Cornershop, the essential indie-psychedelic group of underground renown and occasional mainstream acceptance, returns with a new album, England is a Garden. The band treads softly and comfortably on sacred ground that few other bands are able to roam over.
Cornershop taking it back to 1967’s summer of love
Rock music soaked in the psychedelia of the 1967 variety is hallowed grounds for many a rock fan. The sound is often mimicked in 2020, sometimes updated. But, rarely does it reach similar heights which one suspects were in no small degree bolstered by a level of optimism, spiritual search, and farmaceutical assistance impossible to replicate in the modern age.
Cornershop is something of an institution to fans of alternative music living in Britain or who have followed that scene. While they did not achieve the success of some of their peers, such as Oasis, Stone Roses or Primal Scream, their records have always enjoyed local success.
Much more than Brimful of Asha hitmakers
Globally, they are fundamentally known for one song, the remix of Brimful of Asha, a song, that is still an essential celebratory anthem today, built around Tjinder Singh’s strummed guitar and musings about Indian celebrity Asha Bhosle.
One time Cornershop collaborator Noel Gallagher walks a similar path on his new EP, Blue Moon Rising. But, this time it’s the band that brought the world Brimful of Asha (with assistance in no small part from Fatboy Slim) that do it with a degree of ease.
Dear reader, I’m here to tell you that decades into their career, Cornershop delivers an album that is enjoyable from start to finish. England is a garden begins stirring things up with St Marie Under Canon a record so blissfully sounding that it looks downright impossible it will not accompany a montage of Wes Anderson’s most colorful scenes plastered about the internet.
“England is a garden” is soaked in psychedelic rock majesty
At nearly 50 minutes in length, England is a garden never outstays its welcome, floating in a cloud of comfortable exuberance amid songs that have been crafted masterfully. No Rock save in roll is easy-going garage-psalm a la Lessons learned from Rocky I to Rocky III, while the title track allows singer/producer Tjinder Singh room to once again experiment with the Indian sounds that have been a hallmark of Cornershop.
England is a garden is a rare variety of psychedelic album. It’s neat, comfortable and unassuming. Yet, its strength lies in the band’s candor, their well-tested bag of tricks and in the fact that decades on, Cornershop has proven there’s little to prove anymore. Rather, they revel in what they’ve had all along.
Featured image source: Stereogum.com