Psychedelic rock was born in Austin — the term was coined in an Austin American-Statesman story covering the release of the 13th Floor Elevators’ debut album in 1966. The Austin Psych Fest, which will take over Carson Creek Ranch from May 2-4 and was started by local psych heroes The Black Angels, celebrates these deep roots. Now in its seventh year, Psych Fest is a festival in honor of the musical genre and the musicians that nurture its growth.
This year’s lineup is full of bands you'll recognize including The Dandy Warhols, The Zombies, Black Lips, War on Drugs, The Octopus Project and Of Montreal, just to name a few. But there are special, smaller gems sprinkled throughout the schedule. Here are our top picks for a weekend of total reverb revelry.
Hailing from Biarritz, France, Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée draw on the sounds of new wave, krautrock and surf pop. With a sound that's kind of like Françoise Hardy meets Stereolab, the title of their latest album, Psycho Tropical Berlin, alludes to that crossover. With this kind of movement and energy, they promise to make for a good set.
Listen to: "Sur La Planche"
While some psych-influenced bands play on the happier, hippier inspired sounds of the '60s and '70s, Dhaga Bloom definitely takes on the heavier ones. Their noise is rough, almost gravelly, with layers of depth. This Orange County garage band evokes the nostalgia of the era while also making you glad that time has passed.
Listen to: "Supa"
Cronin represents a poppier side of psych, one that juxtaposes lyrics of ambivalence with upbeat, catchy melodies. He spent the last year playing bass with the Ty Segall Band, but on his own records he plays a range of instruments including the violin, viola and piano.
Listen to: "See It My Way" from the Pitchfork Music Festival
Pink Mountaintops is the solo act of Stephen McBean of Black Mountain Army, a Canadian collective of musicians and artists. McBean has a reputation for putting on trance-inducing performances, and his latest album is full of tracks that promise to do just that.
Listen to: "Ambulance City"
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete
This Guadalajara, Mexico-based duo, composed of Lorena Quintanilla and Alberto Gonzalez, plays heavy bass coupled with echo-filled vocals that will make you finally understand what people mean by "witch wave." Along with nature-inspired lyrics, Lorelle Meets the Obsolete is, in a word, mesmerizing.
Listen to: "Sealed Scene"