Looking to uncover some new tunes? Here's our resident music expert Matt Dyson's new monthly column, to help you explore the latest from the left-field.
What is The Modern Music Masterclass? It’s a journey – one in which we’ll help you unearth the gems in the digital record shop that is Spotify. Each month Vodafone’s resident music expert Matt Dyson will dive into a genre and pick out three emerging, new or upcoming groups that you’ve probably never heard of, but should have. This month? It’s time to expand your mind with some modern Psych Rock wonders. Over to you Matt…
Despite spending nearly two decades of my life searching out and writing about music, I still do what nearly everyone does when they go into that rare museum piece, the record shop: I gravitate to what I know and cling onto it for dear life, before slowly drifting out into the unknown. With digital music it’s even more daunting as we’re shot out into cyber space, haplessly typing in whatever bands give us a fix of nostalgia, hoping something new materialises.
But don’t worry, I’m here to give you a monthly anchor to new and little known bands that you can track down on Spotify – to save you hours, perhaps lifetimes, navigating the vast and hugely diverse library of music that is Spotify.
This month it is all about Psych Rock bands. What is Psych Rock? Written words don’t exactly do it justice, but if you like terrifying, dirty rock n’ roll imploding in a Kaleidoscope of mad-invention you’re probably in the right place. The same applies if you quite like Tame Impala.
Here are my top three picks for 2016…
First up are Night Beats. These Texan counter-culture underdogs channel a pulsing, literate 3am trawl through America’s southern hinterland. On their latest release, ‘Who Sold Our Generation’, their groove-heavy experiments with dark, strung out guitars riffs have become a laser-precise shot of thrilling subversion. There’s a clear link to ‘60s forbearers like the 13th Floor Elevators but under the gentle whip-crack of BRMC’s Robert Levon Been, they’ve made a new blue print to blow minds and say more with music – rather than fetishizing a reproduction of their grandparents’ music scene.
No Cops by Night Beats
2. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizards
That’s right. You heard me. I’m not making it up. That’s what they’re called. And why not? After all, if you were in an ultra-inventive, Psych band from Australia it would make perfect sense. Imagine Tame Impala with cabin fever, feverishly releasing a dust storm of creative ideas over a giddying eight albums in six years. In that time they’ve gone from fuzz-heavy guitars and sitars, to a saccharine, warped pop take on krautrock – and now on Paper Mache Dream Balloon, they have settled on a pastiche of hip ‘60s lounge music. Only more deranged and infinitely more danceable.
Trapdoor by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Sure, Goat have been around for a few years, but if you are going to write about the most subversive and inventive new Psych bands online, it would be mad not to mention this mysterious collective of be-masked Swedish voodoo freaks. On World Music and Commune they seep into your consciousness like Funkadelic sound tracking Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with a mad, shamanic dance of almost orchestral proportions. If Bobby Gillespie went on an extended vacation he would almost certainly be swaggering through the tropics, shaking maracas to this.
Let It Bleed by Goat:
Stay tuned for more… Matt will be back with a new Modern Music Masterclass next month. In the mean time, why not check out the amazing science behind Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists?