Friday, April 17, 2015
The Belltowers on Market Square Records
I honestly don't think I can think of anyone as single mindedly committed to the '60s psych pop sound as Paul Messis. It's one thing to have the ear and technical skill to pull off flawless updates like he has on his own full length records but now he's started a label and released records from contemporary artists working in the same paisley nostalgia on Market Square Records. His dedication to the reexamination of the sound of that era has got me rereading Jim Derogatis' Turn on Your Mind and tracing this experimental/super produced period into today. The Belltowers out of Orlando, Florida are taking that double hollow body jangle, tight snare precision and bass into a future psych that's drawing on those influences in completely authentic ways. Of course the four of these guys play a huge variety of instruments according to the liner notes, which is just about required for this sound.
A-Side's "Here To Stay" lets that acoustic slowly set the hazy parts per million ratio and expand the cloud right into a verse vocal piled with harmonies and doubled up takes, leaning towards the same '60s period Neil Young. An organ peeks out of the mix before a couple of solo's with decidedly new millennium effects, but they weren't ever setting out to be a cover band. "This love is here to stay." That's more like it, I equate this foggy bliss with the hypnotism that comes from that connection and this song takes those classic groundwork and relevantly expands on those ideas dropping you into the head over heels sound of first dates and the sun coming up.
B-Side's "Lovin' You (Leading Me On)" opens with that high treble shiny guitar line alternately picking and strumming into the opening verse from Paul Mutchler but I'm a little worried about their being taken advantage of. This far out psych shouldn't be about this downer side of love right? It figures that they're so dedicated to this sound they've missed the signs, blindly falling for it. The instrumentation of this mind altering sound is always complex and a twelve string lays down a foundation rhythm while the tambourine shakes in multiple time signatures. Thomas Miller on drums has that perfect frantic skittery energy for this mid tempo groove feeling like it's leading the rest of the track waiting for the melody to catch up, jabbing triple time fills at every turn. I'm getting a massive "Turn Turn Turn" vibe from this too. Multiple layers of harmony and talent.
Pick this up from 13 O'clock records here in the states. They're carrying a ton of great releases across the board from The Young Sinclairs to The Ar-Kaics, practically the entire catalog of just plain good psych.