Review Summary: An enthralling and underrated release blending psychedelic and indie rock.
The realm of Indie has always had a knack for taking musically stylistic approaches from earlier decades and adding a new spin to them. In a genre where sentimentality is always valued, it’s no surprise that nostalgia plays an important role in the evolution of independent rock and pop. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, for example, tries to imitate the mood and instrumentation of 70’s disco and funk while keeping a contemporary edge. Combining the past and present is a feat that requires ambition and musical understanding. I can sincerely say that White Denim’s “D” is the finest example of indie nostalgia that I have had the pleasure of time traveling into.
It is 40% indie-rock and 60% prog and psych rock inspired directly from the 70’s. The very swagger of “D” can be traced back to the musicality of Yes, Jethro Tull and their contemporaries. The instrumentation leans itself to psychedelia, utilizing melodies that are reminiscent of Ravi Shankar and the “Within You, Without You” flavor of the sixties. The meticulously layered dual guitars and bass make the music feel equally colorful and interesting. “At the Farm” is the best example of brilliance musically. Even though it is the only instrumental track on the album, it is a stand out to it musical brilliance and enthralling structure.
The songwriting on “D” perfectly compliments the impressive instrumentation. The indie rock influence shines brightly in the vocal melodies and grooves. “Street Joy”, a slower song, focusses more on the vocals and songwriting. By the end of the album, one realizes that it has been a lovely balance of guitar and drums mastery and nearly-perfect songwriting.
When it comes to recommendations, I would buy this album for any friend with an interest in exciting indie-rock or a soft spot for psychedelic rock. It has been a treat listening to this record and I’m not sure why it does not have the notoriety it deserves.
At the Farm
River to Consider