Review Summary: Accessibly psychedelic, yet eerily experimental, Morgan Delt's debut is a riveting trip into wonderland.
Largely unbeknownst to the general public, Morgan Delt is a California-based musician who largely records and produces all of his material himself, apparently in his bedroom. The music made by Morgan Delt is a bizarre, technicolor concoction of fuzzed-out guitars, heavily delayed and altered vocals, and lo-fi psychedelia and acid rock, with a slight electronic tint to the overall mix, not unlike much of the music made by members and bands of the (late) Elephant 6 Collective. That’s not to say that this album is terribly derivative, however. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say this is one of the most original and adventurous examples of psychedelic music to be released in the past decade.
The range of sounds and moods heard on this record is astonishing. Songs like “Mr. Carbon Copy” will jump from an uplifting, harmonized chorus to a dark, spacey krautrock style bridge with hushed vocals, before being shortly returned to the previous chorus melody. The diabolical “Barbarian Kings” slithers along at a mid-tempo, ceremonial lurch, conjuring purple flames with its sharp haze of guitars and synths, all complemented by seemingly hypnotized vocals produced under a sheen of delay and reverb, only to be thrust into a key change part way through, complete with child-like chanting and an ominous keyboard melody.
Although dark at times, this album certainly has far more harmony than it does dissonance. “Obstacle Eyes” is a bouncy, articulately riffed trip through a colorful jungle paradise with hallucinogenic sounds dripping from every tree, and the whole thing is held together by a memorably catchy and abstract melody played by the bass and guitars. “Beneath the Black and Purple” displays an almost western musical style, with its galloping pace and ferocious guitar strumming, before closing with an eerie jam session featuring liquefied hand drums and a synth taken straight from a horror film.
Without giving away too much more about the music itself, I have to admit that, after multiple listens, there is not a single poor song on this album. It seamlessly flows from one track to the next and keeps the listener guessing as to which crazy turn it will take next. Nevertheless, the album is gorgeously composed, authentically produced, and mentally riveting throughout, and Morgan Delt is undoubtedly one of the most underrated and artistically gifted musicians today, effortlessly blending unconventional, experimental writing with instantly loveable pop sensibilities and layered psychedelia. Let’s just hope that the high expectation brought on by this album doesn’t hinder the process of releasing future material, as this is clearly an artist to be reckoned with in the modern scene.