One of my favourite tunes of 2013 was a wistful slice of Kinksy 60s pop from a band called Shadow Folk. Kensington Hill, with its melancholic chorus and scratchy guitar break, is really rather lovely and only goes to underline my new pet theory that the best Brit psych in 2013 came from bands outside of the UK. There are plenty of other good songs on the band’s Seagull Visions download EP/cassette too which prompted me to get in touch with Justin fromthe band. Here’s what he had to say
How long have you been together?
The band started as a recording project in early 2012 and became a four- piece band near the end of 2012.
-We have played around 10 shows thus far always in our home city of Halifax, Canada. There are lots of psychedelic bands in Nova Scotia (mostly in Halifax) We are part of a label called Poncho Records based here in Halifax which features mostly psychedelic music. The other bands on the label often play shows and do releases together and have been growing a small psych scene over the past few months.
Would you say that you were primarily influenced by 60s bands?
Yes we are influenced mostly by 60’s bands. I started the band as a recording project and I always had the 60’s rock and roll style in mind and always wanted elements of psychedelia in there as well. Our key influences are The Beatles, The Kinks, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, James Jamerson and Motown.
What is is about English 60s psych that inspires you and so many other bands – Jacco Gardner, Paperhead etc Have you ever been to Kensington/London?
I love English psych from the 60 because out of all the music I’ve heard, 60’s psych just sounds the best to my ears, it can be intensely exciting and beautiful from one moment to the next. No I have never been to the UK. I used the phrase “kensington hill” because it sounded nice and it fit well into a melody I had. I didn’t realize at the time that Kensington was a real place.
Do you have many fans across the world? How do they discover your music
We have been getting some fans from different parts of the world lately through getting featured on different blogs and compilations from different parts of the world. For example our song Kensington Hill was just featured on Belgium’s “Psychedelic Underground Generation” compilation #13
Are any of the other new psych bands mates? Do you see them as peers?
Yes there is a group of psych bands here in Halifax that we play with and that I see as peers. The bands Walrus and The Age, to name a couple. My most underrated Canadian band ever is the now defunct Halifax band Long Long Long.
What’s next? Album? more singles
Next up for us is releasing a new single featuring the songs “Here at Home” and “Season’s End”, followed by a new EP.