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perjantai 24. elokuuta 2018

Octopus Syng - Victorian Wonders

Mega Dodo

At the moment, Octopus Syng is one of the most well known psych rock / pop bands from the Finnish underground. Jaire Pätäri started it as a solo project at the end of the last millennium and I've been a follower since the first releases in 2000. When Jaire moved to Helsinki we became very good friends and I've also helped on the lyrics and done some backing vocals on a couple of tracks so my opinion can be a bit biased... But I just love Jaire's music!

On Victorian Wonders Jaire turns the controls of his time-machine even bit farther in history than on his previous album. During the recording sessions for Hollow Ghost / Rochelle Salt he was mostly obsessed with the early 20th century vibe (as well as avant-garde and yé-yé pop of the early 60s France) but now the main emotional influences came from the 19th century romanticism and mysticism. Musically the album still draws from 60s psychedelic pop, rock and folk music, of course.

As always, there are eleven tracks on the album (the master number in numerology) and the wonderful cover art is done by master Pätäri himself. Jaire recorded and mixed the album and plays quite a lot of the instruments but the album also features the whole Octopus Syng live band as well as some guests. The most famous of the guests definitely is 60s psych legend Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope who was exactly the right person to recite a poem by John Keats (Bright Star, 1819) on "19th Century Romanticism", true trippy magic... The production is better than ever before and the hard work has really paid off. The overall atmosphere of the album is rather soft and dreamy but also dark and weird. There are no really hard, fuzzy rockers, most of the songs are slow and peaceful. There is a certain, very pleasant feel of innocence and whimsy on the more pop-oriented, melodic masterpieces like "If You Were a Flower" and "Roundabout" and some of the songs are closer to acid folk ("Let It Rain/Let It Shine", "Spider Webs"). It's really hard for me to name any favorites since I really enjoy the album as a whole. The last track "These Precious Summer Nights" that has female vocals sort of sums it altogether, anyway. This is the best Octopus Syng album so far and if you like dreamy, emotional and melodic psych it's definitely for you. Jaire has promised the next album to rock out more, so I'm already really looking forward to hear that!

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