Jake Elijah – Riley
We may have a slightly distorted view of what the original psychedelic-rock artists specialized in. The stereotypical image of the chemically adventurous 1960s musician is a long-haired, bearded flower-child messing around with feedback and playing the same fuzzy three chords on an endless loop.
Yet, somewhere between the wild experimentation of acid-rock and the beautiful Anthems to God of Brian Wilson, sat a few interesting, talented folks like Harry Nilsson, a man blessed with an undeniable talent and not a whole lot of ambition. This made him an ideal partner for John Lennon, of course, but did not yield all the hit records the man would have deserved.
Decades from the fact, some are still paying close attention and moulding their vocals to interest, psychedelic effect. Jack Elijah, who we’ve had the pleasure to review before, goes for a sound that is equal part Club Tropicana and Syd Barret’s Christmas Holiday. Riley packs a chemical-swell of a punch.
Grace McKagan – So Lucky
It might seem like rock n’ roll is changing to a point beyond recognition. Yet, with all the development in production and eagerness to integrate the new shiny trends, certain sounds and styles remain valuable and compelling. You can’t really improve an apple pie recipe, out-punk Iggy Pop, or argue with a great garage rock number.
At the very heart of it, So Lucky by Grace McKagan is just that. The song and its accompanying visual presentation do little to step out of blueprints of classic rock but, fortunately, don’t fall into cliche either.
See, the reason why most of us are still quick to react to these kinds of formulas is because of the fact that they’ve been perfected to an almost perfect degree. The reverb-drenched guitar, the keyboard flourishers, Ms McKagan’s sultry singing about romantic encounters at high altitudes all come together to create a catchy and effortlessly delivered garage rock single.