On their second album, Gulp – formed by Super Furry Animals bassist Guto Pryce and collaborator Lyndsey Leven – create a psychedelia that struggles to live up to its influences and ambitions. ‘All Good Wishes’, the follow up to 2014’s well received ‘Season Sun’, was inspired by Pryce and Level’s relocation to Scotland – cue pastoral themes of the natural world and imagery of sunlight and sea emerging consistently across the record. In their analogue synths and b-movie innocence, Gulp are looking to a lineage that includes Broadcast and Stereolab – unfortunately, a lack of adventure and occasionally will-this-do lyricism delivers a record that fails to match the output of similarly minded contemporaries such as Jane Weaver and Whyte Horses.
The reverb pop of ‘I Dream Your Song’ is one of the stronger moments here, an eerie folk melody refracted through gorgeous sawtooth synths. All too often, however, tracks struggle to deliver on their early promise – take ‘Morning Velvet Sky’, which begins with a fine disco-not-disco groove, but without any real hooks or sonic invention, it folds into something altogether underwhelming.
Super Furry devotees will still find plenty to enjoy – Gulp are at their best when at their most ambitious, be it the throbbing Kraut noir of ‘Beam’ or the dreamlike title track, which sees Leven’s vocals brilliantly ghost the wintry soundscape. The production is glowing and cinematic, bringing to mind Vangelis or Morricone at his most lounge, but the overall effect is less one of transcendence, and more one of landfill psychedelia.
Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines
As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.
Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.
If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.
It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.