Psychic Markers’ today share the video for ‘Sacred Geometry’, taken from their latest self-titled LP, which is out now via Bella Union. The animated clip was directed by Lucy Dyson — known for her work with Beyoncé, Courtney Barnett, and Adult Swim— and is available to watch below…
“I had fun exploring the idea that while we are all operating from a cellular level of creation controlled by biological forces, we can’t really intercept (from the primordial drain sludge from whence we come, to the higher vibrations of the flower of life/cell division/nature/unity) our desire to live with the inconceivable idea that we are riding the escalator of life to our deaths,” director Lucy Dyson explains. “The grass in the animation is both nature/life and death/burial, it keeps rising up like a hyper-green memorial lawn. And so, our only choice in life is over our conscious actions, hence the push and pull of giving in to the evil red eye, the yellow eye is neutral. If you do give in however, you just end up back in the drain, a lowly slime-form having to work through everything all over again.”
A near death experience being sucked into an active sandstorm during a US road trip is enough to make you think about life. Being immersed in a swirling vortex of sand, dust, tumbleweed and detritus whilst trying to keep control of a speeding car might have only been a brief flash moment in Steven Dove’s life but it was enough for the Psychic Markers man to question life. “These things impact you,” he says. “I got thinking about human nature, our proneness to mistakes, imperfection and the implications of reactionary decision making.”
The results of such lyrical reflection, and broad spectrum of thought, can be heard throughout the latest Psychic Markers album, one that Dove describes as, “Imagine a David Cronenberg-style movie in which each morning you awake to find your brain merged inside someone else’s head – you see life from a totally different angle.”
Approaching things from a different angle was also the objective sonically. “We wanted to make an album that was 100% us,” says Leon Dufficy, who heads up the band with Dove. “With zero dilution from other influences.” This natural, intuition-led, direction is something immediately apparent on the album, one that weaves seamlessly between pulsing groove-locked electronica and psychedelic pop as frequently as it glides from sparkling melody to rich cinematic ambience.
“Cohesive yet diverse,” is what the band have said of their music and it fits their personalities too, with members coming from as far afield as Australia and Yorkshire. Dufficy and Dove wrote and produced the record together, the sultry yet subtle bass comes from Luke Jarvis, who also did the band’s artwork, whilst the glowing backing vocals of Alannah Ashworth feature alongside the shared percussion duties of Lewis Baker and Jim Wallis.
Playing with structure and form, and the overlapping role between lyrics and music, is rooted in the album. “I was tired of writing within the constraints of a verse/chorus structure and wanted to be expressive in alternative ways,” says Dove. “It’s like walking the same route to get from a to b – eventually it becomes mundane and for this record I wanted to try walking a different way.”
Dufficy also found himself going down a rabbit hole of old gear for the album, exploring four tracks, micro cassettes and drum machines. “I wanted to see how it would impact our writing and recording process,” he says. “By taking away the endless options you have in the digital world.” The result is one that adds to the already deeply textural world of the band – an approach that has previously reared its head via doo-wop-esque harmony vocals, thoughtfully layered immersive guitars or enveloping atmospheres – as well as adding a further sense of diving into the unknown.
Much like being caught in the middle of a sandstorm, or a piece of equipment holding out until the final sputtering moments of musical completion, there’s something unique, engulfing and encompassing about the latest Psychic Markers album. A beautiful bottling of time and place that magically ends up somewhere completely new.
Psychic Markers self-titled, third LP is out now via Bella Union.
The band will release a mixtape of 12 new tracks recorded during lockdown on 24 July, 2020.