Los Angeles-based act Vinyl Williams have been making exceptional, otherworldly psych-rock since the top of the decade. Fronted by principal songwriter and producer Lionel Williams, the band has always been a ceaselessly-evolving exploration of genre and style that never references the same dreamscape twice. Now, eights years and four albums in, we have Opal.
From the opening number “Sanctuary Spells,” with its dazzling polyrhythmic grooves and vivid spree of incantatory jazz bass, Opal‘s A-side grabs a hold of you and positively refuses to let go. There’s a freedom to this music that simply doesn’t exist on prior Vinyl Williams records, a willingness to embrace anything and everything under the sun. Lionel, who recorded a vast majority of the album by himself, tries on a few fresh looks for these first five tracks. These are lovingly arranged guitar pop songs that fold prog, blues, R&B and jazz into one delirious sound. The old school swagger of “Lansing” is peak LSD vibes. Perfect for beachside lounging and/or astral projecting.
The B-side of Opal relinquishes some of its headier tendencies for straightforward, driving funk and sunshine pop. It’s all smooth sailing from here. “Eternity” is a delightful comedown track, a subtle shuffle of 60s psychedelia. The record’s last song “Millennial Ballroom” is a tribute to Curt Boettcher—a vanguard of sunshine pop and proto-prog and co-founder of bands like The Association, Sagittarius and The Millennium.
Stream Vinyl Williams’ Opal, premiered exclusively on IC, below.
Watch the 360º video animated music video for “Aphelion,” directed by Vinyl Williams.