A Look in The Local Bin: Psychic Heat
Psychic Heat’s debut LP, Sunshower, came out last month on High Dive Records. Since then, the record has barely left my turntable. Its fuzz-warmed guitars and concise yet meandering jams are inviting and filled with hooks. Its echoing vocals stay stuck in the mind for days. Just listening to Sunshower’s single, “Elixir,” makes me want to listen to the entire album. And this interconnectedness of the songs may serve the band well as they release their first video.
“Elixir” is the third song of the album (preceded by the Black Sabbath turned hippie anthem “Anxiety Eater” and the jittering road-trip summoner “Black Radio”). Lyrically, the song sort of triangulates different manifestations of longing (whether that be romantic, artistic, or metaphysical). Musically, “Elixir” has a psychedelic depth that the band explores to its fullest. The song stretches between two poles—its intro and interlude strip down to an almost acoustic feel while its verses and choruses have an electric lushness to them that is impossibly dense. Psychic Heat’s seamlessly connects these aesthetics for a song that is smart and far-reaching despite its incredible concision.
“Elixir” acts as a good microcosm for the rest of the album. Like the song, Sunshower bubbles with a heated passion that never quite loses sight of itself. The album, while certainly full of incendiary riffs and cosmic freak-outs, stays tethered to the earth—making for a record that is as accessible as it is repeatable. Truly, Sunshower is a densely layered album, but those layers come together almost perfectly time and time again throughout.
Perhaps, one of the most successful examples of these layers coming together is “Whale Falling.” The song begins the last third of Sunshower and acts as a turn. Whereas the first parts of the record focused on technology/human interaction, “Whale Falling” shifts the album’s concerns to nature and the cosmos. Detailing the descent and decomposition of a dead whale, the lyrics swim through the aural waters, cresting and disappearing under the surface to create a dynamic interplay between words and sound. Between the incredibly complex percussion and perfectly fragmented leads, “Whale Falling” is the kind of song that seemingly comes from an alternate realm, one not governed by the restrictions of this plane.
It’s easy to tire of an album after listening to it often. This is not the case with Psychic Heat’s Sunshower. After a month of near constant listening, I still find myself wanting to flip back to side A after the conclusion of “Moment Moves On.” Whether this power comes from the album’s eco-diesel powered riffs or from the intense interconnection of disparate scenes, Sunshower simultaneously melts the outside world while promising to rebuild it in its image. Though we are scarcely half-way through 2016, I can say with confidence that Psychic Heat’s Sunshower will be my favorite album of year.