A Psychedelic Journey From the ’80s to Present Day
Despite its ominous looking album cover, depicting a dark cloud looming solitarily in a sea of gray clouds, the newest release from Jagwar Ma, Every Now and Then, is far from threatening. This new album from the Australian-born (but now based largely in France) band features music that’s fun and complicated yet extraordinarily accessible. With their signature sound that’s influenced by psychedelic rock and the Madchester scene, Jagwar Ma creates trippy worlds where listeners can get lost within multiple decades of sounds, drawing them into the fantasy of Every Now and Then.
The record begins with “Falling” a melodic 1:30 long introduction dripping with psychedelic and acid rock. Many of the songs feel as if they were plucked from a different decade. For instance, “Loose Ends” and “O B 1” sound current, while the song “Give Me A Reason” feels more like a ’90s jam. Meanwhile “Colours of Paradise” would excite any Tears For Fears fan.
One of the best songs on the record is one where the band explores quieter moments: “Don’t Make it Right” still nods to their psychedelic sympathies, but it also reveals an intimacy within the band. Since, they are not hiding behind loud drum machines and manipulated sounds, listeners can hears the level of comfort that they have with playing with one another and the closeness they must feel as a band.
Listening to the record is a bit like travelling on time machine. For two or three songs, listening to the album feels like listening to songs from the ’90s, then to keep the listener on his or her toes, they follow up with an ’80s-sounding track, all while modern-sounding music is interlaced throughout so as to not take the listener entirely out of the psychedelic and synthesizer-heavy world Jagwar Ma has created. Every Now and Then serves as a great example of an album from a band that has the ability to explore many different sounds from many different decades, but without sounding overly nostalgic or unoriginal. Instead, Jagwar Ma takes the best from previous decades of music and puts their own glorious spin on it.