This week I am listening to some tracks by The Big Drops, a New Jersey-based act who seem to have beamed here direct from a hazy, psychedelic recreation of the 1960s, which is an entirely Good Thing as far as I am concerned.
The band previously released an EP, in May 2016, entitled “Bloom“, which is available to hear on Spotify and Soundcloud and is about to self-release a debut LP called “Time, Color” on 23rd June. So far, there are three tracks available from the album, “Baskets Of Love“, “By The Water” and “Gong Gong Jar” and they can be found over on Soundcloud, together with their earlier releases, which are well worth spending some time listening to.
The band’s press release tells me that “The band was formed in 2011 when brothers Greg (lead vox, rhythm guitar) and Vramshabouh Kherlopian (lead guitar, backing vox) went to live together in a small log cabin for three years. They bought their own recording equipment, and went through numerous lineup changes before finding Caleb Estey (drums) and Steve Donahue (bass) in 2015.“. Discussing the album, Vramshabouh says that “We feel like our music touches on a variety of different vibes and colors, so we like to think the overall theme of this album is diversity of life, the different emotions there are, and how we can express different feelings while still being the same person. Essentially, life is complex and beautiful, is the theme.“.
OK, so that is what the band says. What do I think? Well, I think that they have a lot going for them. It must be the imminent arrival of Summer, but there is a lot of psychedelia around, but not all of it is done as well as this. I hear a lot of things here, early Floyd, a bit of Incredible String Band, a pinch of Donovan, some garage rocky influences and a hint of rockabilly, but also a more modern sound, with delicate electronica that doesn’t swamp the music. I think that on a first hearing my favourite track is the evocative “By The Water“, which manages to combine a sprightly pace with a lovely hazy sound full of chiming guitars and woozy electronic washes. For a second time in as many weeks, I am reminded of the early Pink Floyd track “Cirrus Minor”, and I am not complaining about that at all.
Is there a downside? Well, I really don’t know yet. I think that I’d need to hear more of the music because what I’ve heard so far is very enjoyable. It is likeable stuff, with enough going on to keep your attention and probably best heard with the sun shining. It is fair to say that this isn’t music that is pushing any boundaries but what it does, it does pretty well, and for a band that hasn’t been around for very long with its current line-up, the music has a degree of maturity that bodes well for the album and for future releases. I’ll be listening to the album when it is available and I really hope that other people will listen too, because in these times, we all need some smiley, sunny music.
The track-listing for the forthcoming album is;
01: Lost At Sea
02: If The World
03: Basket’s of Love
04: By The Water
05: Watcha Know
06: Gong Gong Jar
07: Boyfriend Talk
08: In A Year Or Two