Pedrum Siadatian first rose to prominence in psychedelic circles for his guitar and vocal contributions to the astral navigations of mercurial L.A. band Allah-Las, but approaches his solo project Paint with a crystal-clear focus. Spiritual Vegas follows 2018’s eponymous debut, and is full to the brim with lazing psychedelic pop songs and winding guitar melodies.
Siadatian’s influences are worn on his sleeve and Spiritual Vegas essentially acts as a red-eyed guided tour around them; Kevin Ayers, Felt, Turkish psych, Brian Jonestown Massacre, etc – you can guess the rest. But this whistlestop tour of the musician’s record collection never really overstays its welcome, as he transmits quiet bliss and comforting hallucinations with aplomb.
The album occupies a woozy sphere, where nothing is in full focus, but this half space is where Siadatian has always thrived as a musician. All Spiritual Vegas‘ tracks have a satisfying uniformity, taking place in the same sonic world, as noodling tributaries link up to the endless and lysergic river of the whole album. Even on ‘Wall of Memory/ODAAT’, when the dreamy psychedelic imaginations are interrupted by a jarring speech sample, it takes a matter of seconds to get back into the Paint groove.
‘Ta Fardah’ is perhaps the standout, sung in Farsi as a nod to Siadatian’s Iranian heritage. Winding psychedelic melodies come thick and fast, showcasing Siadatian’s aptitude as a guitarist as much as a crafter of fantastical ditties. ‘Impressions’ too, is a highlight. The album’s final song, it’s a five minute sound collage that sees all sorts of sketches transposed atop acid-soaked whimsy, a particularly slow number that feels like a change of pace on an album that wasn’t the fastest to begin with.
‘Spiritual Vegas’ isn’t a reinvention of the wheel, but simply a focused set of bleary-eyed lysergic pop songs; whilst there are a few highlights, the main takeaway is that this is a record that lights up any room that it’s played in. No surprises, no alarms, no drama, but a competent and evocative Paint LP that captures a specific mood with ease.