I have a big love for psychedelic music. Ever since I first heard the lengthy guitar solos of Pink Floyd and complex jam sessions of the Grateful Dead, I’ve been quite fond of the genre as a whole. While it might not be the best music to get turnt to, psychedelic music is a fantastic genre for those who love to listen to a band try out a multitude of different instruments and after-effects in order to create an intriguing and complex sound.
So, what’s the point of the genre summarization? Well a prominent Outlaw Country musician, Sturgill Simpson, has never strayed away from mixing psychedelic elements into his albums, everywhere from longer jam/solo sessions to the use of synthesizers, reverb, as well as other post-production effects in order to get an otherworldly sound.
However, on September 27th, Stugrill released a new multimedia project called Sound and Fury. This project is reminiscent of psychedelic cartoons such as Pink Floyd’s The Wall, or the famous Heavy Metal film. However, what sets this project apart from others is Sturgill collaborated with several different Japanese anime studios, with Jumpei Mizusaki as the main director and Kamikaze Douga as the animation studio overseeing the entire project. The album is best described as an experimental psychedelic experience with a touch of outlaw twang. Starting off with a slow-paced dramatic distorted guitar solo to set the tone for the rest of the album, Simpson clearly has no issue with trying out a multitude of different genres in this project, such as his mixing of a disco beat alongside a biting guitar solo and synthesizers in his high energy track A Good Look.
Another one of my favorite songs on the album has to be Mercury in Retrograde, a song describing Sturgill’s frustrations with the limelight of the country music industry. While laughing at his jabs at journalists and big wigs of the scene, I also found myself tapping my foot along with the super catchy bass and drumlines as well as the hauntingly beautiful synthesizers that cut through the overall sound.
Overall, I think the album is great, high energy, highly experimental album that has enough intriguing sounds to keep any audiophile’s attention for multiple listens. As for the accompanying anime that can be found on Netflix? While I normally do not watch much anime, I can tell that an extreme amount of work and finesse has been put into the animation style, as I was constantly blown away with the color, designs, and direction throughout the duration of the film. All in all, if you love a good psychedelic concept album but with a few unexpected twists and turns throughout, I can’t recommend this musical experience enough.