10 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Strings and piano may not be foremost in the minds of Sic Alps' fans when they think of the band's rough-hewn psychedelia, but Sic Alps works those instruments into a few songs so naturally you'd think that the group had always had a little baroque blood. Sic Alps are definitely honing their late-'60s psychedelia into works that are more tangible and cohesive, but they're also adding textures and sounds that only help color and define their core vision, and it's a great step forward. The languorous guitar riff on "God Bless Her, I Miss Her" could have come from a Velvet Underground tape scrap, and the Syd Barrett–isms in the wobbling, acoustic "Wake Up It's Over II" are enchanting. "Lazee Son" feels like a Haight Street stoop hoedown on a foggy 1969 Sunday afternoon. But those things are almost to be expected from Sic Alps (and we won't shortchange the group; the vintage psych vibe here is awesome). But the Beatles-esque strings on "Glyphs," the piano-and-beach atmospherics of "See You on the Slopes," and the baroque-pop whisper of "Rock Races" are the real eyebrow-raisers here. Sic Alps is a grand, masterfully balanced step in the band's evolution. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Strings and piano may not be foremost in the minds of Sic Alps' fans when they think of the band's rough-hewn psychedelia, but Sic Alps works those instruments into a few songs so naturally you'd think that the group had always had a little baroque blood. Sic Alps are definitely honing their late-'60s psychedelia into works that are more tangible and cohesive, but they're also adding textures and sounds that only help color and define their core vision, and it's a great step forward. The languorous guitar riff on "God Bless Her, I Miss Her" could have come from a Velvet Underground tape scrap, and the Syd Barrett–isms in the wobbling, acoustic "Wake Up It's Over II" are enchanting. "Lazee Son" feels like a Haight Street stoop hoedown on a foggy 1969 Sunday afternoon. But those things are almost to be expected from Sic Alps (and we won't shortchange the group; the vintage psych vibe here is awesome). But the Beatles-esque strings on "Glyphs," the piano-and-beach atmospherics of "See You on the Slopes," and the baroque-pop whisper of "Rock Races" are the real eyebrow-raisers here. Sic Alps is a grand, masterfully balanced step in the band's evolution. 

TITLE TIME
3:32
3:36
1:54
2:15
3:32
2:50
3:01
2:54
5:07
4:30

About Sic Alps

Beginning as a messy, gritty indie rock affair rooted in noise pop and the Velvet Underground's seminal soporific lo-fi, Sic Alps formed in the early 2000s as a collaboration between Matt Hartman (formerly of Henry's Dress) and Mike Donovan (formerly of the Ropers); the two met in the late '90s while on tour with their respective bands. Starting with Semi-Streets, their cassette-only debut single released on Folding in the fall of 2004, Sic Alps released a little over half a dozen singles over the course of the next four years, along with three EPs (2006's The Soft Tour in Rough Form and Teenage Alps; 2007's Description of the Harbor) and a full-length album, A Long Way Around to a Shortcut, released on Animal Disguise in the spring of 2008. Another full-length album, U.S. EZ, was released on Siltbreeze that summer. Drag City reissued A Long Way Around to a Shortcut in 2009, and that year the band kept busy playing dates with Magik Markers, Times New Viking, and Sonic Youth. In 2010, Sic Alps played the Pavement-curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival, supported the band on its Brixton Academy show, and contributed a track to an Amnesty International compilation. The band's first new album for Drag City, Napa Asylum, arrived in January 2011 and was the first to feature new member Noel Von Haromonson. September 2012 saw the release of their self-titled sixth album, which offered a much more cleanly recorded sound and deeper delvings into psychedelic pop. The following year's She's on Top EP added a little muscle to the band's cleaned-up style. In July 2013, the group announced they were disbanding while on tour in Europe. That October, Donovan's solo debut WOT arrived. ~ Margaret Reges

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