As soon as I hit “play” on the The Black Angels’ newest effort, Indigo Meadow, I knew I was going to end up putting the album on repeat. The first song – the title track – begins with a few seconds of heavy drumming before swirling psychedelic guitars and keyboards come in to create a dream-like landscape. Alex Maas’ vocals are next to join the party – straightforward but characteristically Maas, who sounds like he could have just been teleported from 1960s San Francisco.
As I listened to the record, I immediately wished I owned a red convertible just so that I could drive it too fast on a highway on the edge of an ocean while listening to this album at top volume. I would swipe my hair out of my eyes, adjust my 60’s-style sunglasses, and press the gas even harder while singing along to lyrics like “I once met you in the killing field/Collecting dust, yeah, kicking up blood/That was then when we were both people/Doing people things like collecting dreams,” “I can hear them crawling down my spine,” or “I’d rather die than be with you tonight.” The latter lyric is from the track “Holland,” a darker track with some killer bass lines, the middle lyric is from the psych-organ heavy “I Hear Colors (Chromaesthesia),” and the first lyric is from my personal favorite song off the album, “Evil Things.” I am definitely a sucker for a heavy opening riff.
A little less spacy and experimental than their other albums, the songs on The Black Angels’ fourth full length album tend to be more uptempo and more direct than their past work. This evolution, however, makes for an album that instead of dragging down a bit, works to keep the listener hooked from start to finish. Turn on Indigo Meadow, and you are instantly catapulted into a dream world of psychedelic visions of kaleidoscopes and dark shadows that begs to be rocked out to at high volumes. Lay back, relax, press play, and let go.
Go pick up a copy of Indigo Meadow at your local record store! Then go see The Black Angels at the festival they curate themselves, Austin Psych Fest, the weekend of April 26-28th. Their set is scheduled for Sunday the 28th at 9pm. And don’t miss other local Psych Fest artists – Roky Erikson, The Wolf, Kay Leotard, and Holy Wave.
– Brittany Bartos