Kundalini Genie Half In, Half Out
Kundalini Genie Half In Half Out will be released on October 29th 2021 from Little Cloud Records (USA) and Space Ranch Records (EU) on colored vinyl.
Scotland is the home of the six member psych-shoegaze-rock band, Kundalini Genie. Their upcoming release Half In Half Out is a shoegaze psychedelia garage rock experience. Scotland is the home of early shoegaze band The Jesus and Mary Chain and has a long history of post-rock, psychedelic folk, shoegaze and pop music.
Kundalini Genie emerged with their first album Reverberation in 2017. These ambitious lads have released a new album every year since, the latest is Half In Half Out. The newest release has the most refined and considered music the to-date.
The frontman is Robbie Wilson credited with production and performances on the latest album. This was likely due to the pandemic and resulted in a product that is personal, playful and willing to put deep insights and emotions into lyrics. The instrumentation on the album is built around two guitars, vocals, bass, percussion and other assorted instruments as the band does have six members. The arrangements are well done and the various instruments tell a cohesive story that bolsters the vocals with warm and retro tones.
Kundalini Genie builds their songs around guitar riffs and chords. Focused on using a variety of tones and usually have at least two guitar lines playing together designated as rhythm and lead. The rhythm guitar leans into off-beat rhythms and creating atmosphere with sharp staccato strikes on the strings that expand into space with splashy reverb, light to medium overdrive dirt. The lead lines use hip shaking bends and echoing fuzz tones. The 6 string guitars and bass work together in perfect harmony. The bass often follows the root notes of the rhythm guitar enhancing the low end punch of the chords and giving a strong hit to the drums.
The previous albums It’s All In Your Head and 11:11 were also released through Little Cloud Records and were well received from the UK to the USA. The band has a history of playful psych songs and eclectic tastes that make each album a unique exploration into various interrelated genres. Their sound is always rock, shoegaze, and psychedelic with inspirations from the 60s, 90s and today.
Kundalini Genie Half In Half Out has the band focusing in on retro sounding guitars with jangle and fuzz tones. Several songs have a Scottish version of the California coastal sound exemplified by bands like Allah-Las. That sound combines with British bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre and Scottish shoegaze. The retro, alternative and surfy sounds blend with hints of surfy psychedelia. The overall tone of the album is longing and forlorn contrasted by energized instrumentation. Much of the music was written during covid-19 in Scotland’s wind-swept landscape.
Kundalini Genie’s previous albums all lay the foundation for this latest release. The new album takes those inspirations to a new place with more seriousness and a more cohesive vision. The music looks back to the layered echoing tones of the previous album, 11:11 while drawing on the guitar driven garage rock heard on Reverberation. The band has an eclectic approach with many various subgenerea coming together. However, on Half In Half Out this inspirational stew has blended together wonderfully and differently then ever before.
The vocals are a highlight on the album with strong melodies and plenty of reverb. The voice explores new sounds for example, the opening song ‘Motherfucker’ uses a baritone voicing. This darker sound is brooding and rebellious. Many of the songs have layered backing vocals bringing energy to the music. The harmony lines are inspired by the 60s and served-up for a contemporary audience.
Kundalini Genie is in the ears of the underground music scene since 2017 but they started gaining momentum in 2019 especially in the UK and European markets. They have done a number of tours in the UK / EU and have played at several music festivals building their fanbase. Their music is on pulse of with a brooding blend of shoegaze, alternative rock with vintage garage rock tonality.
Kundalini Genie is a band that consciously chooses meaningful artwork for their albums. They utilize themes from new age, spiritual and 60s psychedelia genres. The album artwork for Half In Half Out uses occult imagery. The cover looks like a tarot card or a symbolic code from Manly P Halls book The Secrete Teachings of All Ages. The band is willing to look deep inside to draw material for their music. The albums have an intimate emotional expression that is controlled and honest.
Kundalini Genie is consistently making quality music that is unique and enjoyable. They grow with each album moving toward thoughtful use of layers, overdubs and good songwriting. They balance interesting instrumental arrangements with songs that range from mellow and longing too upbeat and surfy.
Half In Half Out takes the music from their past albums blends it all together to land on a sound that is all their own. The music has layers to unpack and gives the listener uplifting garage rock energy right along side calming and folk songs structure with dark shoegaze atomspheres. Their use of melody in lead guitars, bass and vocals trade off and work together in a smart way that feels more highly considered than past albums. The band leans into the foundational songwriting and uses the layers of instruments to bring out the best in each song. In the past the various instruments worked together but could edge toward being over ambitious drawing some of the listeners focus away from the foundational strength of the song. This tendency has been highly tempered on this latest release which features some of the most stripped back songs in their catalogue.
Kundalini Genie is an exciting underground rock band that can play folk, shoegaze and psychedelic rock. Each of their albums has been highly entertaining and underrated. Half In Half Out is a personal album that is open and honest with lyrical symbolism. The production and performances evolved and shows forward momentum in the bands trajectory. Half In Half Out is a great starting point for those unfamiliar with the band but just a starting point. Every album the band has released is quite good and Half In Half Out puts a spotlight on the bands best attributes.