Updated: Apr 19, 2020
The New York based experimental/psych-rock band only appeared on my radar within the past year, and as with most undiscovered artists, you wonder how the hell did these guys not appear sooner? Formed in 2003, their first album came several years later, and the subsequent four albums with the last one released in 2016, each one more varied and wider in scope than the last.
Tres Warren and Elizabeth Hart met whilst studying at the University of Texas. Psychic Ills started as an experimental jamming session between the two, with the pair playing off each other with no solid direction, when the project soon turned into a full blown live band. Progressing their own sound, taking inspiration from 60s psych-rock and the wider experimental landscape, their first album Dins in 2006 truly embraced the unstructured format. Warren and Hart had immense chemistry in turning jam sessions into a full blown improvised soundtrack. Their focus narrowed over the next three albums, shifting gear for every release, culminating in their most refined sound; Inner Journey Out.
If I was still using CDs, and if I still had my 1997 Mitsubishi Verada I would be, I would surely have burned my through a third disc having played Inner Journey Out, the fifth EP released, non-stop for the past few months. Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval lends her dreamy vocals to I Don't Mind, which in my mind, should have made a permanent addition to the band. The harmonica-laced Coca Cola Blues, another stand out track amongst a solid 14 tracks, on an album which never dips in quality.
Unfortunately, as fate would have it, at time of writing, lead singer and guitarist Tres Warren passed away at the age of 41. So now is a good a time as any to showcase the New York psych-rock duo and the psych-rock landscape they meticulously carved through during their sixteen year odyssey.
Top 5 Tracks
I Don't Mind
One More Time
Love Me Two Times