Monday, January 14, 2013

REVIEW: The Shifting Sands - Feel

Now that our 2012 year-end lists are compiled (my list here), it is the season for discovering the great 2012 music we missed.  And near the top of that list is Feel, by Dunedin, New Zealand's The Shifting Sands.  The album began as a solo project of Mike McLeod, formerly of the band Alpha State.  However, the project drew notable collaborators such as Dave Kilgour (The Clean and solo work), Robert Scott (The Bats, The Clean), Robbie Yeats (The Verlaines) and others.  The result is a psychedelic pop album that honors, but does not mimic, the great Dudedin bands of the past.  And if you are a fan of that sound, I suggest that this is an essential album for your collection.

To my ears, the songs on Feel fall into one of two styles.  The first is the more urgent guitar pop similar to that of The Bats. Opening track "Pixies, "Tonight" (which sounds like a long lost track from The Bats and is a free download) and "Worth Our While" are representative of this style.  And the video for the "Pixies" is pretty damn good as well) --

The other style is a dreamy psychedelic pop that reminds me of Syd Barrett in his more disciplined moments, or the folk-psych that helped make Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow so special.

The Facebook page for The Shifting Sands lists Tom Bell and Jake Langley as members, in addition to Macleod.

Feel was released in April 2012 on Fishrider Records.  You can stream the entire album here at the Bandcamp link below.

Twitter ( @ShiftingSandsNZ )


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