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Sky Picnic - Synesthesia CD (album) cover

SYNESTHESIA

Sky Picnic

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 2 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Synesthesia' - Sky Picnic (7/10)

Sky Picnic is a project that aims to takes its listener back to the late 60's, when times were good and concerts were filled with peace, love, and a range of hallucinogens. Often, this retrospective approach to music is not one that does much for me, but Sky Picnic are able to capture the essence of classic psychedelia so well that 'Synesthesia' becomes more than worth a listen for me. Over the course of half an hour, collaborators Chris Sherman and Leah Cinnamon come together to create a dreamy, vintage collection of pieces. It's not without some rough patches, but Sky Picnic form a strong impression with me.

1967 was arguably the strongest year that psychedelia has ever seen, and Sky Picnic's sound explores many defining traits of the summer of love. 'Synesthesia' opens with the lull of sitars, an instrument that many bands from that era were not afraid to experiment with. Instantly, Sky Picnic's approach and objective is made clear. The clean vocals of Leah Cinnamon are reminiscent of Syd Barrett (of early Pink Floyd), and as someone could have guessed, many of these lyrics deal with whimsical, often drug-related themes. The music combines some of the more forward thinking psychedelic sounds with the baroque pop sensibilities of a band like The Beatles. Sky Picnic's sound is nothing new for 2008, but there is a very nostalgic feeling here that excuses the perceived lack of originality.

Although many of the songs are driven by typical song progressions and Leah's vocal mid- register, there are times when the partnership takes their music down a more spaced-out route. This leads to very atmospheric instrumental passages that could, in modern terms, be compared with post-rock. 'Moons Of Jupiter' is a highlight in this regard, beginning rather slowly, but building up into something celestial and epic. Performance-wise, Sky Picnic is an incredibly authentic 60's psychedelic tribute. Their dedication to nailing the vintage style is their greatest strength, and I think if they had tried to put a more modern edge on these tracks, it would have felt watered down. In regards to execution, the only issue is Leah Cinnamon's voice, which is certainly well-fitting of the music, but she will occasionally fall flat on a note or two. Otherwise, her voice works brilliantly for the style of music that Sky Picnic is playing here.

Although the golden years of psychedelia have long since past, it's good to know that there are still acts out there that are trying to preserve the sound and style. I will gladly be checking out more of Sky Picnic's work in the future.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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