Review Summary: Say goodbye to the winter
Danish psych-rockers Mythic Sunship remain fairly under-the-radar, despite having a series of solidly-praised releases under their belt. Perhaps the best introduction which can be given for the group is that they are possibly most-reminiscent of their countrymen Causa Sui, also pursuing groovy jams on the mellow end of the stoner spectrum, perfect for warm weather listening. Wildfire is the band’s first studio LP since 2018’s Another Shape Of Psychedelic Music, an ambitious effort which brought greater attention to the group than ever before. Against this backdrop, the latest release seems to be a less grandiose attempt, but nonetheless the band has pulled off a successful new exploration of their calling card sound.
The orange and light red hues of Wildfire’s album artwork suggest a desert setting, and the music indeed emphasizes a warm, ray-drenched vibe. Wholly instrumental, the album’s five tracks clock in at under forty-four minutes in duration. Every tune here is lengthy (ranging from six to twelve minutes) and provides a summery sound evidently designed for a road trip, preferably one through an arid mountain landscape. The album exists in a strange paradox, simultaneously rather openly experimental while maintaining a surface level accessibility by which anyone with a preference for easy-going music and a tolerance for long-winded compositions can approach the record with ease.
Opener “Maelstrom” begins with a driving beat, and introduces the album with a cacophony of instruments, notably including a wild saxophone. Through a nearly eleven-minute runtime, the track takes a series of twists and turns, eventually reaching a spaced-out ending. “Maelstrom” serves as a solid template for what to expect from the rest of Wildfire, with its potent blend of psych elements, stoner groove, and serious jazzy tendencies. The last two tracks, “Redwood Grove” and the muscular (and excellent) closer “Going Up” feature a bit of a heavier sound than the first three, but the overall sound is cohesive, and it’s difficult to evaluate individual songs rather than discussing the album as a whole.
Mythic Sunship have achieved what they were aiming for with Wildfire: trippy mood music for summer days which rewards repeat listening. That said, this is indeed the sort of album which requires a listener to be a particular mindset to truly enjoy, and as such the amount of spins this work will receive is inherently limited. Nonetheless, to all of the musical world’s psych/space rock/stoner devotees, Wildfire serves a welcome reminder that spring is here and summer’s not far behind.