San Francisco-based surf-rock outfit Sandy’s releases their brand-new album, Magic Mind, via Royal Oakie Records. A concept album, Magic Mind follows a couple traveling through a supernatural landscape. Along the way, they come across benevolent teachers and ferocious specters trying to destroy them.
Magic Mind follows 2018’s Chime. The brainchild of bandleader Alexi Glickman, Magic Mind transports listeners to another time and place. To accomplish the sonic feat, Sandy’s worked with producer David Glasebrook to inject the songs with an organic structure unlike their usual sound, yet one hanging on to their edgy flair.
Comprising nine tracks, the album starts off with “Dimension IV,” opening on jangly guitars flowing into Beatles-like psychedelic layers of color. As the tune takes on substance, it shimmers and rumbles on gleaming, dreamlike tones.
Highlights include “Sami & Sandy,” traveling on softly sparkling pop hues, attended by a lysergic guitar solo, infusing the harmonics with surreal, spacy timbres. A shiny falsetto gives the vocals a luscious luminous savor, at once translucent and aglow.
“Sunken Cathedral” rolls out on swirling tints of psychedelic surf rock blended with ‘70s prog-rock. After an iridescent breakdown, the tune gathers depth and resonance, taking on a blooming wall-of-sound effect. Another breakdown leads into a humming, buzzing purr of sound.
“Ghost Lake,” which takes its title from a dance choreographed by Alexi’s father, who tragically passed as the album was being finalized, merges flavors of yacht rock with surf-rock into a pensive, slightly melancholic, tune featuring the dazzling guitar work of Brett Garsed. Gorgeously wrought, “Ghost Lake” conjures up visions of Jeff Beck covering Ambrosia or Mike & The Mechanics.
Featuring a captivating rhythmic flow, “Collapsing Star’s” initial low-slung, undulating spill assumes surging, hefty waves of thick guitars, imbuing the tune with condensed intensity, raw and elegant at the same time. This track is probably the best on the album.
The title track closes the album out, offering a measured rhythm topped by glittering guitars and gentle, creamy vocals. Radiant synths infuse the harmonics with streaming washes of glossy coloration.
Suffused with wisps of ‘70s hallucinogenic tangs, as well as suggestions of elusive surf-rock, Magic Mind is magically alluring and oh so creative.