Psychic Markers

Psychic​ ​Markers​ ​–​ ​consisting​ ​of​ ​Alannah​ ​Ashworth,​ ​Lewis​ ​Baker,​ ​Steven Dove,​ ​Leon​ ​Dufficy​ ​and​ ​Luke​ ​Jarvis​ ​-​ ​are​​ ​a​ ​hodgepodge​ ​bunch​ ​made​ ​up​ ​of members​ ​of​ ​various​ ​other​ ​bands​ ​and​ ​with​ ​a​ ​geographical​ ​backdrop​ ​that stretches​ ​countries​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​counties.​ ​So​ ​it​ ​makes​ ​sense​ ​that​ ​their​ ​music would​ ​be​ ​eclectically​ ​emblematic​ ​of​ ​such​ ​sprawling​ ​backgrounds.

The​ ​last​ ​few​ ​years​ ​for​ ​the​ ​band​ ​have​ ​been​ ​spent​ ​playing​ ​with​ ​the​ ​likes​ ​of Ulrika​ ​Spacek,​ ​Morgan​ ​Delt,​ ​Homeshake​ ​and​ ​Girl​ ​Ray,​ ​touring​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​and playing​ ​a​ ​series​ ​of​ ​festival​ ​slots,​ ​including​ ​a​ ​knockout​ ​set​ ​at​ ​2017’s​ ​End​ ​of​ ​the Road​ ​Festival.

Part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​reason​ ​their​ ​End​ ​of​ ​The​ ​Road​ ​set​ ​was​ ​such​ ​a​ ​success​ ​was because​ ​it​ ​caught​ ​the​​ ​band​ ​in​ ​a​ ​state​ ​of​ ​transition.​ ​Settled​ ​comfortably​ ​with their​ ​first​ ​album,​​ ​Scrapbook​ ​No.​ ​1​ ​(Marshall​ ​Teller​ ​Records),​ ​behind​ ​them​ ​and ingrained​ ​to​ ​DNA​​ ​level​ ​but​ ​with​ ​their​ ​second​ ​album,​ ​Hardly​ ​Strangers,​ ​freshly finished​ ​and​ ​the​​ ​creative​ ​spark​ ​that​ ​led​ ​to​ ​it,​ ​still​ ​very​ ​much​ ​alight.​​ ​The​ ​energy and​ ​intensity​ ​of​ ​the​ ​week-long​ ​session​ ​they​ ​spent​ ​holed​ ​up​ ​in​ ​Devon,​ ​with producer​ ​Iggy​ ​B,​ ​was​ ​still​ ​fresh​ ​in​ ​their​ ​minds​ ​and​ ​in​ ​their​ ​playing,​ ​as​ ​was​ ​the fact​ ​that​ ​they​ ​had​ ​just​ ​created​ ​their​ ​finest​ ​work​ ​to​ ​date.

The​ ​resulting​ ​Hardly​ ​Strangers​ ​-​ ​much​ ​like​ ​the​ ​band​ ​themselves​ ​-​ ​is​ ​an assorted​ ​affair.​ ​50’s-tinged​ ​doo-wop​ ​nestles​ ​up​ ​alongside​ ​lush cinema-influenced​ soundscapes;​ ​whilst​ ​flashes​ ​of​ ​neo-psychedelia​ ​take​ ​pop hooks​ ​and​ ​stretch​ ​them​ ​out​ ​into​ ​hypnotic​ ​and​ ​elongated​ ​jams​ ​befitting​ ​of 1970’s​ ​Germany​ ​before​ ​pushing​ ​them​ ​into​ ​further​ ​cosmic​ ​realms.

