Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Bong Wish - EP

I'm late to the Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records party. A label that puts out releases that defy most genres, but shares a wonderful solidarity with all things psychedelic.
One of their latest offerings is a 4-song cassette from Boston, Massachusetts' Bong Wish

Incense and peppermints cloak the aura of this EP. Music that sounds as though it was recorded in an era that never existed. Bandleader Mariam Saleh has a voice that brings to mind Renaissance's Annie Haslam, Grace Slick, Vashti Bunyan, etc.

When we start talking about psychedelic folk, we can go on and on about the "who's who" and the "what's what" of bands and artists. Some groups of yore had a more defined sound like the minstrel-y lilts of Mellow Candle, or the more rock-influenced flair of the aforementioned Renaissance.
And while I mention these groups for their vocalists, they really have little to do with this indecipherable musical sphere called Bong Wish. 

We start with "My Luv", a song that appears to be about a beloved pet (and, unless I can't hear lyrics correctly, hypnotist Karen Hand?). Could be a miniature dragon, could be a bearded dragon. Might be a Siamese cat named Latka.
"Saturn Spells" calls forth the psych folk ghosts of yesteryear. A tune on the darker side of things. Perhaps the darker side of some undiscovered galaxy with some other Saturn that we have not named yet. Flutes flit around like cosmic butterflies, guitars jangle from atop a distant stone slab, on a distant mountain, in a distant purple marshmallow cosmos.
The third song "Conversation With Business People" has a free vibe that continues for the length of the track. A '70s New Wave experiment in grooves turned into a PSA about the virtues of living freely as an extroverted introvert (it's a thing).
"In The Sun" completes the trip with an orchestral lullaby.

Each of these tunes is its own entity. It will be interesting to see what a whole album will be like. Meanwhile, these four songs are intoxicating enough to be listened to many times over. The EP, as a whole, has a cumulative effect on the mind. At first listen, this will befuddle and confuse you, but you will be drawn further into the swirly cosmic headspace with each listen. Multi-instrumental psych with a "trippy" assertion, closing in on you like a unexpectedly warm and snuggly, yet unpredictable, viper.

Bong Wish, with four songs, might very well turn the tides on the psych folk coterie. Looking forward to more of these hallucinatory sounds.

Put A Face In Your Book 

Camp With The Band

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