Psyence deliver an intense, energetic and affecting mix of electronica and rock on the new album L.I.F.E (Lessons In Forgetting Everything).
Opening with ‘Domino’, a brilliant introduction to the bands tight fuzzy guitar lines, popping synth sounds and high-octane, head banging energy, the band waste no time introducing the fun scope of their alternative rock sound. Topped with urgent, emotive vocals, the band capture an exciting, unrelenting soundscape full of brilliant riffs and ear worm melodies.
In a fittingly explosive, euphoric fashion, this energy is continued into the Black Keys-esque ‘So High’, a blues infused, capturing a warming, vintage bounciness in the distorted vocal delivery which is reflected by the mix of swelling synths and driving guitar lines.
‘Go It Alone’ breaks things up, setting a more reflective, melancholic tone. A rolling tom heavy beat underpins a gentle mix of twinkling keys, grounding bass and dappled guitar lines to create a downbeat, atmospheric soundscape. The delicate, thoughtful vocal deliver tops the track, perfectly complimenting the melancholic tone already set by the instrumentation. By the time the track into its rocky, cinematic chorus the track is already my highlight of the album, when it slips into the swaying Pink Floyd-esque guitar solo, it jumps beyond this, stepping into a psychedelic Tame Impala inspired dream like state and truly showcasing what this band are capable of. This track is amazing, truly inspiring.
Elsewhere ‘Sweet Sugar’ steps further into a realm of electro-pop-come-indie with bright synth lines and biting guitar lines, whilst previous single ‘Nobody Understands’ returns to the driving energy and intense fuzzy guitar lines, sitting somewhere between Hawkwind and Kasabian and showcasing a fierce, soaring lead vocal.
‘Wonderview Avenue’ captures and air of Talk Talk whilst tracks later into the album such as ‘Don’t Fear The Rapture’ and ‘Warpaint’ lean heavily into the bands gorgeous guitar lines and ever analogue and analogue sounds.
Closing with the epic 5 minute exploration of their sound ‘Brighter Days’, Psyence close out the album on a fittingly cinematic and hypnotic note, closing out a brilliant and in some ways faultless collection of tracks.
Speaking about the album the band share:
“Our sophomore album is finally here, we’ve spent a lot of time cooped up in the lab over the past two years working on this. Titled, “Lessons In Forgetting Everything” or “L.I.F.E”, depending on which way you want to look at it, it’s a tale of maturity, mental anguish and an ever growing need to break the mould and get away. LIFE IS NOT AN EXACT PSYENCE, but we think our second album comes close to representing who we are and what has happened in our lives in the last couple of years”
For me, it’s hard to give a summery of this album without just simply singing it’s praises. L.I.F.E spans genres; from hard rock to dreamy-pop to psychedelic without breaking a stride, without losing energy, and crucially, managing to stay cohesive and always sounding natural and unforced. This album mature, expressive, beautiful and joyous all at once. It’s brilliant. Thank you Psyence, I enjoyed this A LOT.