A trip around the world…of psychedelia

psychedelia_by_011art-dn2np0 (aroundthesound.com.au)

It was the British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond who came up with “psychedelia,” from the Greek words for “mind” and “manifest.” The term has since become associated predominantly with music.
                                                  — Rob Young, “How psychedelia transformed pop culture,”
NewStatesman.com, 8 Sep. 2015 (a review of Rob Chapman’s book Psychedelia and Other Colours)

Let’s proceed to do just that and associate the term with music, but rather than focus on the half-century-old 1968 stuff, why not explore what’s been coming out more recently, say since the 1980s. The style and spirit that drove the creation of bands like Iron Butterfly, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Moby Grape, and songs like “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Itchycoo Park” and “See Emily Play,” has continued – and has morphed and re-morphed to include sounds spanning the far-reaches of the musical spectrum, from punk band Bad Religion’s formation of Seeing Eye Gods to the colorful dance beats of Red Red Groovy. And from the far-reaches of the globe: Melody’s Echo Chamber from France, Australian group Tame Impala…and the Flaming Lips who hail from someplace called Oklahoma City. So drop a tab (or just spin around really fast with your eyes closed and then stare at the image at the top of this post, or better, the one at the bottom), and let’s board the Lysergic Express…


Dukes-25OClock (chalkhills.org)

25 O’CLOCK – The Dukes of Stratosphear (1985)

Starting off in Swindon, England, with an XTC alter-ego album originally intended as an April Fool’s joke. This 6-song EP actually outsold the “regular” XTC record at the time, The Big Express. No (big) surprise! And check out that cover. Pick hits: “My Love Explodes”, “Your Gold Dress

The clock strikes 25 now


The-Seeing-Eye-Gods-Cover (thebrpage.net)

THE SEEING EYE GODS – The Seeing Eye Gods (1985)

Welcome to California! These guys sprang out of L.A. punk band Bad Religion in 1985, led by Brett Gurewitz, with this obscure 5-song gem. Including a cover of Status Quo’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men”! Pick hit: “Psychedelic Suzy

Impossible to find! Take it from this guy


redredgroovysmall (fallingblog.double-knitting.com)

25 – Red Red Groovy (1993)

From the astral planes of Minneapolis, witness the formation of obscure dance-rock trio Brett (another one) Edgar, Mike Hill and Lori Larson. The B-52s and Happy Mondays meet Ray Manzarek in a sunny park in the late 60s. And more dazzling cover art! Oh and what’s this with the number 25? Pick hits: “The Time Has Come (To Go Out of Your Mind)”, “Another Kind of Find

The time has come to find out more


TheFlamingLips-Yoshi (organissimo.org)


Off to Oklahoma City and legendary indie darlings the Flaming Lips. Here’s their tenth (out of 14!) album, with the inspirational “Do You Realize??” and the, uh, psychedelic? (ya think?) “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell.” Become engulfed in their otherworldly sounds driven by frontman Wayne Coyne’s gorgeous falsetto. Pick hits: Those two.

And there’s lotsa weird stuff on the band’s website


The-Sunshine-Fix-GI (amazon.com)

GREEN IMAGINATION – The Sunshine Fix (2004)

Meanwhile, down south…the side project of Louisianan Bill Doss, founder of Athens band the Olivia Tremor Control. This was his second release as the Sunshine Fix…and album-cover-wise, better (and freakier!) than the first, Age of the Sun. Sadly, Mr. Doss passed away in 2012. Pick hits: (not many individual song postings so, the whole album!)

Check out this nice piece at treblezine.com


Melody's-Echo-Chamber (melodysechochamber.bandcamp.com)

MELODY’S ECHO CHAMBER – Melody’s Echo Chamber (2012)

Back across the pond to Aix-en-Provence, France, it’s Melody’s Echo Chamber, formed and fronted by Melody Prochet and produced by Kevin Parker of Australian band Tame Impala. Pick hit: “I Follow You” Also check out her latest from forthcoming album Bon Voyage, “Breathe In, Breathe Out.”

More Melody for you courtesy of Fat Possum Records


Temples-Sun-Structures (templesofficialuk.bandcamp.com)

SUN STRUCTURES – Temples (2014)

Hopping over to Kettering, England, say hello to a Schizomusica favorite, Temples, and their debut album Sun Structures. James Bagshaw, Tom Walmsley and friends conjure up possibly the most 1968 sounds to be heard in the 21st century. Their 2017 release, Volcano, was reviewed here. Pick hits: “Shelter Song”, “Sun Structures”, “Mesmerise

Visit the temple of Temples


Tame-Impala-Currents (amazon.com)

CURRENTS – Tame Impala (2015)

Ok, now we’re gonna hafta leave you on the other side of the world in Perth, Australia…and the aforementioned group Tame Impala. Currents is definitely a landmark modern psych creation, with another album cover to stare intently at! Pick hits: “Disciples”, “Reality in Motion

Read more here at curiously-named beardedgentlemenmusic.com

Well, I guess the only way to get home is the old-fashioned way: close your eyes, tap your heels together, and…wait for the acid to wear off.

Psychedelic (kmuw.org)


Images courtesy aroundthesound.com.au, chalkhills.org, thebrpage.net, fallingblog.double-knitting.com, organissimo.org, amazon.com, melodysechochamber.bandcamp.com, templesofficialuk.bandcamp,com, kmuw.org


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s