Sound Mirror by Syd Arthur on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sound Mirror is the second release by the British psych-rock quartet Syd Arthur. Drawing inspiration from prog, jazz, funk, and British folk, the band embrace their contradictions. Their concept screams retro, yet their sound has a modern edge. These recordings are dense and intellectual on the one hand, spacious and organic on the other, often falling into brief, mesmerizing grooves. Drawing on a deep well of technical ability and songwriting chops, the band use unusual time signatures and spacy textures while mixing in pop hooks, as on “Hometown Blues” and “Autograph.” Despite their obvious debts to classic prog and psychedelic bands, Syd Arthur steer clear of long solos or instrumental noodling, and this focus separates them from many of their longwinded psych-rock contemporaries. The songs are concise—a little more than three minutes on average—yet each of the 10 tracks contain intriguing twists and turns while leaving room to breathe. Even the frenetic instrumental “Singularity” follows its own logical and emotional path. It’s an adventurous and intriguing release that defies easy categorization.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sound Mirror is the second release by the British psych-rock quartet Syd Arthur. Drawing inspiration from prog, jazz, funk, and British folk, the band embrace their contradictions. Their concept screams retro, yet their sound has a modern edge. These recordings are dense and intellectual on the one hand, spacious and organic on the other, often falling into brief, mesmerizing grooves. Drawing on a deep well of technical ability and songwriting chops, the band use unusual time signatures and spacy textures while mixing in pop hooks, as on “Hometown Blues” and “Autograph.” Despite their obvious debts to classic prog and psychedelic bands, Syd Arthur steer clear of long solos or instrumental noodling, and this focus separates them from many of their longwinded psych-rock contemporaries. The songs are concise—a little more than three minutes on average—yet each of the 10 tracks contain intriguing twists and turns while leaving room to breathe. Even the frenetic instrumental “Singularity” follows its own logical and emotional path. It’s an adventurous and intriguing release that defies easy categorization.

TITLE TIME
4:39
3:48
3:49
3:17
2:59
3:27
2:49
4:11
3:03
2:38

About Syd Arthur

Since their formation in 2006, British psych-rock quartet Syd Arthur have immersed themselves in the rich musical history of their native Canterbury, drawing influences from late-'60s and early-'70s progressive pioneers like the Soft Machine and Caravan, and filtering them through a more contemporary lens. Brothers Liam and Joel MaGill (guitar and bass, respectively) met drummer Fred Rother and violinist Raven Bush (nephew of Kate Bush) while in school and the group was formed, spending the following fundamental years gigging, developing their ornate jazz-rock sound, and eventually building their own recording studio, Wicker Studios, in 2009. The group set about recording their debut EP, Moving World, which was released in 2010 on their own New Dawn Recording Company imprint and garnered praise from prominent U.K. publications. The single "Ode to Summer" was released the following year and in 2012, Syd Arthur released their first LP, On and On. The album was well received and caught the attention of Britain's legendary revived Harvest Records, who signed the band and reissued On and On in late 2013. They quickly followed up in May 2014 with their second album, Sound Mirror. In 2015, Liam and Joel's younger brother, Josh Magill, began filling in for drummer Fred Rother, who had been suffering from severe tinnitus. It was later confirmed that Josh had permanently replaced Rother and made his first recorded appearance a year later on Syd Arthur's third full-length for Harvest, Apricity. ~ Timothy Monger

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