There seems to be something of a psych revival happening at the moment, which inevitably means more bands of that style are appearing more frequently. So it's always good to find an outfit like Velvet Morning who add their own stamp to the sounds that influence their work. Sure, on their debut EP 'Velvet Moon' you'll hear a touch of the Jesus And Mary Chain here ('She's A Live Wire') and Spacemen 3 there ('Paranoia'), but this four piece led by vocalist/guitarist Samuel Jones are able to mix these familiar colours to create something of a new shade. They've learned from the greats of various eras up to the present day, offering a fresh, invigorating mixture of assured ideas and shades of identifiable influences rather than reinventing the wheel completely.
The opening 'Paranoia' is far more easy going than its title suggests, adding rhythm enhancing percussion to shady chords, seductive ripples of guitar, moody basslines and a blissed-out haze of a vocal that expands the atmospheric euphoria. 'Octocity' unfolds beautifully as waves of psychedelic calm wash gently over lucid atmospheres that recall The Verve's early work, feeding glistening guitars into a languid cinematic soundscape. The chilled motorik rhythm and cosmic cool of 'Black Velvet Morning' is perfect for the post midnight hours, while the mesmeric glow of the majestic 'She's A Live Wire' gives the vocals a ghostly background role, and is all the more mysteriously tranquil for it. From start to finish, it casts its spell in a soft, subtly bewitching fashion and provides a highlight. On 'Blue Jean Baby' shades of The Stone Roses circa 1990 emerge within a delirious slow groove as a smooth funk beat provides a solid foundation for the mesmeric, fluid guitar lines, and more of those mood-enhancing percussive touches give the closing 'I Got You' a loose feel as it rounds things off with another fine mixture of the spacey and the blissful.
You may be able to recognise their influences from a mile off, but Velvet Morning put enough of their own spin on their sound to make them stand out in the current ever growing crowd of psych outfits. A full length follow up is due later in the year but for now this six track offering will do very nicely. 8.4/10