May 26, 2014

Doug Tuttle, "Doug Tuttle"

Many an artist, in an attempt to unlock some secret, next-level creative passageway, has sealed himself into a bedroom studio with a bunch of instruments and a multi-track recorder. He turns down the lights, ingests some mythical fruit or vegetable, puts on his hooded druid cape, hits record, and proceeds to get freaky. Usually the outcome is shit. I've heard a ton of these tapes, and almost all of them flirt with "psychedelia" as described by pop culture, not the real deal, the collision between the great beyond and the vastness of the inner void. Too many bedroom psych records sound claustrophobic, like there's no sunshine getting in through the curtains. But there are few artists who can really do wonders with the formula. Doug Tuttle is one. His debut solo album is exquisitely mixed and recorded. The writing is full of life. Well-penned ideas and introspective lyrics that don't go wacky for the sake of being outré. The sounds are deep. Droning organs, bouncing bass lines, fluttering tape effects, bright guitars, polished vocals and percussion that's perfectly lazy. Just before things get too pastoral, along comes an expertly played acid-fried guitar solo. There are hooks (hooks!) and there are grooves. Not to mention gobs of headphone-candy moments. Get it! Side note: Doug's label, Trouble in Mind, has been absolutely killing it lately. On the same day it released this beauty, it also put out Morgan Delt's debut LP, a very like-minded plate of seafood. Other recent releases to check out: The Limiñanas gauzy cafe-rock and Greg Ashley's experimental beat poetry jams, "Another Generation of Slaves."