Say Psych: Album Review, Observed in a Dream by Mayflower Madame

Mayflower Madame are a four piece from Norway, Oslo to be exact, who have been developing an interesting sound over the last few years. In these days where everything that drops into my in box seems to be some for of spurious excuse for psych(edelia) these guys are closer to the real deal than most. They also channel some ghosts of the past that I thought I had long since, quite accidentally, buried.

The thing is that in the 80’s bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and Bauhaus were the ones that were turning me on for a while and when, on the very rare occasion they get exhumed, I always enjoy them immensely before giving them a decent burial back onto the record shelf. Mayflower Madame are psychedelic in the way that McCulloch and Co were, and do have a certain Bauhaus sensibility (‘Lovesick’), certainly in the intonation of Trond Fagernes’ vocals. The band certainly have that Bunnymen ear for a melody (‘Into The Haze’), but add some Jesus and Mary Chain fuzziness (‘Weightless’) to the mix too as well as some more contemporary neo-psychedelic flourishes (‘Forever/ End of Everything’) that will please fans of such as the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Mayflower Madame band

OK I hear you say, so far you’ve intimated that this band is a bit of a re-hash of some great bands. It’s a fair comment because you may very much be like me and wonder, why you should listen to this when you could just go off and listen to ‘Heaven Up Here’, ‘In The Flat Field’, ‘Psychocandy’ or ‘Their Satanic Majesties Second Request’. Well you could do that, but you would be missing out on an album that shows a band that honours its influences very carefully, but also mixes them together in a way that feels both dark and uplifting as the same time; and this to me is the mark of excellence for an album of this ilk. ‘Observed in a Dream’ has some really good moments, has some great tunes, and is really well put together; I recommend that you give it a go!

‘Observed in a Dream’ is released on the band’s own Night Cult Records (Europe) and Custom Made Music (North America) on vinyl, cd and download. You can order from the Mayflower Madame bandcamp here.


You can find my other writing for Backseat Mafia here.

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