Psych-pop duo Gibberish is no stranger to Obscure Sound, with their 2015 release Winter Coat being one of my favorite albums from that year. 2016 track “Rudedude” showed more soaring magic, resembling Panda Bear in the hypnotic vocal presence. Suffice to say, they’re an act I’m always excited to hear new tunes from, hence why the release of their new album Kneehigh – which includes “Rudedude” – is very welcome.
“Kneehigh was written right after we moved from Arkansas to Los Angeles,” the duo explains. “It’s about being in a sort of survival mode that we also felt was mirrored in a lot of ways by society at large around this time.” You can stream Kneehigh in its entirety at this post’s conclusion, though I’d like to zero in on three tracks on “Feet Wet”, “Crow’s Feet”, and “Birdy”.
“Feet Wet” begins in a luxurious psych-pop haze, gently leading to mellow vocals just prior to the one-minute mark, after an exotic and shimmering introduction of fluttering acoustics and sweeping vocal harmonies. The next four minutes showcase a budding, gorgeous sound that breaks around 02:23, though just briefly until it unleashes cathedral-sized psych-pop bliss in the final minute. It’s an excellent, majestic effort that shows what Gibberish do well: developmental psych-pop with a magical feel.
“Crow’s Feet”, the album’s first track following its introduction, pursues a more intense vocal delivery that meshes well with a glistening key-laden melody. There’s a wintry vibe in the shimmering synths, which prance throughout behind the emotive vocals. This is another one where the Animal Collective / Panda Bear comparison comes to mind, in both the vocal delivery and degree of layer-based psych-pop sophistication. “Birdy”, leading its guitar minimalism gently into nature sounds, is a stellar instrumental that serves as a perfect mid-point atmospheric stirrer for the album, which as a whole is strongly recommended.