TRACK: Sing Leaf – ‘Sunshine’: let the leftfield psych-pop rays in

CANADIAN artist David Como has a real outsider charm. No: not outsider in the sense of coming from a place of jagged, idiolectal compulsion; more an arrival in a glade of musical prettiness with an absolute, naive joy of discovery.

With one album under his belt for Tin Angel, 2018’s Shu Ra, David is ready with his second album, Not Earth, which he will unveil on September 25th.

The first glimmering of the dawning rays of the new album come in the shape of “Sunshine”, a luscious six-minute odyssey of gorgeous psych-pop and light electronica. Building on an off-kilter riff, a guitar meanders and seemingly Fairlight-sampled voice snatches lend a leftield wooze. It’s a full minute of harmonic unfolding before David begins to intone impressionist lyrics: “Don’t the days seem long? / Ain’t the coffee stronger? / Is your man getting softer? / Do you still love his song?”

There’s gentle, meandering riffing. It dissolves into ambience, phasing, David’s falsetto bringing the gentlest grace to the recipient: “You are my sunshine too”. And my, that flute break, that lofts it skyward, all Chocolate Watch Band’s “The Inner Mystique”. It’s folk pop, it’s psych. The personal vision brings to mind the bands of the Elephant Six collective, such as Olivia Tremor Control. Feel the rays glimmer.

If you managed to catch either his or frequent collaborator and album mastering guru Sandro Perri’s sets at End of the Road last year, you’ll know they brought a beautiful, languid depth to that corner of the South West’s chalk ridges.

This all bodes exceeding well for the album, which multi-instrumentalist David let unfold at his home recording set-up. 

He said about this titillating lead track: “As someone seeking more light, it is easy to be distracted by this pursuit of hidden things; every leap requires you to put your feet back down again or you can easily become unmoored. 

“This is a song about finding balance, about calming, stilling, seeing … how the beauty and truth that can seem so distant is often directly at hand, accessible, simple.

“Music for me has never been about crafting the best-sounding song, or even the most appealing song … it’s more about honouring the spark. If I can block out the other noise and not think about where a song will end up, or who will hear it, then I can follow that and it’s like the song is just coming through me.”

He cites the much-missed Sparklehorse and cult Californian author Richard Brautigan among his creative inspirations: “I’ve always tried to align my life with that feeling I found in his books; the strange, psychedelic, childlike-wonder”.

I for one am ready to rediscover that bright-eyed feeling.

Sing Leaf’s Not Earth is available to pre-order at Bandcamp now.

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