Sky Picnic are the Brooklyn, New York based trio of Chris Sherman on guitar and vocals, Leah Cinnamon on bass and vocals, and Pete Meriwether on drums and percussion. Paint Me A Dream is billed as their second full length album, though the band have also released a couple EPs, singles, and contributed to various compilations. Here’s the skinny on the album’s 9 songs:
The album opens with Lost Is Found, a psych rock song with a 60s feel and a killer intense acid freakout jam for the finale. The title track is next and is a more overtly 60s sounding song. It rocks out but has a floating trippy feel, a nice flute melody (maybe synth produced), acoustic and electric guitars, space effects, and a damn good melody. Freak Out Ethel starts off with an early Pink Floyd feel, like Astronomy Domine crossed with Careful With that Ax Eugene, but then morphs into a heavy driving psych rock instrumental. Dream Yourself Away has a pleasant guitar melody and vocals, plus an orchestral mellotron-like backdrop. About halfway through the music quiets into the dream-state of the title… “dreeeeeeam yourself awaaaaay”… with cool efx’d guitar licks and haunting vocals, gradually building and receding in intensity, with the orchestral keys projecting the song into Prog-Psych realms. Another damn good song! Kaleidoscopic Cadence is a short but lovely acoustic Folk-Psych song, and wraps up with more of those classic Prog orchestral embellishments. Rippled continues the 60s dreamy Prog-Psych drift that I’m catching from the last two tracks, and in parts has an underlying Ennio Morricone soundtrack vibe. Translucent Lucy is a chunky psychedelic rock ‘n roll song with a bit of a surf edge and cool wah’d guitar solo. At 8 minutes Slumbers Gate is the longest track of the set. For the first couple minutes the band playfully meander. But then the drums start to rock out hard, while the guitar goes into deep space with the effects. This lasts a couple more minutes before things go quiet and the musicians focus on pure spaced out atmosphere and effects creation, once again recalling early experimental Pink Floyd. In fact, in the last couple minutes I’m reminded of Atom Heart Mother. Sky Picnic cover a lot of interesting ground on this track. Finally, Aurora is a brief instrumental that brings the album to a close on a heavy psych rocking note.
In summary, Sky Picnic are heavily 60s psychedelic influenced but are by NO means a retro act. Vibravoid might be a good analogy. I’ve liked all their releases but what stands out on Paint Me A Dream is the songwriting, which is a pretty impressive. Solid songs and melodies, AND lots of cool freaky and often spaced out psychedelic music.
Note that the album is available in black and colored vinyl editions, as well as digital download. AND for you vinyl junkies in the U.S. who are accustomed to paying big bucks for Nasoni imports, the LP is available for a very reasonable price at the Sky Picnic Bandcamp site.
For more information you can visit the Sky Picnic web site at: http://www.skypicnicmusic.com
Purchase the LP or digital download at: http://skypicnic.bandcamp.com
Visit the Nasoni Records web site at: http://www.nasoni-records.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz