BROTHERS and sisters: the time hath come to make a little more room in your psychedelic pop heart for a Canadian songsmith sure to seduce your Carnaby Street-lovin’ synapses; please, if you would, put your hands together for ROY.
ROY is how Toronto psych scenester Patrick Lefler likes to get dressed for a night on the town, all paisley finery, hookahs and a knack with a lazily excellent dream of Pepperland.
He plies his excellent trade for Idée Fixe, a label which noted its first encounter with ROY’s aesthetic while ploughing through the demo stack one fine day. “Out slid two 5” reel-to-reel tapes wrapped in tin foil,” a spokesman said.
“A solvent smell signalled the name ‘ROY’ had been written on its packet with a chisel tip marker only hours before.”
What emerged was ROY’s first album for the label, last year’s, Peace, Love And Outer Space: a glimmering and conceptual LP about government conspiracy and omniscient alien beings, Sky Brother and Sky Sister, with a message of peace to save humankind, and a cassette of synthesizer compositions designed to be heard alongside it, direct from ROY’s Tin Hat studios – a further amuse-bouche, if you will.
“My first good setup was a little studio with a fire escape to enjoy the sunset from; I fell in love with using four-track cassette to record. Then I rented a fixer upper called The House Of Dreams and set up my first studio. The space has changed location since, but the vibe stays the same.”
That album was full of languid, stoned immaculate numbers like “The Man Doesn’t Want You To Know” and heavier pure psychedelic rock numbers, as evidenced by “They Are Watching”.
Wind the clock forward from
1968 last year now, and ROY’s ready to beguile us again, as he passes the well-rolled cone of new album Roy’s Garage across the rug to you. He wants you to turn on.
Patrick says: “Roy’s Garage exists inside everybody’s mind. It is where you keep your fondest memories and your darkest secrets.
“I hope it is a place of exploration and healing; also a space to hold yourself accountable and learn how to be new again; there is never a bad moment to go to the Garage.”
A first single has emerged from the perfumed smoke, and that’s “Where Did My Mind Go?” – you can hear that herein, a proper three-part harmony slice of psych pop, drawing on a lineage of Harpers Bizarre, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound, those abortive Smile sessions. It casts a dreamily yearning eye back over its shoulder at wherever its mind might actually be these days.
“It’s warm because I did the bass on the Farfisa organ, then electric bass and panned them wide like a big hug,” Patrick says.
“I’ve been through changes in my life and wanted to create a snapshot of my feelings through Sixties and Seventies sounds.
“Every album I create is a loaf of bread, baking in a world where temperature and humidity constantly fluctuate. It can’t be recreated.”
ROY’s Roy’s Garage will be released by Idée Fixe digitally and on vinyl on May 14th; pre-orders are being taken now over at Bandcamp.