Ghost King Making Psychedelia Cool Again

Looking back at the new projects that have been released in the past year, I have come to an encouraging realization: psychedelia is on the rise.

In fact, it has already risen.

So many bands lately have adopted sounds highly reminiscent of groups like The Doors and Pink Floyd from the glory-days of psychedelia in the ’60s. One band that caught this wave of neopsychedelia at just the right moment is Ghost King.

Ghost King Reviving Psychedelia

The Bronx-based quartet released their debut album, Bones, on April 1, and it’s obviously the start of something great. The way that Ghost King integrates psychedelia into their music while still giving it a fresh, new sound is truly impressive. It is an example of a true artist borrowing from past forms of art. Art is timeless and adaptable at the same time.

The most recent singles from the album, “Bones Pt. 1” and “Bones Pt. 2,” are a great example of Ghost King’s style in general. Meant to be listened to as a single song, the first half (“Bones Pt. 1”) is reminiscent of early old-school grunge as well as the more upbeat side of psychedelic music. The second half of the track (“Bones Pt. 2”) takes on a more distorted, menacing tone. At times it has an almost Egyptian-like quality to it.

“When the Sky Turns Blue” takes on a wilder, more chaotic interpretation of modern psychedelia. It relies on a heavy, inconsistent drum line and distorted, sometimes discordant guitar, pushing the boundary of noise rock. The vocals take on a Kurt Cobain aspect, appropriately, during the decidedly grunge-inflected breakdown.

The amazing thing about artistic movements, particularly in the musical world, is the seemingly collective consciousness shared between so many of the most progressive artists. While other artists can have an influence, there’s something about art’s finest moments that will always bring it back to the forefront through artistic movements. Bands like Ghost King are among those that lead the charge with such movements.

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