the case with Croatian psych trio Pridjevi though. This release is a cohesive effort that brings to mind classic chill artists like Bonobo or Blue States or the revered early 18th Street Lounge releases, especially with the jazz overtones appearing throughout. That doesn't make Pridjevi sound dated however, merely an observation as to how they can immediately capture a vibe that is familiar but fresh, straight from the opening bars of the first song, "Ako Je".
What is especially exciting is the sense of exploration, which gives the songs an extra layer of depth. There is also a great confidence that comes through in the songs which shows that the songwriters know what they are doing is working, and you can't fake that. There are swells and builds at the right moments when things could potentially get repetitive, and they know when to end, leaving you wanting more. "Pjesma O Drvecu" is an acoustic driven head nodder that has soul and the right amount of drive courtesy of a great bassline and a fuzz guitar that bounds into the mix right on cue.
We've all heard hundreds of "psych" acts now, with revivals at least one time each decade since the 60s. "Ubila Sam Cvijet" is a perfect example with its acoustic riff, guitar drone, and skittering drum pattern that just keep on moving.
Pridjevi sounds relevant and vintage at the same time. It is also an album that demands your attention. And it earns it through a combination of reverb covered female vocals, acoustic guitars, harpsichord, pounding bass, jazz grooves and a very European-cool vibe. Though intriguing, this description realy doesn't do justice to what your ears will experience. "On Je Jesen" swings heavily with an off kilter piano chording which melds with angelic vocals to sound like a tune from the new "Twin Peaks" TV show.
The album flies by and I've gone through 8 out of 9 songs while writing these few paragraphs. That is how easy it is to get lost in listening to these gems. It's rare I come across an album that makes me stop and just wait to hear what's coming next.
Again, this album has "VIBE" that goes for miles and hypnotic vibes with excellent musical performances that drive on and on into the reverb drenched night.
LP and CD out August 7 from Trouble in Mind Records.