Owsley Sunshine

Owsley Sunshine
Owsley Sunshine EP

This was a rare and stunning occasion. I casually flipped the disk in to the CD player so I could have a listen while I got on with the important job of switching on my computer, making a cup of coffee, and making my arse fit comfortably onto my seat. Five intense psychedelic indie songs later the music stops and I’m still sat on the floor next to the CD player with my mouth wide open.

The reason for this phenomenon, apart from the poor quality of the coffee, is that this was a complete surprise. Owsley Sunshine state in the accompanying note that they mix standard guitar-band instrumentation with homemade sampled rhythms and bizarre sounds, which I admit made me imagine some messy pretentious nonsense with no structure, direction, continuity or music.

But how wrong can you be? This is Manchesteresque indie played in a James-esque non-linear fashion, and combined with incredibly intense samples and effects. It’s just like they said – but with a different result to the one I expected. And it all comes from Lincolnshire!

From the steadily building hypnotic ‘In House Special’ right through to final track ‘I’m Fine’, not a single moment of let up caused me to snap out of the music-induced trance or prompted me to remember that I was ought to be writing something down.

Thankfully I hadn’t put the EP on repeat as it would have been anyone’s guess as to when I would have been awakened from the daze.

Owsley Sunshine have created five songs that have an appealing sound despite their rebellious structures and barely-sub-eight-minute average length. There is also a precision in the recording that suggests that these tracks are mini audio-masterpieces.

I have avoided all attempts to describe any of the songs individually as it would be impossible to do them justice. However, ‘Rise’ was the high point for me (to be honest, the word “High” can be taken in more than one way despite the lack of any recreational drugs – I didn’t even have the coffee) but the opener ‘In House Special’ was also very strong. Not so much an EP as a thirty-minute experience.

Written by Smith on

Stuart 'Saur' Smith was a prolific writer for The Mag throughout the magazine's lifetime. He combined a day job of temporary office jobs in London with a nightlife of trawling the capital's music venues looking for talent. As well as writing about music, he was a session musician who featured on a number of singles in the 90s. Today, Stuart is a Chief Writer for Phonotonal.
Stuart Smith

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