Leichhardt’s finest (if not only) purveyors of backyard psychedelia, The Love Explosion, return with a new album '*may contain traces of dream'. Cross-pollinating various genres, you'll hear traces of krautrock, shoegaze, mod, psych and prog - all through the lens of living in Sydney and reflecting on parenthood, ageing, unreliable memories, and experiences of nature both above and below sea level. Yes, i'm an old git - a bit of a groovy one mind you! There’s some rural toilet humour and a bit of 70's television lust in there also, if that tickles your fancy (bet it does).
Song by song (click on the title to download mp3, or get whole album as a zip here):
Partial dream state first thing in the morning, as the sun reaches in from the garden, drawing us from the kitchen to stand on warming bricks of the yard, as an orchestra of insects, birds and bugs crescendo on countless chlorophyll stages.
Eyes slowly adapting to the light, bathed in green, life erupting all around.
This swelling organic groover grew from these kind of mornings.
From our morning epiphany, we find ourselves later at the spectacularly underwhelming surrounds of Coles supermarket, Norton Plaza. The store radio was oozing aural plop; making every step with the gammy wheeled trolley
that more tiresome, as hazardous children shriek through the aisle, trapping you behind slow moving painful conversations (and smells) you wish you could avoid. Those horrible background pop songs; wishing
you could erase and reclaim the memory space wasted recognising them. And i, i don’t know whether willfully or not, drifted away. I heard this alien electronic figure. And it sounded far better than anything
the shops could offer.
Regaining the wherewithal to record the idea, i whipped out my phone, and sang it, whilst standing in the counter queue.
For whatever odd looks that earnt me; you now get to enjoy 3 minutes of rather fine motorrik, possibly with a small sample of Rik Mayall.
Based on an alignment of lunar cycles, seasonal variations in the southern hemisphere, recent offshore wind, local rainfall and the absence of venomous zooplankton ; on some mornings i get up at 5.30 and go swimming.
The aim is to go 1.5 kilometres from Manly beach, to Shelly beach, and back again.
The reward, beyond not drowning, is experiencing this echoing psychedelic underworld of fish, currents and light and wonder,
and a sense of peace and elation afterwards. I keep going back.
So, here is a song about the vivid euphoria of ocean swimming. Done in the style of songs about the vivid euphoria of hard drugs. If that makes sense.
fags, beer, crisps
If the Velvet Underground with John Cale had had the foresight not to have broken up already, in 1974 they could have done a song about British 70's tv sitcom 'man about the house'.
Once again responsibility falls to the Love Explosion to plaster over the historic tardiness of more acclaimed artists, in doing songs they should have done.
It's a thankless task, and frankly we're a little fed up having to do it.
I've been told that i would probably enjoy music in the genre of 'acid folk'.
To my shame, i haven't yet put in the effort of finding out what this genre is all about. Which doesn't stop you imagining what it might be ; here then is a speculative piece, of what i hope 'acid folk' sounds like.
Come then, into the forest of 1971, with some hippy types you've just met, hoping to cadge a puff on a joint, only to find they're into a much heavier scene...
**compact disc only bonus track. Remember the mild inconvenience of having to get up and turn your vinyl lp over? You get to re-live it here
ala moana freakout
In 2014 i did this song about how i had a really lovely time in Hawaii and wanted to go back again.
I was then fortunate enough to go back again. And it wasn't nearly as good. Or at least, i got stuck in a psychological trap of comparing every thing we did with things we'd done previously,
and freaking out that it wasn't the same.
That was about a week of a very expensive, and to all objective standards interesting and beautiful holiday wasted, before i got my head together.
Here then, is a song about me being a dick.
Not sure that anyone else has done rockabilly bhangra previously?
do we exist without our memories? how is it your brain can retain minute vivid details from decades ago? why do they always come back in dreams and irrelevant moments? It is time once again, to visit the past
Oh dear, creative bankruptcy. I needed another song to fill out the album. And i like the Small Faces, still (yes middle aged man who goes to mod discos).
However, just doing it properly seemed a bit boring. And i also like Bowie, Them & The Beatles. So it seemed only fair to cover them all in the one song, simultaneously.
then came the son
Ah yoof. I compare my behaviour in my late teens with my 11 year old son now, and honestly think i could have done with sending back to primary school. Anyhow; after i finished school i travelled round the
UK fairly pointlessly, lived on a farm, made some friends, and smoked pot in the fields with aforesaid friends. Put all this in a Syd Barret/Small Faces whimsical psych song - ok, i will.
We finish the album, floating just beyond the surf break at Newcastle beach. The waves themselves are huge and crashing not too far behind us; but we are safe just a little deeper, all we need to do is watch
them coming and rise and fall as they pass through. A soothing sedate rhythm, despite all the violence nearby. Later, getting cold, we'll have to time a sprint through the break, ducking broken waves as
we wade back in. Then we can lie on the beach, the sun warming us, slipping into dreams behind our sunglasses - i don't want to leave.
Well, that’s the album. You can download the whole thing free here (a zip of mp3s), or pay a huge personal fortune for it over on our bandcamp page. Whichever you like. I get spammed like crazy from putting contact
details on these pages, but if you want to email i'd love to hear from you - figure it out, theloveexplosion at hotmail snot com
Decay in peace groovers!
Tom, September 2019