Here’s one for all the analogy lovers out there:
Pop music: Sweden, Psych Rock: __?__
You could guess San Francisco, but you’d be wrong. Not that our friends on Haight-Ashbury aren’t completely versed in psychedelia, but Sweden didn’t create pop music, it’s just taken over as a hot bed recently. So what prestigious place is given the rod in my riddle? None other than the lands down under, and no, I’m not kidding. Over the past 2 years a slew of great sounding rock music has come out of Australia and New Zealand, and it’s about time we start taking better notice. I’ll admit, my knowledge of these foreign lands is limited. Kangaroos, counter clockwise flushing toilets, being founded as a British prison colony, the fact that I think Frodo and Sam walked around there for days to get to that god damn volcano…yep that’s about it. But then again, that’s more than I know about Sweden, which is they have a hell of a bobsled team and Jamaicans idolize them for it. So why not the lands down under as a hot bed of psych rock?
In 2011, we were given Tame Impala as well as Unknown Mortal Orchestra and their fantastic self-titled debut that still is in my rotation. Earlier this year Pond released a completely underrated album entitled Beard, Wives, Denim that seems to have skipped over the majority of the indiesphere for whatever reason. And now I present to you Sherpa, a five-piece featuring of Earl Ho, Vince McMillan, Sam Cussen, Benjamin Jack, and Daniel Barrett hailing from Auckland, New Zealand.
With 2 EPs, I’m Sparklers (2009) and Pretty Cool Illusions (2011), under their belt, the band released their first full length album entitled Lesser Flamingo in early April headlined by the lead single “Lunar Bats” which is featured above. Describing their sound as “power pop”, they guys play loud and hard with an intricate guitar dancing up and down the scale. Throw in some fun synthy action at times and some wild drums, and all I want is to be standing front and center for a live show with about 1,2,3, 6 beers in me. The group also just dropped a video for “In Dolphins He Trusts” on YouTube that features some absolutely absurd super 8 film of a family vacation in the 1970s. Clocking in at only 1:54, it’s a quick hitter, but it certainly packs a punch of fun as highlighted by this video below.
Not much else to say other than these guys get an enthusiastic two thumbs up from me. As always, listen, enjoy, and share.
Written by Greg Dahman