Psychic​ ​Markers​ ​are​ ​not​ ​a​ ​genre​ ​band​ ​but​ ​instead​ ​one​ ​that​ ​is​ ​driven​ ​by​ ​a collective​ ​psyche,​ ​where​ ​the​ ​rule​ ​of​ ​friendship​ ​and​ ​instinctive​ ​democracy trumps​​ ​any​ ​forced​ ​idea​ ​of​ ​aesthetic.​ ​“It’s​ ​more​ ​of​ ​an​ ​unwritten​ ​understanding between​​ ​ourselves,”​ ​Dove​ ​says,​ ​expanding​ ​on​ ​the​ ​song writing​ ​process.​ ​“If something​​ ​doesn’t​ ​feel​ ​right​ ​for​ ​the​ ​band,​ ​we​ ​lose​ ​it.”​ ​Dufficy,​ ​the​ ​primary songwriter​ ​along​ ​with​ ​Dove,​ ​echoes​ ​this,​ ​hitting​ ​home​ ​the​​ ​intuitive​ ​nature​ ​of the​ ​group.​ ​“I​ ​think​ ​we’re​ ​more​ ​of​ ​gang​ ​now,​ ​our​ ​inner​ ​psychic​​ ​link​ ​has increased.​ ​We​ ​can​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​see​ ​which​ ​road​ ​one​ ​of​ ​us​ ​is​ ​heading​ ​down​ ​and sort​ ​of​ ​meet​ ​them​ ​there.”​ ​Jarvis​ ​(bass)​ ​further​ ​emphases​ ​this​ ​too. “I’ve​ ​never​ ​really​ ​considered​ ​this​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​band​ ​in​ ​a​ ​typical​ ​sense,​ ​i.e.​ ​a​ ​group with​​ ​preconceived​ ​notions​ ​of​ ​how​ ​we​ ​should​ ​exist​ ​or​ ​project,​ ​but​ ​more​ ​like​ ​five kindred​ ​spirits,​ ​cosmic​ ​cowboys​ ​-​ ​and​ ​girl.​ ​The​ ​music​ ​and everything​ ​that​ ​surrounds​ ​it​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​come​ ​quite​ ​naturally​ ​as​ ​a​ ​result​ ​so​ ​it​ ​just becomes​ ​about​ ​pals​ ​making​ ​music,​ ​being​ ​creative​ ​and​ ​enjoying​​ ​ourselves while​ ​doing​ ​so.”

And​ ​that​ ​road​ ​that​ ​a​ ​group​ ​of​ ​cosmonauts ​ ​have​ ​embarked​ ​on​ ​has​ ​led them​ ​to​ ​this​​ ​juncture:​ ​a​ ​second​ ​album​ ​that​ ​owes​ ​as​ ​much​ ​to​ ​Joe​ ​Meek​ ​as​ ​it does​ ​Conny​ ​Plank​​ ​or​ ​to​ ​David​ ​Lynch​ ​as​ ​it​ ​does​ ​Mark​ ​Rothko​ ​or​ ​Steve​ ​Reich; an​ ​album​​ ​overflowing​ ​with​ ​ideas​ ​and​ ​ambition​ ​or,​ ​as​ ​the​ ​band​ ​say,​ ​something that​ ​is​​ ​“cohesive​ ​yet​ ​diverse.”

Yet​ ​despite​ ​the​ ​collectiveness​ ​of​ ​this​ ​record​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​mutual​ ​expression​ ​of​ ​a desire​ ​to​ ​simply​ ​make​ ​radiating​ ​cosmic​ ​pop​ ​music,​ ​it​ ​still​ ​retains​ ​a​ ​sense​ ​of individual​ ​personality​ ​that​ ​comes​ ​through​ ​Dove’s​ ​lyrics​ ​that​ ​waver​ ​between the​​ ​personal​ ​and​ ​the​ ​metaphorical.​ ​The​ ​sweeping,​ ​sliding​ ​and​ ​euphoric​ ​‘Fields of​​ ​Abstraction’​ ​for​ ​example,​ ​being​ ​about​ ​Dove’s​ ​personal​ ​relationship​ ​to​ ​his own​​ ​brain.​ ​“It’s​ ​about​ ​memory​ ​and​ ​how​ ​sometimes​ ​it​ ​can​ ​let​ ​us​ ​down​ ​or​ ​distort the​​ ​view​ ​of​ ​something​ ​you​ ​once​ ​saw​ ​so​ ​clearly.​ ​I​ ​find​ ​both​ ​great​ ​joy​ ​and sadness​ ​in​​ ​focussing​ ​on​ ​old​ ​memories,​ ​I’m​ ​a​ ​very​ ​nostalgic​ ​person​ ​and​ ​a fading​ ​memory​ ​is​ ​a​ ​bereavement​ ​we​ ​all​ ​have​ ​to​ ​deal​ ​with.”

It’s​ ​this​ ​realisation​ ​and​ ​lyrical​ ​expression​ ​that​ ​is​ ​arguably​ ​a​ ​blueprint​ ​for​ ​this album​ ​and​ ​a​ ​representation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​band​ ​as​ ​a​ ​whole:​ ​a​ ​group​ ​in​ ​love​ ​with​ ​the sounds​ ​and​ ​accomplishments​ ​of​ ​the​ ​past​ ​but​ ​not​ ​being​ ​so​ ​unimaginative​ ​as​ ​to trust​ ​and​ ​rely​ ​on​ ​those​ ​memories​ ​and​ ​thoughts​ ​of​ ​past​ ​glories​ ​and​ ​so​ ​instead have​ ​created​ ​a​ ​sonic​ ​hybrid​ ​that​​ ​touches​ ​upon​ ​history’s​ ​great​ ​musical achievements​ ​whilst​ ​looking​ ​firmly​ ​to​​ ​future​ ​ones.

News

Shows

  • 08 Mar 2018 London at The Victoria
See all the shows