Music

The Internal Tulips: Mislead into a Field by a Deformed Deer

On Mislead, The Internal Tulips mine their own unique field of haunting, spectral beauty.


The Internal Tulips

Mislead into a Field by a Deformed Deer

Label: Planet Mu
US Release Date: 2010-03-30
UK Release Date: 2010-03-29
Amazon
iTunes

Some critics throw around the adjective "psychedelic" at the drop of a hat, at the first sign of a stereo-panned guitar or reverb-drenched vocal. Lots of bands carry the term in their descriptive suitcases, but are they truly worthy of this honor? Enter the Internal Tulips, a collaborative project between Brad Laner and Alex Graham, two former electronic artists on holiday set on congealing their obsessions with the dreamy music of their forefathers, mainly Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles and post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys. Don't be thrown off by the ridiculous album title -- Mislead into a Field by a Deformed Deer is no joke, a truly psychedelic album that earns the label the hard way: by creating melodies that sound simultaneously foreign and completely familiar, by crafting songs buried in layers of lavish sonic detail that reveal themselves more with each peel of the onion.

Harps flutter; mysterious fuzz crackles discreetly; vintage synths ooze fake horns and strings. These keyboard-dominated space flights are meticulously crafted and focus more on sound than song, resulting in an album that flows seamlessly from start to finish, but also one where the parts are frequently indistinguishable. This is weird, elegant music to fall asleep to, but the very best moments are the ones that jolt you out of your euphoric slumber. With "Mr. Baby", the mainly percussion-free proceedings suddenly turn rhythmic, as the pair craft an excellent, stereo-engulfing beat from random noises and electronic bleeps that supports an absolutely beautiful (if slightly demented) piano ballad with randomly interjected vocal samples (at one point, a woman angrily remarks, "She already got all of my George Harrison albums!").

Though heavily influenced by the obvious legends of yore, closer reference points are late '90s Flaming Lips and the goofier side of the Besnard Lakes. Mostly, though, the Internal Tulips are mining their own unique field of haunting, spectral beauty. Psychedelic? This is the definition.

8

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Music

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

Keep reading... Show less

From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

Keep reading... Show less

Acid house legends 808 State bring a psychedelic vibe to Berlin producer NHOAH's stunning track "Abstellgleis".

Berlin producer NHOAH's "Abstellgleis" is a lean and slinky song from his album West-Berlin in which he reduced his working instruments down to a modular synthesizer system with a few controllers and a computer. "Abstellgleis" works primarily with circular patterns that establish a trancey mood and gently grow and expand as the piece proceeds. It creates a great deal of movement and energy.

Keep reading... Show less

Beechwood offers up a breezy slice of sweet pop in "Heroin Honey" from the upcoming album Songs From the Land of Nod.

At just under two minutes, Beechwood's "Heroin Honey" is a breezy slice of sweet pop that recalls the best moments of the Zombies and Beach Boys, adding elements of garage and light tinges of the psychedelic. The song is one of 10 (11 if you count a bonus CD cut) tracks on the group's upcoming album Songs From the Land of Nod out 26 January via Alive Natural Sound Records.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image