Hypnotic Bridge is really what’s happening. Continually putting out some of the grooviest new music in their signature small batch singles, Stu and the gang have become a go-to for great new releases. Here, we feature their 3 newest, from The Flower Machine, The Asteroid No. 4 and Sacred Orange.
The Flower Machine: “Through A London Window” b/w “One In A Million”
Inspired in part by the 1966 film Blow Up and recorded in a warehouse in San Luis Obisbo on a vintage 8 track machine, The Flower Machine’s A Side “Through A London Window” is part Syd Barrett, part Paisley Underground. There’s also something about the prominent tambourine, the slight folk-y garage vibe and lyrics that tempt you to join right along (“ya know, whoa-oh-whoa-ohhhh….”) that invokes the early and best BJM recordings. Jangly, upbeat and full of interesting key changes, the track also features sitar, flute, backwards guitars, and the rare Mellotron cello. It’s an A-side groovy enough to get you movin, but dreamy enough to just float along and vibe to.
The B Side, “One In A Million”, at first listen had me thinking “yeah, this one’s definitely got a Syd Barrett/Pink Floyd sound”- the track itself is darker, slower, and trippier than the A side, with subtle surfy vibes and that signature Floyd psych, particularly in the chorus which becomes almost hypnotic, moving back and forth between 2 chords like a metronome before returning to the slow steady groove of the verse. Imagine my surprise and slight embarrassment when I looked at Hypnotic Bridge website and read that “One In A Million” it actually IS a Floyd tune, an extremely obscure one. As Hypnotic Bridge tells it, “Surviving only on a murky audience tape from a gig in Copenhagen in September 1967, the song is thought to be a joint composition between Roger Waters and Syd Barrett. It even may have been a version of the rumored “She Was a Millionaire” single The Pink Floyd were working on to follow up “See Emily Play.” Peter spent ages decoding its lyrics, enabling us to present here, for the first time ever, a fully realized version of a song that many consider to be one of the last holy relics of the Barrett era. Peter employs a black-and-white Danelectro 59 for the guitar parts, while Matt Nice plays the menacing, Rick Wright-influenced organ.”
Pick up the 7 inch single from Hypnotic Bridge here
The Asteroid No. 4: “Under My Umbrella” b/w “House Of The Seventh Moon”
First, we have to mention the cover art for this single. It features fantastic cover artwork by one of the band’s favorite artists, Andrew McGranahan, who employed vintage imagery enhanced with a thoroughly modern color palate. The psychedelic Victorian house is a nod to the San Francisco bay area which the band calls home, an area which also inspired the B side track of the single.
“Under My Umbrella” is ultra groovy, Sgt. Pepper style psychpop. The rhythm almost feels purposely slowed, and everything feels authentically vintage and analog, even in the mix, notably the interesting panning of certain instruments. As HB notes, “with prerequisite ADT vocal recording, Leslie speakers, Mellotron, harpsichord and backward guitars, the band pays homage to revered masters such as Tomorrow, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Donovan, The Hollies (and many more), embracing the atmosphere of London circa 1967 so succinctly that many listeners assume the song is a long-lost classic of the era. “
“House of the 7th Moon” is dreamy, full of that analog warmth. There’s prominent organ all throughout, along with tremelo guitar, ultra psych flute sounds and a distinct Eastern influence which appears about halfway through the song when most of the instruments fade away to reveal the sound of eastern drums and flutes.
Buy the 7 inch single from Hypnotic Bridge here
Sacred Orange: “Mister Opel” b/w “Away My Love” and “Crystal Sunlight”
The single is pressed onto appropriately bright orange clear vinyl and features 3 killer tracks. The first, “Mister Opel” is a wild, groovy party track with flange all over the place right from the start. This track is SO 1968- groovin bassline, jazzy drums, searing guitar work, rotary speaker vocals- it’s just one hell of a freak out dance party type of tune. The musicianship is flawless, with the rhythm section keeping everything on track even when there’s what feels like 100 other sounds going on around us- at times it starts to almost feel like one big heavy jam session, building and building throughout it’s last few minutes. From Hypnotic Bridge: ” “Mister Opel” channels the spirit of psychedelia’s ’66-’69 heyday, expressing the majesty of songs such as One In A Million’s “Fredereek Hernando,” Morgen’s “Of Dreams,” and The Pretty Things’ ‘68 single, “Talking About the Good Times.” Like the eponymous figure in The Pretty Things’ S. F. Sorrow album, Mister Opel is a central character in the Sacred Orange EP, an enigmatic media figure trapped in a world of illusion.”
On the B side, we’re treated to something completely different. Hypnotic Bridge describes it as “a splendid slice of heavenly pop psych crafted by Triptides’ Glenn Brigman with added elements and arrangements from Neil”. “Away My Love” is a phenomenal tune with a shuffle beat, a saloon style piano, vibraphone, pretty mellotron and lovely Beach Boys style harmonies all throughout. A complete contrast to “Mister Opal”, it’s dreamy 60s pop with just a tinge of psych, like later works from The Hollies or The Turtles.
The last track, “Crystal Sunlight” showcases something different yet again- a darker psych tune with a bossanova rhythm, it’s almost haunting with it’s melodies. ” The track “takes listeners on a languid magic carpet ride through deep, fragrant valleys swirling with bright, multicolored mists, with a multitude of monks chanting from the mountaintops above.”
Buy the 7 inch single from Hypnotic Bridge here