Sugar Candy Mountain – Do Right
Sugar Candy Mountain fuse their vintage psychedelia with a more modern synthetic flavouring on Do Right
Sugar Candy Mountain’s sound could fool you into thinking that winter’s depths are the height of summer, that the arctic tundra is the beach, and that the most hectic of hump days is a serenely sluggish Sunday. Synonymous have the Oakland duo become with breezy melodies, accessible psychedelia and sweetly breathy vocals. However, on their fourth album to date, Do Right, they introduce a greater leaning towards synthesisers, giving their vintage flair a more modern flavouring.
Split In Two is a fiery ignition to Do Right, with a roving bassline, blissful guitar, the first glimpse of the album’s synthetic prominence and Ash Reiter’s hushed yet purposeful vocals. Unfortunately, Crystalline follows on with messy layering and an uncertain air to its character, swiftly deflating the momentum created by its predecessor. This initial twofer is the album in microcosm: fluctuating between sunny and overcast. The tonal imbalance set early on persists, ultimately hindering the overall flow and experience.
But when the pair shine, they do so absolutely. Mar-a-Lago is their brand of sonic-sunshine packaged in the way they know best, with a jolly melody and immaculate instrumentation. This Time Around is textured to perfection – elevating strings, scuzzing bass, a jangled guitar solo, lofty synths and divine harmonies. The track is the white light, the play button the prism and from the speaker comes the spectrum. However, the focus on freaky frequencies on tracks like Tidal Wave and Happening cost them their easy-going stamp.
Following the crowning achievement of their last album 666 was going to be a precarious journey anyway, so kudos to them for experimenting with their sound to combat the risks of treading familiar waters. Their fusion of old and new works in some instances, but a further refinement of this on future endeavours is necessary to give them the chance they deserve of reclaiming their psych-pop laurels.
Listen to: This Time Around, Split in Two, Mar-a-Lago