smokingtrees

With many of the contemporary ‘psych’ bands doing the rounds these days go down the mind-altering, hurtling-into-deep-space, frenzy route, and others barely seem to go beyond being inspired by a single Tame Impala record, it can often leave the genre polarised by genuine innovation and lazy, aesthetic-based tinkering. With a member called Sir Psych you may think The Smoking Trees lay closer to the former, but they in fact sit more comfortably in the middle. Their blend of Byrds-esque West Coast soft rock and BJM-like mellow psych takes a much more structured and song-focused approach.

‘TST’ feels distinctly Californian too; the songs sparkle and glisten and you can almost feel the sun’s reflection shimmering off the hazy tone. It rests comfortably in mid-tempo throughout the album, riding comfortably along in its own, stoned, journey. The album cover suggests an outer space experience, something otherworldly and sonically far-reaching, but the results are most enjoyable in their directly relatable and elemental brushes with reality – in capturing the glow of the Californian sun on an open road.

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