Saturday, 13 April 2013

Tropical Popsicle - Dawn Of Delight

Album review by

We'll cut to the chase. This debut album from Tropical Popsicle is absolutely, brain-soothingly, ear-tinglingly fabulous. Formed by Tim Hines, the veteran of a few bands from around San Diego, the first offering by his new project it surely his finest work to date. We're talking sunkissed psychedelia, jangly guitar-pop, psych-rock, soaring drones, shoegaze atmospherics, beautiful melodies and the sounds that angels hear when they go on magical acid trips. Yeah this borrows from the '60s, but it borrows from lots of places and whips them all into a stunning concoction of blissful alternative, summery, mind-bending brilliance.

Just take the opening bars of first track 'Always Awake in Shadows' and we have twinkling percussion, a meandering organ and a gently pounding beat. Then those dreamy vocals kick in and we're away. Find somewhere peaceful, put headphones on and stay there for a dozen songs that politely command your attention, solely because they're so damn difficult to ignore. "Believe me when I say that we are young" follows the majestic Byrds-on-a-trip of 'Age Of Attraction', a stupendously good song. We could write a paragraph about each and every track, but that would detract from potential listening time, really you should just hear it for yourselves.

A few brief notes though: 'Ghost Beacons' brings in a baggy/shoegaze/psych vibe that hauls it forward a couple of decades; they tickle the underbelly of post-punk on the spooky 'The Beach With No Footprints'; 'Tethers' mixes in some darker indie-rock sounds as reimagined by Syd Barrett, as does 'View From The Dihedral Wall'; Hines' punk past creeps into 'Cathedral City' (it's not about cheese... we think); 'Havana' is more glorious, harmonious psych-pop; woozy acoustics are visited on 'The Omni Present Heart Shield; 'The Universe Of God Shadow' is a droning, spaced-out finale. This album manages to be diverse and cohesive at the same time and it's a wonderful, wonderful listen. 'Dawn Of Delight' couldn't be a more fitting title.

Tropical Popsicle's website

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