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Haight-Ashbury: Perhaps

Album Review

Incense and peppermint-flavoured Scot psych.

Without getting hairy and naked and giving out LSD-drenched bandanas and Timothy Leary pamphlets at every gig, Haight-Ashbury couldn’t wear their influences more clearly on their kaftan sleeves.

Though Jen Thomson and siblings Kirsty and Scott Reid hail from Glasgow, they pine for San Francisco 1968 and pay faithful homage to the era with their melodic, psychedelic folk rock – complete with more sitars and tambourines than a Hare Krishna recruitment drive – that’s been liberally dunked in more modern psych stews. 

Think Fairport Convention, Harrison’s solo work or The Incredible String Band having a love-in with The Jesus & Mary Chain, Mazzy Star, Kyuss and MGMT... On acid? Obviously. Duh. Their previous two albums – 2010’s Here In The Golden Rays and 2012’s Haight-Ashbury 2: The Ashburys – have been so authentic as to lose their grip on their pop edge and drift into the odd indulgent cosmic meander at points. 

But the comforting fuzz-hugs of their third retain a firm melodic focus, recalling more modern waft-pop acts like Haim and School Of Seven Bells, through the Dear Prudence chug of Family, the gang chanting Velvets pastiche Kicks and the Fleetwood Maharishi pop of Blow Your Mind. Their dark psychedelia just got all the more enthralling. Be sure to wear some hogweed in your hair.

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