Say Psych: Album Review: L.A. Witch – L.A. Witch

Rating: 8/10

L.A. Witch, who’s name is a partial misnomer, hail from Los Angeles but do not partake in any sort of witchcraft, unless you class creating soundscapes of hazy Californian nights many years prior to their birth. This ability to conjure a specific time and place through their sound has ensured increasing support and with a slot at this years Liverpool Psych Fest, the timing of the release of their debut self-titled album could not be better.

L.A. Witch was recorded at Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa and mixed in Highland Park, Los Angeles, though early incarnations of several songs from the album originally surfaced on limited edition singles released over the last several years. It will be released on Suicide Squeeze Records 8th September on limited edition translucent pink vinyl, CD and digital formats.

Opening with ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’, it is the perfect introduction to the bands singularly seductive, haunting, and wistful sound that seamlessly blends garage rock, dream pop and notes from the 60s. Sade Sanchez’s velvet vocals lull whilst the percussion elements throb throughout. ‘Brian’ offers a somewhat ominous guitar twang vibe to start, which provides a pleasant sway, channelling dreamy jukebox bar vibes. ‘Untitled’ makes use of an intense bass line courtesy of Irita Pai and a country vibe comes through due to an ever present tambourine jangle. ‘You Love Nothing’ channels some early psychedelic beauty with its 13th Floor Elevators inspired riff.

‘Drive Your Car’ channels a pounding motorik beat through drummer Ellie English and fuzzed-out licks from Sade. ‘Baby in Blue Jean’ is a grittier, rawer entity and the vocals provide more than a passing resemblance to those entrenched within the music of Mazzy Star. ‘Feel Alright’ and ‘Good Guys’ have a reverb soaked sound which conjures the analogue sound of a collector’s prized 45 from some short-lived footnote cult band. The difference being we don’t anticipate this being a short-lived offering. They conclude with ‘Get Lost’ opens in a fuzzy haze with evocative lyrics and a catchy countenance.

This LP has melodies that swap bubblegum pop for a druggy haze within a beat, and straddles the line between seedy glory and foreboding balladry. This isn’t music for the masses; it’s music for miscreants, burnouts, down-and-out dreamers, and obsessive historians…

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