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MORGAN DELT

The invocation of classic west coast psychedelia that permeates Morgan Delt's Sub Pop debut LP feels like a continuous sunrise, never concealing its influences yet perfectly putting its songs through a gauzy lens that blurs and obscures. Is such a thing even possible after witnessing umpteen reverb-jockeys creating their own take on the genre? Can anything truly different be done in the realm of being both original and reverent, wearing favorite records and artists' moves on one's sleeve? Definitely the case with our man here. After releasing a 6-song cassette in 2013 followed by a full length for the Trouble In Mind label, the California native now fine-tunes his sound world outwardly rather than honing in on a specific trajectory, allowing all of said influences to coexist together in a unique yet undoubtedly Californian vision.

The resulting 10-song collection, performed entirely by Delt, recorded in his Topanga Canyon studio, and mastered by JJ Golden, is a home-fi construction with a more subtle, brain-tickling character than its predecessor, and somewhat reflects a realist take on the flower power fantasy of 1967. Doused in echo and haze, slow chords lap in like Pacific waves, flanked by gentle whispers of multi-tracked, cooing vox, phased guitars and fuzz that calmly surrounds the listener's head less than it jabs at the cortex.

The great thing about Delt's approach to such history is (and sorry to sound harsh) that unlike too many of his so-called L.A. psych-rock peers, there's no costume involved, no application of a conjured identity to match a specific image. He's no psychedelic Civil War re-enactor, so to speak. It's subtle and tactful revisionism without using psychedelia as a crutch/easy marketing tool and letting the sounds come out and make their own case.

It takes a creative mind to make psychedelic rock music – tablas, drones, hallucinatory vocal effects, and all – without slipping into cliché, but Delt can transport what would normally be a dark-n-druggy blanket into a much more optimistic and friendly listening experience. Despite his voice being channelled through hallucinatory effects, it's warm and inviting, projecting a sense of hope (particularly in “Some Sunsick Day,” which evokes the hopeful “We'll Meet Again” as the world explodes at the end of Dr. Strangelove, later covered by the Byrds). It's more or less just an invite to watch the sun rise too. -Brian Turner, WFMU

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Hazy Late-60's tinged psych on the newest LP from hippie music maestro Morgan Delt. Swirling whirs of analogue synths, torn speaker-fabric fuzz and twangy guitars intersperse with sunny blissed-out guitar and delayed falsetto vocals. Mellow, warming summer feels. Lovely.

Andy says: I loved Morgan's debut but this ups his game tenfold! Still with that fuzzy, warm, home-made feel, but so much deeper and better and with stronger songs all round, this is the perfect soundtrack for your hazy Indian Summer.

TRACK LISTING

I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside
The System Of 1,000 Lies
Another Person
Sun Powers
The Age Of The Birdman
Mssr. Monster
A Gun Appears
The Lowest Of The Low
Escape Capsule
Some Sunsick Day

"Psychic Death Hole”, the ultra limited 6 song cassette released early in 2013 introduced the world to Morgan Delt’s self-produced, genre-bending flavor of brown acid-dosed flowerdelia. Equal parts 'Odyssey & Oracle’ and ‘Parable of Arable Land’ Morgan Delt ’s debut self titled album expands on those initial tracks and brings forth one a fully realized glimpse into the California native’s twisted brain.

Morgan cites influences from Curt Boettcher to West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and rounds it out with golden age Sunset Strip heavies like The Byrds and Love. It’s all in there; obsessively studied, mastered and then mutated. Side one opens with the one/two punch of ‘Make My Grey Brain Green’ and ‘Barbarian Kings’ blasting apart 40 years of pop-psych and stitching it back together in a way that is both familiar but also refreshingly new. ‘Beneath the Black and Purple’ soars with a chiming guitar grumble right out of "8 Miles High" & “Chakra Sharks” squirms it’s way out of the speakers like a snake - oiled up with the stink of not only what came before, but what’s happening NOW. The drums pound hard and heavy, while the backups “la-la-la” all over your noggin like a Frankenstein version of The Flaming Lips & Thee Oh Sees. Each track worms it’s way into your brain and takes hold.

The finale ‘Main Title Sequence’, is all Stu Phillips-worship, right out of the soundtrack to your favorite 60’s cult classic with it ’s angelic backing vocals and lilting tremolo lead but somehow still buzzes with a modern current. As Morgan so keenly described his notion on the current state of genre bending music “I think we’ve become unstuck in time and everything is going to happen all at once from now on.”

RIYL: Flaming Lips, Thee Oh Sees, Curt Boettcher, Red Krayola, Byrds, Love, White Fence.

TRACK LISTING

1. Make My Grey Brain Green
2. Barbarian Kings
3. Beneath The Black & Purple
4. Mr. Carbon Copy
5. Obstacle Eyes
6. Little Zombies
7. Chakra Sharks
8. Sad Sad Trip
9. Backwards Bird Inc.
10. Tropicana
11. Main Title Sequence


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